Tuesday, 9 August 2011

disjointed points on some impressions on pumping

Well, so much for my “few short posts” that I had said I’d try put up by yesterday- they just didn’t happen. Instead it’s gonna be a few short and not-necessarily-related points (paragraphs?) today, because it was three weeks of pumping for me, and I feel like marking it.
  •  i love the fact that i’m not sticking a needle into myself 6-10ish times a day.
  • It’s taking me some getting used to inserting the cannulas- a) I have to psych myself  up to get it in smooth and straight and not get any  “hesitation punctures”, b) I’ve had to find a pump site that works- iks-nay on the stomach; I’ve always hated stomach shots, and it’s really not all that comfortable with my dancing. I tried the back of my hips- this seems to be working the best, bar one site that felt like it was pinching a nerve in my lower back after two days in. I was keen to give pump sites in my legs a go- thighs have always been my preferred spot for shots. Well, that and my arms, but I’m not itching to try an arm site anytime soon. Anyway, I’m neither skinny nor large, but you would think that after nigh on 20 years of injections, I would at least have enough scar tissue, if not actual fat, to fit a 10mm cannula into my thigh. Seems it keeps poking into the beefy dancer’s muscles in my thighs (i tried twice). Heh, first time I’ve ever complained about not having enough fat on my thighs.
  •  I’m seriously impressed by the stickiness of the pump site’s patch thingy. I’ve got the pump tubing caught on a clothes horse, a branch, a drawer handle, other people. It’s been yanked. The pump has fallen out of my pocket/wherever else I’ve tucked it (I’m still working out what to do with pump when go to the bathroom). The site, so far, stays in. Impressive.
  • I’m a snacker- I nibble on stuff between meals- not exactly great for bg’s. which means I love love love the fact that, with the pump, I can microbolus for the liitle bits I nibble on during the day.
  • That said, my dosing is a nightmare now. That hugely changed I:C ratio I started off with, that was working so beautifully? Not so much working that well anymore- even with meals I meticulously count carbs for, so I don’t think it’s the carb counts being off. Basals have been messing me around a bit too- so now I’m actually doing a series of fasts to test the basal rates. And once I’ve got the basals right, I’ll work out what’s happening with my bolus doses. Yes, I know that it would probably have been easier to do it this way first. But I actually had to push my doctor and nurse educator to let me do this now.
  • I may have been a bit slow on the uptake on this, but it’s august- my three month waiting period with my new medical aid is officially over. Woop! And I now get to choose a pump of my own (I’m guessing roche will wnt the loaned- spirit I’m on back sometime). I’m still deliberating, and may just post a list of pro’s and cons for each system here sometime/soon. I could really do with any advice any has regarding the accu-chek spirit combo system, vs the Medtronic VEO system- re both the pump and the CGMS.
  • Incidently august is my favourite month. I think it probably hails back to the august school holidays I always had, plus august is the end of winter and start of spring. I love it not so much the seasons in particular as for the change in the season.
  •  I think that’s all I’ve got for now.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

2.47 weeks of pumping: losing some old friends, and gaining new constant companions

So, I thought about writing a post after one week of pumping, and then after two weeks, but both of those time points whooshed past in a blur. So I’m aiming to do a few short posts between now and next week sometime, to make sure the three week mark doesn’t fly by unnoticed as well.

So first up: Besides the obvious change of having a pump attached to me all the time, and working out where on/in/under my clothes to put it, there’s been another change in what gets carried around with me.

A sample of the basic contents of my bag, pre-pumping:

I present you with: my oversized wallet, lipbalm, sugarfree gum, glucometer, lantus and humalog pens with pouch, and a small supply of sweets incase of low BG (circled).

Basic bag contents, now that I’m on a pump:

Note the absence of my old friends the insulin pens.  Instead, I now have: a log book and pen, spare infusion set and alcohol wipe, spare bottle of test strips, and (circled) the monster load of low BG supplies.

My initial basal rates were a little on the over-enthusiastic side. Which meant the lows were frequent, sneaky and frustrating during the first week or so of pumping. Basal rates have since been tweaked, but as you can see, I may still be a bit paranoid of those lows coming back. At least with all that sugar on me I will be prepared! My paranoia also extends in the other direction, to highs and DKA. So I’m carrying a spare cannula around everywhere. No kinked sets yet, but I’m ready and waiting…