29
May

Week 1 on the pump

So...whoa. I guess I knew that it wouldn't be easy, but my first week on a pump was exhausting.  Hell, my first *day* on the pump was pretty scary.

I arrived for my pump start at 9am, and the first thing we did was to actually start me on the pump. I was so nervous/excited,  my hands were shaking a little :P. My nurse/CDE, Brenda, told me that for the first few set changes she wanted me to put the set somewhere on my abdomen -- somewhere I could see it, and also not someplace where my insulin absorption would change drastically if I exercised (like it might do in my thigh or butt). I noticed almost immediately after inserting the set that it was uncomfortable, and sure enough, it remained uncomfortable over the 3 days that I wore it (but more on my dislike for absomen sites later).

I got to eat breakfast next. Brenda and the nutrition student who was sitting in on a pump start (for credit hours, I think) left me for a bit while I chowed down, then came back about 20 minutes later to jump right back in to the pump training.

We next went theough "the checklist," which was essentially a (very repetitive) list of training items, most of which were things I already felt comfortable doing. We covered things like giving boluses, setting up carb ratios and insulin sensitivity, adjusting basal rates, etc. As far as using the pump goes I actually felt fairly confident, but I did want to spend more time learning how to make changes to basal rates & how to recognize when I need to make changes.

As we went through all of the training items, I did my 2-hour post-breakfast check (a little high), and my training went until around the 3.5-hour mark. After that they sent me home with instructions to check 2 and 4 hours after meals & twice overnight all week, and with a promise that Brenda would be calling me twice per day to discuss my numbers.

I had 2 bad lows on my first day on the pump; one after lunch and another after dinner.  Both were scary, for me, as they were 2.2 and 2.4 and came with no symptoms.I honestly think that I was just so excited/tired/hungry/stressed that everything was out of whack. I hope that's what it was, since I never get lows like that with no symptoms...

Things started to calm down over the rest of the week, although I spent a lot of the week running a little on the high side. I was up overnight, multiple times, so I spent a lot of my waking hours taking short naps in between eating & doing post-meal checks. Overall,  a pump start is definitely not an experience I'd care to repeat, but having gone through it I can say that I'm happy I put the work into fine-tuning my basal rates and carb ratios.

2 weeks in and I'm still feeling pretty good about being on a pump, so I'd say that's a good sign. There was always a small part of me that worried about the being-attached-to-a-device thing. I wondered whether having a visible sign of my diabetes clipped to my hip would start to weigh down on me and cause last year's burnout and depression to rear their ugly heads. If a pump was truly helping with my diabetes management, I know I could always turn to the wonderful doctors and medical professionals who helped me through it last time around, but quite honestly the while period was horrible and I wouldn't care to repeat it. The actual physical device has only been a minor annoyance when it comes to wearing dresses, but luckily that's it so far!

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