When I first started to wear an insulin pump back in 2008, I didn’t realise that wearing one would restrict some of my clothing options. Living in Montreal, the fashionista capital of Canada (okay – there’s Toronto – aka mini-me USA – but they just don’t have that French flair like we do ).
It was sort of nice since January, when I took a pump break, not to have to spend the extra time to pick out clothing that would not reveal a bulge of George Michael aka GM (pun intended there – remember – I grew up with Benny Hill) my insulin pump. Now that I’ve been back on the pump for over a month now, I realise that I have to take extra time to figure out what to wear that will allow me easy access to George Michael. Hmmm, should have I had added that time factor into my application for DTC?
I did the stint for almost a month of wearing the infusion set in my arms. That was kind of neat – almost like I wasn’t wearing an infusion set except when I’d hit a muscle or nerve ending in my arm with the stainless steel infusion needle (found Contact Detach/Sure-T does this more than the Inset 2 sets). One thing I am going to try out if I can get some samples of shorter needle/cannula length for the infusion sets - just like I have done with the shorter 4mm pen needles I started to use back in April. My absortion with the shorter pen needle created no change in my BG's - which I thought it would due to my not being a slim gal (as I had told the RN when she gave me some samples of the BD 4mm pen needles said skin depths for absortipon of insulin doesn't change in the human body). Anyway, back to old GM, here I was tucking him into a sports bra – where I couldn’t believe that despite how hot it gets inbetween the girls – the insulin would keep on performing 100%. My fear, like other diabetics is that heat will deteriote our insulin – but after 3 days of using the same insulin in the cartridge – my blood sugars (BG) stayed stable.
Actually, stable isn’t the word I should be using here. I’ve been experiencing hypos (low BG) more often - that almost reminded me of my days when I was MDI prior to going onto the pump (one of the reasons I went onto the pump in the first place was due to having frequent hypos. I sort of didn't understand how to use my combinations of insulin properly pre-2008, I was trying to learn how to do the poor man's pump method - but not quite doing it correctly. As I keep on telling pumpers who’ve never gone back to MDI since starting on the pump - being on the pump has taught me how to fine tune with ONE insulin and that with that knowledge - you can easily transferred over to using TWO insulins when doing MDI. It really isn't that difficult - honest - you've just got to know how to use your insulin(s) - and their little quirks.
So, with the hypos I’ve been having – sometimes a few a day – the things I have planned to do – that usually involve some activity (even simple grocery shopping believe it or not) – have to be shelved. I do NOT like to have my diabetes rule what I can or cannot do. My poor DH has to put up with my having to tell him that I can’t do this / that – and he’s so far not really sad much – as I go “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry” or “Get me some quick acting sugar NOW!!!”. What a range of emotional outburst I put him through – that is so not me – that it makes me cringe if a fly is on a wall witnessing this (thank goodness they don’t have the ability to hold a video camera).
My basal rate has now been reduced by almost 20% - but I’m still needing to tweak it abit with some more basal testing since now I am going low in the afternoon (very rare for me). If that doesn’t work and I’m still experiencing low blood sugars (hypos), then it’s looking at my carb ratio (I:C) – which I have slightly changed since I’m now understanding I’m insulin sensitive. The other thing to look at is my Insulin Sensitivity Factor (ISF) - which to me is a trial and error type of test - since there are a few different formula's out there to deterimne what is best for "you".
Ahh isn't diabetes control a fun puzzle or what?