Ive been pumping for less than two months but it feels sooo much longer than that. I keep getting lows at work . I hate changing it , finding places to put it. I feel annoyed with it and honestly prefere MDIs which from what I gather most people are psyched about the insulin pump. Ive been diagnosed diabetic for little over a year and a half. Maybe its that I haven’t been diagnosed diabetic very long and am stil adjusting? I’m frustrated cause I keep going low at work. However , on MDIs my sugars would range upwords of 250 or more consitently and the pump does seem to regulate it better. I just want to know if anyone else felt like me about the pump?
Actually, with a pump, you should be able to eat whenever you want, and not eat when you don’t want to. Your basal rate(s) are meant to keep your BG at a good, steady level with or without food. Boluses should take care of food.
Do you have a CDE or pump trainer helping you? I highly recommend the book Pumping Insulin. It will help you figure out how to set your basals, I:C ratios (which can change throughout the day), etc.
Some people do prefer MDI - give the pump a good shot though before you decide to go back
I was on the pump 8 years ago and then went off it after a bad experience (partly due to a site failure and mostly due to my lack of attention). I went back on it not too long ago.
Like you, I was regularly going up over 250 on MDI. I also had some wicked dawn phenomenon that was just getting unbearable. In addition, because I am fairly insulin sensitive, I found it very hard to correct on MDI. I went back on the pump basically because I want to live. Going up to 250 on a regular basis is going to lead to bad things.
Going on the pump is tough for the first 6 months. There are lots of adjustments to be made and you’ve gotta be patient while the kinks are worked out. I too have been having lows at work lately, so I know how frustrating it is. I’m doing some additional basal testing right now, trying to get my rates correct, and it’s a pain in the ■■■. But, I know the better control is worth it, so I’m trying to be patient and do what needs to be done.
I do have my moment with the pump in terms of clothing. I am a petite woman and I like to wear dresses and things that aren’t always conducive to the pump. It takes some creativity and when I shop, I always try on clothes with my pump to make sure I can stash it somewhere. Down my bra works well, and pockets are a must. Get some baby socks too and you can stuff the pump in there and pin those to things. They work surprisingly well.
Stick with it. Please. You will learn how to use the pump better and once your basal rates get worked out, you will stop having so many lows.
Is there a pump class you can take? Have you accessed any of the online tutorials?
I agree with jrtpup, if your basals are set right, there is no reason you have to keep eating regularly to keep from going low. I also agree that Pumping Insulin is a must, as well as reading through your pump manual. I would work on getting your basals right, either through basal testing or just tweaking the time periods where you see lows (or highs). I never did formal basal testing but it took me several weeks to get my settings right and I have 6 separate “time zones”.
To answer your question, I found the first 1 1/2 to 2 months very hard. I was high a lot, I felt overwhelmed trying to figure things out and I didn’t know if it was ever going to work. Then my basals were finally right, I worked on my boluses (which didn’t change much) and things fell into place. My numbers aren’t perfect, but they weren’t before either. My basals are much better when I can set them by such small increases and my post prandials are better too because I don’t have to round up or down to one unit like I did bolusing on MDI.
I had trouble figuring out at first how to sleep and how to wear the pump, but now I know what works best for me. Probably the hardest part for me was the sets. I’m not great at eye-hand coordination and it took me forever to follow the directions line by line. I lost a lot of sets. I still lose some but not nearly as much and I experimented until I found the sets that are best for me. You can ask your supplier for samples, but I found that 2 or 3 wasn’t enough to see if they worked better. I just ordered a box at a time of different types and kept records of how much success and failure each type gave me. Records in general are really important in adjusting to the pump. If you didn’t do this on MDI, then you need to develop the habits. The pump is a great tool but you need to have the skills you develop on MDIs such as carb-counting, I:C ratios, knowing your ISF and keeping good records.
I think most people adjust and really like their pump. I have spoken to a small number of people who didn’t really care for the pump, or never really adjusted and went back to MDIs. The pump isn’t right for everyone, but do give it a good try of a few months before you quit, because, yes, it does get easier.
There is a pump course and my doctor wants me to take advanced pumping with a trainer. It just feels overwhelming at times
Our first few months were difficult, but yes, it has gotten better – a lot better. I don’t think I could contemplate going back to MDI at this point. His control is greatly improved. Best a1c we ever had on shots was an 8.1; current a1c is 7.4, which is PHENOMENAL for a kid his age.
It sure can feel overwhelming at times. Take the class, once you have the info/training you need, it’ll be MUCH easier, I promise!
I am not on a pump - though I wish I was!
However, everything new takes time, especially if you have been used to something for some time before that - and how long did that take you to get used to? You have a whole new range of things that you need to remember and get right, new technology, new figures to work out … I felt the same way about different blood glucose testing kits! You will get used to it.
I have a reply similar to Alan’s. I learned so much from being on the pump that when I’m on MDI, I get good results simply by trying to mimic the basals, etc., that I learned on the pump. I give myself an awful lot of shots on MDI to get those same results that I had on the pump, but it’s worth it. Even though I am on MDI most of the time, I’m really glad that I had the pump and learned so much from the pump experience. I’d suggest that you learn everything you can about the pump, really give it a chance, then decide which method of treatment you prefer.