All too often in we hear the problems of pumping insulin rather than injecting it, well this is a Positive pumping post 🤗
Once upon a time I injected insulin and my only means of checking my Blood Glucose was finger pricking until I discovered the Medtronic guardian, which is a continuous glucose meter only. Calling it a CGM is the short version.
Now its 2 years later and I’m using the medtronic 640G minimed system, yes I have had a glitch now and then but I can’t imagine going back to how it used to be when i was injecting.
Any glitches Iv had were quickly rectified with a phone call to Medtronic’s 24 hour help line.
I’d recommend my Medtronic equipment to anyone thinking of pumping, and as the fashion trend at the moment is wearing a sensor on the arm Iv put my enlite sensor on my arm too, and with great accuracy results.
Now let me just say here that there are different makes of insulin pump im just talking about the one i have because its what i know. I also want to say that im writing this to give others the positive side of pumping and i do NOT personally benefit in any way from the company.
Injecting means, no matter where you are or what you are doing if you need insulin you must firstly screw the little pen needle onto the pen and then dial up the units you need and inject, then unscrew the pen needle and pop it into something safe to discard it. Like a little container or something.
When i was on a bus or in the car it was all quite fiddly really, and did take a little time away from conversation or watching for my bus stop.
Pumping insulin is a whole other ball game, every 3 days i fill my reservoir with insulin, pop it in my pump and change my infusion set, (the site that attaches to the insulin tubing coming from the pump)
In the same scenario, no matter where i am or what i am doing if i need insulin, i just select the amount of insulin i need and press, next and then deliver, with no fiddly bits to dispose of and put away.
Now here is the added bonus, with the pump i wear it also has the CGM, its a clever little relationship that my pump and CGM has.
You see i wear a sensor also A glucose sensor is the part of a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system that is inserted under the skin and measures your glucose (sugar) levels.
The CGM is reading my Glucose level all the time and then communicating with my pump, meaning if my glucose level is above range it alarms to let me know and also if my glucose level is low or getting low it will also alarm to let me know.
The added safety net here is that if im going or gone low (depending on my settings) because my sensor has told my pump about it, my pump will suspend (meaning stop delivering insulin) until iv corrected and my glucose come back within range.
When talking about my glusose when wearing a pump you may have noticed i don’t say blood glucose and thats because a sensor is not reading blood glucose its reading interstitial fluid (ISF).
A CGM works through a tiny sensor inserted under your skin, usually on your belly or arm. The sensor measures your interstitial glucose level, which is the glucose found in the fluid between the cells. The sensor tests glucose every few minutes. A transmitter wirelessly sends the information to your pump.
Now there is a bit of learning to be done here but when i started pumping i also received education about how it all works. This is very important because there can be a difference between blood glucose readings the interstitial fluid (ISF) and the main reason for this is that glucose will be in the blood before it is in the interstitial fluid. Once you gain on understanding of this it all falls into place nicely, but you can read more about that by following this link.
I was once that person who said i would NEVER wear and insulin pump. Some of my reasons were that fact that something would be attached to me at all times, and my other reason was that i was afraid that through the night with insulin pumping away i could have a serious hypo and not wake up.
I changed my mind and started to consider it because my family circumstances were changing and i was going to be a Grandma. Fiddling with an insulin pen and pen needles was going to become very awkward and inconvenient.
Ok so lets see how i coped with these.
- Firstly, i got used to having something attached to me because the benefits vastly outweighed any inconvenience.
- Secondly, while wearing a CGM as well as a pump, it meant that my insulin delivery would suspend and an alarm would wake me to make sure i could take in glucose / sugar to correct my low, so that was my fear of not waking up to a hypo sorted.
NO ! it has not all been plain sailing, iv had glitches along the way, but then i also had glitches with prefilled pens and needles.
The change has been worth it……………
I’m Davina Lyon, I’m not a professional, just a person With Type 1 Diabetes sharing experience.
For those who think diabetes is caused by an unhealthy lifestyle let me clarify a couple of things.
I have type 1 diabetes. It’s an autoimmune disease. Nothing I did, or didn’t do caused it and nothing I do will cure it. There’s is currently no cure for Type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes happens because our own antibodies attack and destroy an organ in the body. it’s an autoimmune response where antibodies that normally fight disease mistake a part of our body
(the pancreas in this case) as foreign and attack to destroy it.
When those antibodies attack the insulin-producing islets in the pancreas we stop producing insulin so we need to inject or pump it.
Without insulin a person with type 1 diabetes would die. At present it is not known what causes this to happen, and there is no cure.
A person with Type 1 diabetes MUST inject or pump insulin to stay alive.
There are many factors that contribute to a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes so pre judgment of a lifestyle choice is unfair at very least.
A person with Type 2 diabetes, while still producing their own insulin for various reasons their body cannot use it correctly or efficiently.
These people are generally treated with oral medications and sometimes with insulin injections.