Today I’m celebrating 1 year of being on an insulin pump!
Throughout my teen years, until the age of 26, I had refused to acknowledge that insulin pumps even existed. At the time I had only just come to terms with the fact that I needed to accept responsibility for my diabetes and injecting regularly, after years of hiding from my diabetes, and the thought of having a pump made my stomach turn. I wanted nothing to do with them at all… they could all stay in their fancy boxes and keep well away from me!
I refused to discuss pumps for several years when my Aunt, who was a pump rep, described them to me at family gatherings. I refused to discuss them when Pratik Choudhary showed me one in his office after I had travelled all the way to London for help with my hypos. I refused to discuss them when my consultant advised that going on a pump could give me much better control over my swooping lows and bouncing rebound highs, and also help to eliminate the fear of needles that had caused me so many problems in the past.
I was very ignorant as to what a pump could do for me, or even what their job was. Through refusing any pump information, I couldn’t see that it could hugely benefit me and help me to turn my diabetes around.
It wasn’t until I was with my friend Hannah one day, having a meeting at Diabetes UK HQ, when I suddenly realised that I did in fact want, and need, one of these insulin pump things! Hannah let me bolus her for lunch by pressing a few buttons on her blood glucose meter which sent information straight to her pump via bluetooth, and then delivered the insulin through a tiny plastic cannula in her stomach! Amazing, I thought to myself as I poked a needle into my stomach, wincing as the needle bent.
I was injecting around 8 times a day… Hannah only had to change her pump set every 3 days.
I didn’t like injecting around people I didn’t know… Hannah just had to prick her finger and her meter and pump did the rest for her.
I had big ugly green and grey insulin pens… Hannah had a cool all singing all dancing gadget.
I could only inject in 1 or half units of insulin… Hannah could have 0.1 units, making insulin dose adjusting for carbohydrate counting much more precise.
I was fed up of feeling like a pin cushion on 8 jabs a day, so snacks were out of the question… Hannah could snack whenever she wanted to!
Did I have pump envy?? Yes I did!!
Only a few weeks later I was asking my consultant if I could be put forward for a pump trial and soon after that I was able to do everything that Hannah did. My life changed dramatically; my hypos were less frequent and severe, my HbA1C came down to the lowest it's ever been and my confidence soared when it came to my diabetes self-management.
The rest they say… is history.
P.S I also have some exciting news about my eyes that I will have to save for another day… I don’t want to jinx IT until the news is confirmed in a few weeks time, so watch this space!