Saline Monday

After receiving my pump last week I was concerned that it may take some time before I could start using it. Just getting my appointment at my diabetes treatment center has been tricky and I feared that it may be much longer before I could get rolling. My doctor wanted the center to assess my “readiness” and they would go from there.

Since deciding to move forward with the pump in December of 2007 and determining which pump I wanted, I have been reading anything and everything about them.

For those of you who are considering the Medtronic Minimed Paradigm series, I strongly recommend signing up and taking the Pump School training. It includes much of the same info you will received as training materials with your pump. Not only is it free, but you don’t have to have a pump to take the training. The site also has great refresher information about sick days, and treating highs and lows.

In preparing, I’ve also tightened my carb counting skills, reading a few great books on the subject has helped me reduce some highs and lows, even without the pump. I have also been reading John Walsh’s Pumping Insulin (Fourth Edition). This book is great for anyone even slightly considering the pump. It not only covers the baseline pros of pumping, but walks you through the approach to estimating insulin use, evaluating and tweaking your insulin use. Even if your doctor or treatment center has another plan for you, knowing how some of these numbers are arrived at will empower you to be able to proactively ask questions.

Getting back to things, I arrived at my education class today with my CDT, who had planned on covering a general had a solid understanding of the pump functions itself (for the past week I have been carrying it with me untethered in demo mode, entering my bg’s and carbs to get familiar with the functions), she decided it was time to move ahead with getting me started.

“Saline Monday” training walked me through the actual pump prep, filling, and attaching the infusion set to me – using saline, rather than insulin. This will give me a trial run at things over the next three days, without having insulin involved (I’ll still be sticking to my MDI’s as normal while I do this).

I was happy to learn that I will go back next Wednesday, February 20th for my real “pump start.” I will be looking forward to it.