Last night I attended an insulin pump user group and to be totally honest, before attending, I didn’t even know there was such an event so was really unsure what to expect. Upon arrival, during the buffet, the first thing I noticed was how strange it felt to hear so many pump beeps at the same time and to see so many pump users in one place. It was comforting in a weird way. The sandwiches and fruit were tasty, but I must say that I was slightly upset that they didn’t have the carb count of the food – especially the cakes. (a girl can dream thought, right?) After the buffet we moved into another room where we were given a talk and a Q&A session. I’ll share the main points below.
Richard Webb spoke about his research and findings from the 4 year study he had been doing with type 1 diabetics who had transferred from MDI (Multiple daily injections) to insulin pump. To sum up, he found a positive difference in HBA1C, blood pressure and overall quality of life. Additionally, he found that there was no real difference in eating habits, weight or overall caloric intake. I thought that was interesting considering the amount of flexibility the pump offers in terms of eating. He said that people tend to eat less, but more often. Not necessarily more quantity.
CGM & Libre
There was a lot of talk about CGM and Freestyle Libre and how they are both better than testing blood sugar with finger tips. I’ve tried the CGM and can’t fault it. It clarified so many things for me which you can read more about in this blog post. I’m yet to try the Libre so maybe I should try it and do a comparison post? Quite a few people were resistant to pay for either and questioned when the NHS might fund it. The response from the speakers was that once we can prove how much money it will save the NHS; that is when it will be funded. Also, Libre is cheaper than CGM but doesn’t offer the detail that CGM does in terms of arrow trends etc.
A lady put her hand up and was asking about site changes and what you can do when you feel like you’ve fun out of space. The general response was that you should just make a note of where you put your sites in order to rotate them effectively. You see, if you keep using the same spot you will end up getting lumps underneath your skin and possibly even scar tissue from where the cannula has been sitting. I am totally guilty of using areas that I know don’t hurt as much but listening to how overused, cannula sites contribute to rising blood glucose levels is enough to motivate me to pay more attention. I’ve actually changed my cannula to my back this morning.
I’ve spoken about travel, in detail, in this post here. Have a look and you will get a few pointers from there. I will also update with any additional information I took from the pump user event.
Do you have these kind of groups in your city? I’m not sure how regular this one is, but by the sounds of it – everyone could use a diabetic buddy in their lives.