So, here’s the deal. Because of the problems with getting any response from Animas Corporation until Jan 28th (I’ve been switched back/forth from Canada/USA/Canada since the notices came out in Dec) on my out of warranty Animas 2020 pump aka George Michael with the little “minor” glitches with his stopping delivery of insulin. I’m still continuing to relearn MDI to be prepared. I’ve done it before (over 40 years prior to going onto the pump actually). I KNOW I can do it again – despite my griping – but as before –my issues with MDI – has always been my basal rates with Lantus. I wish I could use Levemir – I could do better – but sadly – last time I tried it – I had allergic reactions to it – and it was like I was injecting water for my basal portion of my insulin coverage.
Sadly, I’ve had responses (privately or via FB groups I belong to) from many T1D’s who have been pumping on average 20+ years. They are terrified to go back to MDI. They wouldn’t know how to do it – and have asked me how do I know what I’m doing? I guess in away, I’m lucky that I only starting pumping later on in life, that I “sort of” had a handle on MDI prior to the pump, and with abit of head banging, and if you’ve got a good endo or medical team behind you (sadly, I can’t say I do), then YOU CAN DO IT! Maybe taking a break from their pump once in awhile – to get back to their roots – might be something that endos should encourage their patients to do – so incase a) they no longer have insurance coverage for a pump; or b) flung into a situation where pump cannot be used for x amount of day/weeks/months – then taking these mini pump holidays is not such a bad thing. Yes, I know, control may not be as good in the beginning, or it may never be as good as on the pump, but at least you will get over that fear of going off the pump, and with practise, might not mind it so much. I know I don’t - it’s nice not to have the tubing, pump clipped on my pants (dragging the waist band down to reveal my knickers). It’s just a change of pace for me at the moment, relearning how to do (and saving some $$$’s at the same time – since pump supplies don’t come cheap (if you don’t have insurance or co-pays are high), etc.
I’m now into Week 3 – and getting used to it (oh – wait – I have to go check my BG’s – will be back in a sec) … okay – I’m back – BG was 9.9 ml/L (178 mg/dl) – did a correction with NovoRapid (aka bolus to you pumpers out there) – and hopefully my BG eventually levels out to my happy zone of 4.5-5.5 mmol/l (81-99 mg/dl).
Back to my rambling, on the pump, I rarely had to do corrections like I’m doing now – since on the pump – you can change your basal rate right away – compared to the 1 – 3 shots of basal insulin that some MDI folks do. To me that’s one of the great things about the pump – the accuracy of how much you have going into your body for your basal insulin – it can be tweaked per hour – to reflect hormone issues, exercise, etc. With MDI, once the basal rate is given – bing, bang, boom – you are slave to the slow acting insulin for your basal coverage – that’s if it works properly (like it does for me sometimes – then other times – not so good). I really can now live up to my Facebook page of The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes with what I’m doing with MDI … but … MANY do it this way, they are fine with what I feel is like being a slave to their condition (since starting MDI – I find I am constantly thinking about my diabetes – with my pump – it wasn’t so much).
The other thing, some MDI folks just don’t give a hoot, and just do the shots without much hoopla over their happy zone range for BG’s (hey, even folks using pumps are the same). Sadly, or maybe I shouldn’t say this, I like to be in control, I don’t want to lose my eyesight, kidney function, put a strain on my heart due to continue up and down of BG’s, lose a leg due to infection … the list goes on when you have diabetes and don’t take your health care by the horns. Remaining as stable as possible is my goal in my diabetes control – with as little convenience for my life as possible.
I discovered after posting on my Facebook wall with the forum post from Diabetes1.org – about having another blood meter with them when they go on holidays – many folks have not just ONE – but sometimes FOUR spare meters with them. Either it’s due to their 3 year old T1D Johnny Be Good fingers destroying one of the meters his Mum has packed in her bag – or it’s just for sanity sake that incase their regular meter goes on a walk about – they’ve got something to fall back on. I know for myself, I’m lost without my meter, and would be probably housebound, unable to go anywhere. That is not me, I won’t let diabetes stop me from doing what I want to do.
I have to admit – I’ve never EVER brought a spare blood meter with me – it’s usually all the insulin paraphernalia that I bring (with the pump – 3X the supplies you would use for the period you are away, insulin and needles, extra BG strips, glucose tabs, spare pump/meter batteries ….). So, some of their replies back really got me thinking – I should consider bringing a spare meter with me – especially since the FreeStyle Lite I use – I’ve had for over 5 years (one Mum said – “ours only last 1 – 1 ½ years). I guess I’ve been lucky that I’ve never had a problem with the meter – but like the pumps – do they ever need to be recalibrated? Hmmm.
So, luckily, with the diabetic conventions I attend a few times a year – I have one meter that I know I can get strips for in Quebec (other meters I have surprisingly enough – when I ask my pharmacist about purchasing strips – they can’t get them for me – or their distributor can’t for one reason or another). So, this time I will be prepared on my holidays – and maybe I’ll do like other diabetics do – carry a spare one in their bag all the time. Again, I’m not a big bag carrying type of gal – but I’m learning that maybe I should just swallow my pride, and start lugging more stuff with me – just incase.