Monday, 4 April 2016

To Pump or Not to Pump?

I've been wanting to write about my pump story for a while now, as I feel the more blogs/real experiences there are about pumps, the more people will research and find out about their benefits. Pumps aren't for everyone, however you should know that they exist and be able to see how people get on with them and what's involved.

Me personally, I was very anti-pump for a number of years. Out of fear more than anything else. The thought of something being attached to me 24/7 and the implications made me anxious, along with post of bent cannula's *shudder* on people's FB/Twitter feeds. Well let's just say it was a HELL NO in my mind. 

That may sound ignorant or silly to some, however I felt it was just too much for me to handle and at that time I think it was the right decision. Getting a pump is massive thing, a privilege. If I'd have wasted the opportunity because I wasn't in the right place mentally, I'd have kicked myself! 

Nevertheless I was still interested in reading about them, I read blogs/tweets/chats about how people were getting on in their journeys. Whether it was getting their first pump, scared about upgrading or just general day-to-day stuff, I was always fascinated in how they coped and felt about them.

At the time my pro/con list was something like this:

Pro's:
More controlled BG's
Less complications in the future

Cons:
Something attached to me 24/7
Painful if caught!!
Impact on future relationships
If things go wrong bloods wise, it happens quickly

I'm happy to say that after meeting John, I felt confident enough to start asking my consultant and Diabetes team about the pump. To my surprise they said that I may be able to get funding! I was carb counting as I should and taking care of myself but my HbA1c wasn't quite reflecting it and was stubborn. After a dietitian appointment in Oct '14 my Diabetes team said they would put me forward as a candidate and let me know. I'd gone from being scared to excited, I was ready to take the next step in my diabetes care. By the New Year I was told I would be getting a pump, I was shocked at how quickly it'd happened and so happy. 

On May 19th I was introduced to my now beloved Pumpy. Don't get me wrong, it's been a rocky road and the first few months are a bitch unless you're incredibly lucky! Quicksets weren't for me and kept kinking so I swapped to Sure-T steel cannula's (the ones that I was so scared of years before! Ironic yeah!). There were days in the beginning where I cried and cried because of failed sets, I threatened to smash my pump into a million pieces because I hated it. Sobbed hysterically at John to get the cannula out of me and get all of it off me. Even called my DSN at home the weekend after getting my pump because I couldn't get my BG's down (only once I'm pleased to say and she now calls me her BFF!)

Despite all of those things, I wouldn't go back to MDI and on the two occasions I did, it felt very odd!! My HbA1c since having the pump is the best it's been since diagnosis, and I feel a lot more in tune with my Diabetes. It'll never be perfect, but I feel a step closer to where I want to be.

My Pro/Con list looks a little more like this nowadays:

Pro's:
More controlled BG's 
Better HbA1c 
Less hypo's
Less complications in the future
More flexibility with eating
Increase/decrease my insulin with more freedom and precision

Cons:
If things go wrong bloods wise, it happens quickly

It does impact other areas of your life, like now I struggle to wear a onesie and need to customize mine! And with me sitting mine in my bra I do have a tendency to go delving when it beeps at me, forgetting that I'm in public or at work *blushes* so have to apologise after I've finished rummaging! 

As for the rumpy pumpy (see what I did there!) side of things which probably won't get mentioned by your diabetes team, it feels odd when you first get a pump but you soon get used to it and forget it's there! Long tubing kinda helps with that or if you test before things get... a bit tooty fruity you may be able to disconnect the pump for an hour making it a lot less medical =D Your partner will be supportive and want you to feel as comfortable as possible. As long as they know whereabouts your site is so there aren't any accidents then you should be fine!

If you feel you could benefit or a loved one could then do a little research, ask your team and hopefully you'll be lucky like I was. It's a very big decision to make and you need a great deal of support from your loved ones. John was brilliant, he knows everything I do and that was important to me that whoever I lived with could help in an emergency and be able to talk about it with confidence. Not just look blank and shrug.

I'm nearly at my 1-year Pump-a-versary and looking forward to many more :)

1 comments:

Rick said...

I had been a PWD for 28 years before I got a pump. It took one meeting with a group of high School kids. I was the only PWD out of 7 that did not have a pump. I ordered mine the next day.

I referred your blog to the TUDiabetes blog page for the week of April 4, 2016

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