Panic about starting on Pump: I can't do this!

Hi everyone

I’m starting on a pump (Paradigm 715) on Monday morning, and I am in a huge panic. I’ve been a diabetic for 14 years. I’ve never learnt to carb count, but have taught myself to guesstimate, and am very good at knowing what to inject depending on what I eat.

I saw a dietitian yesterday to learn how to carb count, and I don;t think I can do this. I can’t walk around with a scale. She says I can’t eat any of the foods I usually eat, can’t cook any of the meals I do. I can’t switch from the freedom I had on MDI, of eating what I wanted and adjusting my insulin dose (Humalog), to now not being able to eat anything.

I ordered ‘Pumping Insulin’, which also arrived yesterday. I’ve started reading, but every page just makes me panic more and more. I don;t even know how to start. I see the doc for 3 hours, and then that is it. All those settings, doses, adjustments, measures. I just don’t think I can do this. To be honest all I want to do is curl up in a ball and sob.

This is after I have been fighting to get onto a pump for 3 years.

I’m sorry for bitching, but maybe someone here has been through similar emotions and has coped? Any advice would be appreciated.

THANKS!

Annika

take a few deep breaths, light, it’s going to be okay! We are here for you to lean on! Be prepared to test your blood often until you get used to it. And to start off, you don’t have to use all the features of your pump, just so you know how to program the basals, and give yourself a bolus. You don’t need a scale, just read the nutrition facts, and get the Calorie King book - it’s at any big bookstore.

I’ve been pumping for 17 years, and about a year ago, I had to get a new one, and I also felt a little panic-y - it had so many features I wasn’t used to the different buttons, etc, but it only took me a few days to settle down. I don’t have the Minimed, but I use their infusion sets, and they have very nice people to guide you over the phone - that’s another resource for you.

please let us know how you are doing! good luck!

Well sorry to say that I have to disagree with your dietitian. The reason people start using a pump is for freedom and mobility. You CAN eat pretty much anything you want with a pump.

Don’t worry about carrying a scale that is unnecessary when you are out and about. When you are at home it is a great tool for getting your carb counting under total control. Let say you eat a bowl of cereal and it says that 30 grams is a serving, well weigh up thirty grams and see where it comes up to on the bowl you are using, that way next time you already have an idea of what a serving size looks like. Same with milk, measure it out. Another great tool is the Calorie King carb counting book, it not only has your everyday fruits, vegi’s, bread and so on but it also has fast food. When it comes down to it carb counting is usually guesstimating and you will learn overtime how your BG reacts to the different foods that you eat if you have not already.

I know there is a lot of info in the beginning but you will be OK. I have a co-worker who’s husband is type 1. My co-worker saw my pump and thought that would be so good for her husband who had been doing MDI’s for 20 years. One day I showed him my pump and he was on board. He got one and he actually hated it for about the first 3-4 weeks, he was ready to throw in the towel but he stuck with it and now he actually wonders to himself why he waited so long. He absolutely loves his pump and the freedom it brings.

Just tell yourself -everything will be fine, if you can master giving yourself 6-8 MDI’s you can use a pump and be successful.

Wish you luck

I had the very same issue. I was a GREAT guesser. I wanted to keep on guessing. But I will say this, my diabetes educator told me I still could eat whatever. It sounds to me like your dietician is just being a dietician and trying to get you to eat healthier. For a while you do measure things at home. But you get to a point where you are guessing again. And you are just more accurate.
I LOVE my pump. And you can do it. I have been pumping for 2 and 1/2 years and I am still learning stuff about my pump. Take it a little at a time. It will all be okay. It’s scary trying something new, but you can do it.

Yeah, your dietitian has the best of intentions, but you don’t have to live that way. I have been pumping now for 8 years. I started on a minimed when I was 20 after having had T1 for 10 years and have been through other pumps since then. I promise you that the transitional frustrations and concerns will be temporary and you will find your groove.

The great thing about a pump is that it’s much more customizable to your lifestyle. Get the little $8 calorie king book. Carb counting is not hard to do unless you’re at a restaurant and even then you’ll start to get a feel for it with dishes you like to order. I know that I count a big bowl of pasta or a big stack of pancakes as 70-100g of carbs (which means I don’t choose to eat it often because I actually am trying to eat right lately!). I count a huge slice of cake as, I don’t know, 65g? You don’t have to snack on 3oz. of celery unless you want to. And if you’re wrong, you can make adjustments quickly. There’s a learning curve. You’ll find your way. The what-ifs are just get huge right now.

That being said, of course she’s right that we should eat healthier. :slight_smile:

I’m going to try find a scale somewhere as soon as I can. I have ordered “The Ultimate Guide To Accurate Carb Counting”, and I should get it sometime next week, and will look into getting the Calorie King book too. I think with time counting carbs can be done. I’ve just never ever worked with a carb-insulin ratio, and have no idea how I am supposed to come up with one by Monday. I guess it might take a lot of tweaking to start off with.

Thanks to everyone for your answers. Its nice to find real people out there that can speak from personal experience!!!

You dietitian and/or diabetes educator should do one for you. At least at first. Mine looked at what I was eating and my blood sugars and current insulin and gave me one and we just tweaked it every couple of days until we had it down.
But it changes occasionally anyway based on weather, stress, the planet alignments, etc. :smiley: You just get to the point where you can change stuff yourself.

Ok… I’ll only have like 1.5 days worth of food and blood sugars to show her though… but it’ll have to do I guess. I’m just so used to figuring everything out myself.

In the morning 32 g of carbs (not carb exchange) = 17 units of Humalog (thats one constant because I always eat and inject the same thing). Now just two meals a say to go…

Thanks so much for your comments Cara!

Those books are both great resources for carb counting! Calorie King is also online for free. Check out their website. I use it often.

Annika, I’m glad you found us!! I can relate to your emotions because there is a lot to figure out with the pump. You’ve gotten a lot of good advice. I would just add that you should take it one step at a time. You won’t figure out all the settings right away. The doctor will help you know the initial settings and then you will adjust those gradually. You should not be completely re-programming your pump everyday.

It will be extra work in the beginning to get your settings right, but just take it one step at a time. You should start by testing your basal rates. I think that Pumping Insulin is a great resource, but don’t try to do it all in the first week!

Feel free to write up questions here as you go… we have lots of pumping experience here and we’re here to help!

Before long, the pump will start to feel like a normal part of your life, just be patient with yourself in the beginning!