Sunday, December 23, 2012

Going off the insulin pump for a few months

Happy Holidays Everyone!!!

Well, I hate to go off George Michael – but seeing as I always seem to have issues with my pump whenever I go on holidays – and I no longer have a warranty OR loaner pump available – I’m going to be disconnecting from him as of January 1st, 2013. Don’t freak out (last time I did this – the hate mail from pump users I received was astounding).   I’ll be going back onto him probably as soon as I  come back to Canada.  I just don’t want to risk that he will break down on me – and ruin my holidays – I just want to be prepared.

I’m not sure if it’s the cabin air pressure that has created glitches up my previous pumps from Animas over the last 4 years – or the metal detector at the airport – but I’m not taking any risks this time.  I want George to last as long as he can – without any undue stress to him.   With the latest replacement pump I received back in Feb 2012 - I don’t even take him into water anymore after talking to an Accu-Chek rep this past June – who stated that they have same water tight test aka IPX8 on their pumps – but say NOT to immerse in water.     

Yes, I am just being abit paranoid, but heck, with the recent news that many out of warranty Animas 2020 users (along with IR1200/1250) have received, I feel I have every right to be feeling this way.   I want to protect my investment to the extreme – as I can’t afford to purchase another one yet.  I hope that my pump will last as long as other pump users claim with the different manufacturers presently on the market.   Personally, if I can keep a pump for 10 years – the cost of $1K a year is worth the investment to my health.

So, I’ve got my prescriptions for pen refills of Lantus / NovoRapid – and I figure giving myself a lead time of a month prior to taking off on my holidays – I’ll have things sorted out so that the transition of using my “poor man’s pump” will be made easier.  Prior to going onto the pump, I had issues with hypos overnight / waking up – which we T1D’s know is not enjoyable.  I actually can attest to the fact that going onto the pump – has helped me understand how to use my insulin more efficiently – with having the proper basal setting (which my Lantus will be doing – not as efficiently mind you) – and setting up my carb ratio with my insulin coverage (I:C).   It can be done with MDI – but is just a wee bit more complicated for some folks to do – but in time – we get used to it – and frankly – it is less expensive by a long shot to use the poor man’s pump.  I know many T1D’s who can attest to this – though I don’t go to the extremes they do – with blood glucose (BG) testing of 20x a day – 10-20 injections a day.  I average when I’m on MDI about 5-10 times a day with BG testing and about 8-10 shots a day.

Some of you maybe cringing at 8-10 shots a day.  Trust me, the needles we use today, compared to those we used 50 years ago – night and day!!!  I use a pen needle which is 32 gauge – it’s Teflon coated – so it glides in easily.    Maybe because I’ve been diabetic most of my life – this is something that doesn’t bother me – I have a higher pain threshold then someone who gets diabetes at a later age – or who is a rebel without a cause (e.g. they don’t take their diabetes seriously to take the correct measures to stay in good control to ward off the serious effects of this disease).   

The one thing I’m looking forward to – not that it’s ever bothered me?  I won’t have to be pulled over by TSA due to wearing a pump(s).  Last trip I took coming back from Miami – I had to argue with them that my pump(s) could not go thru’ the full body scanner, or send my holiday loaner pump thru’ the x-ray – it was very stressful – but thankfully this has only happened once while I’ve owned a pump. 

NOTE:  The original blog post can be found at - 

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