First of all, today is International Diabetes Day! I am so very thankful to my fellow Canadian Dr. Banting for founding insulin. Without this discovery I would not be here along with many others. I am going to celebrate my hitting the gym tonight wearing blue and working up a good sweat. To me this symbolizes what insulin enables me to do on a daily basis.
It has been two weeks since I starting pumping and I can sum it up in one short sentence. I LOVE IT! I really and truly love my pump and am so happy I made this decision. Don't get me wrong, it has been frustrating and I will be the first to admit that my numbers have been all over the place (not sure what my current A1C will look like)...but it is improving each day and I have learned so much in the last couple of weeks about how my body utilizes the insulin I give it, when it needs more, when it needs less and how all my different types of exercise and foods affect me. I had an idea when on needles, but a lot of the time you are just guessing how much insulin you have left in your system and things can go wrong quickly.
Some of the things I have learned. I have dawn phenomenon in a big way. I am working with my team to adjust my basal through the night and this is working. The first day I woke up with a 16.0 I nearly had a bird. Now my numbers are getting closer to what they should be after fasting all night. I need significantly more insulin during the night! My insulin to carb ratio's have also changed and this has helped with my post meal numbers. I need more insulin at breakfast, a bit less at lunch and then less again for supper. My team started me on a conservative basal rate during the day and that has increased as well.
Exercising has been most interesting to figure out. I have found that being able to see how much insulin I have on board (IOB) is invaluable. This has allowed me to adjust my plan according to what I will be doing. So far I have had a lot of success in setting a temp basal decrease of 50% an hour before activity and then cancelling it the minute I finish. This has prevented me, in the most part, from going low during my activity and then prevents the high afterwards. After really intense activity I have even had to bolus a small amount to counter going high. I have not run yet (due to some hip issues) and will be interested to see how I react next week when I resume running. Swimming has gone very well and I was delighted to confirm for myself that it is in fact waterproof! I was so nervous jumping in the pool for the first time, I was pretty convinced it was going to explode. But it did not and I was fine :)
Other things I love. Being able to dose my bolus's to my exact carbs. I have had less lows (although the ones I have had have been intense). I have lost 5 pounds in two weeks due to not having to eat my way out of lows. I like that. I love being able to see my IOB, helps me feel more confident when exercising or when going to bed at night. I really love not injecting myself all day long, it is wonderful. The infusions sets pinch when I insert them but it is not bad at all. I love that my pump has a clock on it and the date, instant watch! I have had quite a few strangers notice my pump and have asked me about it, particularly at the pool. I like having the chance to educate and explain. In fact I am working on a post that explains what an insulin pump does and is. I realize that not many people know and there are many misconceptions out there, number one being that the pump tests my sugars for me and automatically gives me insulin. This is not the case at all. In fact I have found myself testing a lot more.
All in all I am very pleased and looking forward to learning more and more.