Getting Basal Dosages Right?

Hi All,

I am new to this group. I am 42 and have been a type 1 diabetic for 20 years. I have a five year old son, who was diagnosed at 20 months. I am starting the Omnipod on Friday, and he is starting in two weeks. I am very apprehensive, but am hoping this is a good decision for both of us! My question is this - about how long did it take to get your basal dosages "set"? Am I going to still be super frustrated with getting MY basal dosages set and then have to get his set, too? I am hoping that I will be fairly stable in two weeks, but I'm not sure if this is realistic?

Thanks much, jen

I found when switching from MDI to the pump my basal dosages were pretty much spot on. However, I still make small changes every-so-often when things just aren’t working out like I think they should be…

And just to add… the books Think like a Pancreas and Pumping Insulin are worth picking up and reading.

Agreed on Think Like a Pancreas - it’s my diabetes Bible.

My edition of Pumping Insulin contains some mistakes so I haven’t used that much. It wasn’t very helpful for starting son when he was 9 either, since there were so many charts that didn’t include him.

I think this depends on what your goal is or how you define “set.” If you want your basal to be similar to what you have had on MDI, I don’t think it takes that long to figure out (although 2 weeks might be pushing it). If you are trying to figure out different patterns for different days, and trying to add more than a couple of rates per day, then it will take a while! Also - obviously it will be easier for you than for your son since his will change as he grows, or his schedule changes etc.

My son absolutely loves the omnipod so I hope it’s a positive experience for both of you - good luck!

What sort of errors did it have? I didn’t pick up Pumping Insulin until I’d been on my pump for over a year so I’d already sorted out a lot of issues or come up with my own solutions. So when I read it, I probably ignored the errors subconsciously.

I’ve found Think Like A Pancreas to be much better for adults since it covers adult-related activities (drinking alcohol, etc).

Can you get Think Like a Pancreas at a “regular” bookstore (B&N, Borders, etc) or is it only available online? Thanks! jen

You should be able to get it at a local bookstore, but Amazon has always delivered books to me quickly.

I was lucky with my basal rates right off top… The rate my endo set it for was perfect from day 1. I’ve recently had to lower my hourly for the first time since I got it in April. I was going low a lot unexpectedly, even though nothing in my life had changed.

Yes it did, change of season!

It didn’t take long to get my daughter’s basals right, but your son will probably require adjustments far more than you do. Growth spurts, colds, changes in activity, etc., etc., often mean changes in the basal rate. The nice thing with a pump is when you change the basal, if it’s too much, you can quickly dial it back. Can’t take back Lantus! I’m betting your son is going to LOVE not having to take so many shots. And, being able to use the temp basal rate for sports and extra activity is very helpful, especially for kids. Good luck!

I was lucky to be on summer break when I was basal testing so I was able to pay close attention to my numbers and make adjustments before I had to go back to work. It took about 2 weeks to get my basals settled enough to allow me to sleep through the night and wake up the next day with good fasting BGs. Once back at work, it took another week or so to get my daily basal fairly steady. It’s been a month and I’m still making slight adjustments. I’m thinking my current adjustments have more to do with differences in absorbance between sites than anything else.

Hi Jen,

I followed the guidelines in Pumping Insulin, by Walsh & Roberts. It is my (any many others’) pumping bible. I love it.

It took about a month to get my basals dialed in when I switched from MDI to pumping. I have a very strong dawn phenomenon (early morning BG rise), which required quite a bit of work to get the overnight and morning basals “just right.”

Cheers and good luck,

The initial directions on figuring out your basal insulin needs weren’t correct - the references to different charts weren’t right, and I think even some of the page numbers. I tried it so many times because I had read such great stuff about the book, and thought maybe I had missed something but it was definitely wrong. I couldn’t get past that part so I just gave up.

I have been to a number of Borders and Barnes & Nobles specifically looking for either book and I have never found them on the shelves.