June 16, 2006

The Highs and Lows of Pumping... a newbie's perspective

Wow - long time, no posts.... If anyone has actually been checking my blog, I apologize! I've definitely had the time (school ended on the 7th) and the material (pumper hysteria) but not the ambition. I guess once I become less busy I also become less driven to do much of anything. So, I've basically been a waste of space the past week and a half!!

I've been on the pump almost three weeks now, and I have already reaped some benefits and shed tears (but no pounds) over my shortcomings as a pumper. I figured I'd list the highs and lows, since I (randomly) named my blog the HiLo Log... :)

The Highs:
1. Bolus Wizard - further proof that techie's out there do understand the struggles of the mathematically challenged. I heart whoever invented the Bolus Wizard. It has seriously proven to me that I suck at calculating my insulin needs using carb/insulin ratios. I really foul up anytime I try to guess the amt. on my own.
2. Temp Basal - so far I've used in pre, during, and post workouts so that I don't have to eat to compensate for the insulin in my system. I often disconnect, too, which is also sweet. The temp basal also comes in handy during a low; I definitely have eaten less to dig myself out of a low because I know I can back off the basal for a while until I feel "normal" again. It seems to work for me, as far as I can tell!
3. Less Sticking - The first few days it felt so wrong not to give myself shots 4+ times a day, but after a week, I hardly remembered that I used to give that many shots a day. I think I have selective memories because I also quickly forgot what it was like not to be diabetic after I became diabetic.... further proof I'm pretty freaking weird.
4. Correction Factors and IOB - Along with being horrible at calculating how much insulin I'll need to cover food, I'm also poor at calculating correction factors and Insulin on Board. Luckily, my darling pump does these calculations for me and, once again, saves my sorry ass from being mathematically deficient.

The Lows:
1. Gaining a Tail: yes, my rear end is getting larger, but the tail I'm referring to here in the pump. Every damn time i go to the bathroom at night, it seems to become detached from me (somehow?) and knocks me in the knees a couple times before I wise up and attach it again.
The best place I've found to attach it at night is between my boobs on my sports bra, but I do worry about the insulin getting too warm being so close to my body. Any suggestions/feedback on this?
2. Highs due to???? Could it be that I didn't count my carbs right? Is my insulin bad? Is my site bad? Is my pump working? Is my tubing okay? Did I reconnect after my shower? Was the hub turned so that the arrow and the | lined up? (true story - totally missed a lunch bolus due to the hub being not on the mark. We ate at IHOP so I was REALLY regretting those delicious home fries as I stayed cemented in the 350's for 4 hours that afternoon). I've become super paranoid (if that's at all possible for me) about whether or not I'm getting insulin. Every high I get freaks me out. I guess this is something that I'll get more comfortable with over time, but every high over 250 makes me feel like I'm destined for DKA any moment. I know, I need to stop hitting the pessimism button everytime something bad happens with my diabetes....
3. Easy bolus. Tonight is a perfect example of why it's bad to have an easy bolus button. One more fudgesicle? Don't mind if I do! Beep beep beep beep..... (five minutes later) Two more Dove chocolates (but isn't chocolate *good* for you)?? Sure thing! beep beep beep..... (two hours after dinner) celery with peanut butter?? I thought you'd never ask.... You get the picture. I've been on an eating frenzy tonight. I don't know what my problem is, but I'm almost ready to duct tape my mouth so that I can stop the conveyor belt of food I seem to be shoveling in at random tonight. Ugh...
4. Dressing. Some clothes just aren't pump friendly. I read Kerri's (aka MacGyver Morrone) tale with the black dress and I could definitely sympathize. I think she's a freaking genius for rigging a contraption on the fly like that. I may consult her around my wedding time next year when I'll need an expert - and a roll or two of duct tape - to help me place my pump in a convenient location underneath 40+ pounds cloth. Seriously, though, even today wearing shorts I felt like it was protruding about 5 feet from my side. I guess some days I'm more aware of it than others, though, because some days I forget it's there. Today must have been a clumbsy day because I seemed to bang it into everything.

I really appreciate everyone's feedback with the bubbles in the tubing episode. I think leaving my insulin (the currently being used bottle) at room temp will help with this, as will the experience I'll gain through more and more set changes. I've only done 3 at most in one day so far so hopefully that's my limit, but I definitely won't hold my breath on that one. When I panic, I panic big time, so it's hard to say how many sets i'll rip out in a full blown frenzy!

At any rate, if anybody wants to consider this meme worthy, please post a list of your highs and lows of pumping (or not pumping) in your blog (and let me know about it!). Sharing is loving, so love me lots, okay? :)

6 Comments:

Blogger Heidi said...

I sure can relate to your thoughts about pump therapy! Maybe I should take on your meme on pumping highs and lows - I am trying out pumping at the moment (my nurse have tried to convince me to do this for the last 4 years, but it wasn't until she convinced my boyfriend about it that I gave in to the pressure from both of them). Having had 2½ month with a pump now, I am still debating with myself whether or not I want to continue with. Sure there are some major advantages compared to MDIs, but I also find major disadvantages, or at least pump related issues that I have not been able to solve yet.

3:53 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

Inspired by your post, I have just posted my highs and lows of pumping :-)

8:21 AM  
Blogger George said...

I am just over a week on the pump and I HEAR YOU!!! I love the bolus wizard and no shots. I have not played yet with the temp basal BUT I cannot figure out my regular basal rates, i am not sure my insulin sensitivity is right and my big one is..

HOw do i use the dual wave thingy right!?!?! I mean, how much do i take as normal and how much as a square and for how long? My pump pal told me "you just have to figure it out". That does not work for me but oh well.

7:25 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

I relate to freaking out about the highs. When Riley first started pumping, I was a little quick to put in a new site when his sugars were high. I was afraid of him going into DKA. But, we've been pumping a little over 3 months now and I have learned that it's hardly ever the site. Sometimes he just goes high. Keep it up. I know you've heard it before, but it does get better.

7:46 PM  
Blogger cHoCoMiLkRoCkS said...

great post

6:35 AM  
Blogger cHoCoMiLkRoCkS said...

Hey,
Thanks for your comment. I really hope you manage to get the A1C you want. I'm sure you will.

About the bubbles, to be honest they are not so bad any more. I only usually get them after I have just changed the cartdrige so I make sure I keep an eye out.

If I draw up the insulin when it's cold I get the same amout as room temp. I think I'm just rubbish at it.

Ahh well.

:)

11:35 AM  

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