24 hours without my insulin pump has taught me just how much appreciation I have for that little device. It makes everything so convenient, but more than anything else I feel safe because I know what I’m doing with it. My limited experience with shots (I was only on them for two weeks after diagnosis) made me feel like I couldn’t make a decision for myself and I actually didn’t want to eat or drink anything other than water because I didn’t want to take a shot for it. I’m sure if I used injections more often I would get used to it, but for now I would like to say that the post I had written about the pros and cons of pump therapy should be updated to say that the pump wins hands down for me.
Here’s what happened. I woke up about 6am and went for a morning power walk which lasted about 45 mins and ended with a blood sugar of 5.6mmols. During my walk my pump started alarming me that it was running low on battery. This was strange to me as I had recently put a brand new battery into the pump. After the first two “low battery” alerts the pump cut out and then told me I would have to replace the battery to silence the alarm. Dreadful sound, but very effective as it prompts you to want to change the battery quicker.
The minute I go home I changed the battery and as I was rewinding the pump it flashed “low battery” again and then cut out. At this point I thought this particular packet of batteries may be faulty so I tried another, but the same thing happened again when I tried to load the cartridge.
Hmmm. What to do…
Luckily it was my day off so I had time to think. When their office opened at 9am, I rang Animas to order a new pump. After answering a few questions they said they would deliver a new one within 24 hours. Great! That was sorted. Next call was to the doctor to find out how much insulin I should take for background. They said to take 10 units of Lantus, I did, and it made my bum feel numb for ages. I went through the day bolusing for my food as normal with the same carb / insulin ratio.
I had a CGM sensor in my arm and I didn’t want to have it on my body if it wasn’t connected to anything so I thought I would try switching the pump back on, but instead of rewinding / loading it with the intention to use it I just left it to connect back up to my CGM and it did. I wore my pump for the majority of the day and it was giving me accurate blood sugar readings.
I went high during the night to 15mmols so I attached my pump and took a correction. When I woke at 5:45am my BG had come down to 9.3mmols. I then took another correction and a reduced bolus for my workout which I would start around 9am.
At the start of my workout I had very little insulin on board. Maybe 1 unit which is usually fine for pole training and yoga. However, not this time because I was low for pretty much all of my workout despite drinking a full bottle of Lucozade and eating a banana. Oh, and a cereal bar. Near 100 carbs and my blood sugar wouldn’t shift past 4mmols. I then went on to eat 40 carbs of cereal that usually spikes my blood sugar in the hopes that it would help. It didn’t. So I ended up eating around 140 carbs with less than 1 unit of insulin on board and whatever Lantus was still floating around in my body.
Throughout the whole day I also took readings from my blood sugar meter instead of just relying on my CGM in case it was incorrect due to the faulty pump. It wasn’t. Anyway, I’m so pleased to say that I have my pump back and I will never complain about it again. Even if it gets in the way sometimes, even if it wakes me up in the night and sometimes makes me feel very uncomfortable, it’s ok. Sometimes technology fails. It’s the way it is.
p.s. Here is a vid of my latest performance. Hope you enjoy.