Thursday, 6 October 2011

pump up the jam(my dodgers) - pt 2

'pump up the jam(my dodgers) - pt 1' is here.

So last week at my diabetes consultant appointment I just said 'yes' to going on one of these sessions. It just popped out as a standard German response without me thinking. And so today I turned up, full of dread to see what they had in store for me. Except that when I turned up, it wasn't a group thing, it was just me and sitting down I was asked "So, what would you like to talk to me about?". I could barely get beyond the thought blaring in my head, which of course was "Nothing". But I managed to come up with something that I thought might avoid too many difficult talking points. So I said I was interested in hearing about the insulin pump. That it had been many years since I'd been talked through it and that maybe it would be a good option to consider.

And that is how I have ended up sat here tonight with a canula stuck into my stomach with a metre's worth of clear (narrow) plastic tubing hanging off it. Seriously, even I know I deserve all I get. And it's quite uncomfortable. I haven't even got a pump attached to it, just tubing which I have to say I am feeling squeamish about snagging on my clothes.

I felt squeamish enough just inserting the thing in, to the point that on the way home there were a couple of moments where I thought I might just faint rather than think about my bag knocking against it as I walked. I'm sure you don't want to hear all the in's and out's of insulin pumps, but here's some bit's you might be interested in. They are about the size of a mobile phone and as a woman they suggest that you wear it in your bra. You have to sleep with it, and when I queried that it would be like sleeping on top of your mobile phone which sounded slightly uncomfortable, it was scoffed at. I am tempted to sellotape an old similar shaped mobile on to my side and see if it wakes me up when I roll on to it.

Similarly to a mobile phone it makes noise: it beeps when it is running low on batteries and when it is running low on insulin. Great, but I don't want it telling me that there's 20 units left at 4am. My normal 'pen' manages to keep that to itself until I take the lid off in the morning. Apparently, it also makes audible clicks as it is releasing insulin into you, which can be a bit of a pain if you are in a quiet environment.

From what I have read people seem to love their pumps, but I am not convinced it is the thing for me. You need to be testing your blood glucose 4 times a day and while it provides a constant release of a small amount of insulin into your system, you still need to carb count and pump in the amount of insulin units you need for each meal. I had assumed that they would have the technology to be able to have it take it's own reading of your blood glucose and adjust the insulin accordingly, but apparently not. So for the moment I think that I will pass on the pump and stick with my pens, but don't be over surprised if at some point in the future you see me rooting around in my underwear while we're out for dinner as I administer my insulin. Just don't mirror my action and want to chat about it, that's all.


  1. Oh poor thing, that sounds a little traumatic :( Have you started a handy phrase book of excuses to decline such appointments in the future? x

  2. I ended up removing the canula last night. Turns out it hadn't been inserted correctly and was bent over which was causing my 'discomfort'. But it just made me all the more convinced that it's maybe not the right thing for me as the bend would have probably caused a blockage. I was glad after all not to leave it in for 3 days!

  3. Until the final paragraph I was wondering where the canula went in. Bloody hell that sounds hideous, I can't blame you for not wanting to cart it around all the time. And there is no question I fear more in a medical setting than "So, what would you like to talk about?". Yeugh.

  4. Oh, there are worse questions! I won't tell you what they are... just wait till you have kids...(cue evil laugh) Mwah, ha, ha!

  5. Ewwwww. I was eagerly awaiting the happy ending and gushing post about how the pump has changed your life, but I guess that won't be happening any time soon....

    As a slight aside, can I share my latest diabetic horror? Stop reading now if answer is 'no'.

    At my last appointment the Dr convinced me to try the new diabetes iPhome app (See, I can't say no either).
    Went to download the (free) app and it is described as being super easy to 'share your latest bs results with medical professionals or A LOVED ONE'. Seriously. I can just imagine the joy DH will have when I start sending him all my bs results..... I sense a whole new era in our relationship.

    What planet are people on?


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