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Me and My Pump

December 3, 2013

I am now using my insulin pump. It’s been a long time coming, as you may remember from recent posts. (Like this one. And this one. And this one. And, unfortunately, this one.) Now I’m hooked up and rolling, a full-fledged pump user.

(Some marketing folks are trying to call people using insulin pumps “pumpers.” That’s not happening if I have anything to say about it. Here in Philly, “pumper” has a different meaning altogether.)

Some aspects of the transition have been a challenge: Where to wear the pump so that it doesn’t look like I”m wearing a beeper, circa 1996; counting carbs for every piece of food I eat; not yet having the continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) component training yet, which has necessitated testing my sugars about eight times a day.

But the positives far outweigh the difficulties: Tighter control; fewer hypoglycemic events; better understanding of long-term glucose trends. All these things lead to fewer complications down the road. This is good.

I was maintaining myself very well with the multiple daily injections I’d been doing since I was diagnosed (first with Regular and NPH for about 20 years, then with Humalog/Novolog and Lantus pens for the last 11 years or so). At an eye doctor’s appointment last week, I got the hardcore dilation to make sure I wasn’t experiencing any bleeding, which is a sign of diabetic retinopathy. The doctor, after the exam, said she wouldn’t have known I was diabetic if I hadn’t told her.

When I first met Judy, the diabetes educator and trainer who’s teaching me about the pump, we went over my history. She asked what my most recent A1C was. I told her 6.7. (That’s pretty good, but it’s my highest in quite some time.) She asked me how I’ve been able to have such good control. I answered honestly: A lot of it was dumb luck. In my teen years and 20s, I didn’t test my sugars the way I was supposed to. I always took my meds, but my control was sometimes a lacking.

That changed, though, with age and maturity, and after dealing with some idiots. But that’s for another time.

The point, of course, is that the future is bright. I’m getting used to wearing the pump and looking forward to adding the second portion soon. (Hopefully this time next week.)


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