I was first diagnosed as a T1 Diabetic in 2006 at age 23 and have been doing MDI up until Feb 2, 2012. I'm on Humalog and Lantus 60 units at bed time before the Pump. When i was on MDI I started out good was getting A1c in the 5.6s and kinda slowly moved up over the years as was in the Mid 7.5's. 7.7 was my highest A1c, I've never was above that. The reason for my increase in A1c 's over the years was I got addicted to World of Warcraft and spent about 60 hours a week on the game over a three year Period. I also was on an Paxil and with those two things i gained about 75 pounds over three years.
Now on to the Pump. I decided to go to and endo doctor after 5 years of staying with my primary doctor which was a mistake. I decided i wanted to go with pump therapy to help control my diabetes and because im really scared of the complications that come with diabetes. I also suffer from dawn phenomenon.
Things I like about pumping so far.
1. Don't have to make up shots.
2. Cured my Dawn Phenomenon.
3. Pump forces you to eat less so i've lost like 20 pounds so far.
Things I don't like.
1. Its always there 24/7. Feels like a prison cell in a small box
2. I'm scared to move or sit because im afraid the canaula will come out.
3. I don't see myself exercising with the pump because of above reason.
4. I really scared that I will Build up Scar tissue on my body and have to go back to shots. Even if you move it around I dont see the body holding up to 20 plus years of the harpoon needle going in and out of your body.
5. Scared of getting KDA.
6. I feel like im running out of spots to put the Mio set after just three weeks.
I'm trying not to give up on it, cause giving something up is the easy way out. Plus if i go back to shots i feel that im letting my Mom down. I don't care what other people think of me But letting my mom down makes me want to get sick.
I need some advice.
To Pump or not to Pump that is the question.
Pumping is not for everyone. If someone is doing well on shots and they are happy with that regimen, I don't think the pump is a necessity for them. For me, the pump has been a lifesaver, but I am very active and have a relatively small TDD (about 20 units/day).
I am very active, and I can ensure you that the canula does stay in. I use a combination of IV300 and skintac and even with 2 workouts a day and 2-3 showers per day, I still have to literally pry off my infusion site when it comes time to change it.
In terms of a pump feeling like prison, I think it's a mindset thing. For me, my pump symbolizes freedom because I have more flexibility to work out when I want to and eat when I want to. I felt like I was in prison on MDI! My life had become so regimented and I hated that.
I assure you that you CAN exercise with the pump on. I do it every day, often twice a day. I use a Spibelt to keep my pump securely stashed away, and I tuck the tubing into my shorts.
Yes, scar tissue is an issue for some, but if you carefully rotate your sites, it will not likely cause a problem. Keep in mind that there are people who have been pumping for over a decade now and they still have no issues (and the needles were a LOT bigger when pumps first came out).
DKA is an issue. BUT if you're testing regularly like you should, you will catch it before it gets too serious. I've only had 2 infusion site failures that I can recall and I caught both of them and corrected before it was a problem.
Where are you putting your sites? I am a fairly petite woman and I rotate between my side butt, tummy, and lower back. My legs are really muscular, so I avoid my thighs (muscle makes the insulin absorb too fast). Thus far, no issues.
That all said, you are not letting anyone down if you go back to MDI. For some people, MDI is just better. I think it depends on your lifestyle and what you need. Some folks need that regimented MDI schedule or just find that the benefits of the pump aren't worth it for them. It's a matter of personal choice.
So far my Pump trainer wants me to just use my stomach to get my numbers set. When I started pumping i pulled a few sites out early because I thought they weren't working but looking back they were and i regret pulling them early. since Feb 2 ive used 8 sites. I don't see myself using my lower back or butt for sites because i'm don't think i can get back there to-do it myself. I don't have a GF or a family member that will help with the butt or back.
Oh, I do all my sites myself. With a little practice you'd be surprised at how far around you can get! I use the Mios and they are great for reaching around and putting a site in on your back.
I started out using my stomach for my pump, Bobby, because that's where I used to give shots. I hated it! Like you described, it always felt in the way, and was always getting jostled when I bent over, my cat sat in my lap, I put my laptop against it, etc. I now mainly use hips and rotate to thighs to give my hips a break. I like it much more and hardly notice it. I also use the 43" tubing. My trainer had told me "the only client I had who needed that was a 6'5" basketball player. It actually makes me feel a lot less "tethered" because i can lay it on the dresser or bed when I get dressed. Trainers don't know everything.
Hang in there; I had a terrible time with sets when I started. It gets better!
Zoe - I'll second your recommendation for long infusion sets. I sampled some different infusion sets once and had to accept the shorter ones - I think they were about 12 inches long. It made me appreciate how much I like the longer ones. It's easier when using a toilet and I also like the length when sleeping. With the shorter ones I found myself disconnecting a few times each day. I guess that works but I don't like changing these small subroutines engrained on my brain!
You're right about trainers without the 24/7/365 experience with an insulin pump. I know we can learn things from books but nothing teaches a deeper understanding of something as making choices and living with the consequences.
You've only been at it for three weeks and the pump is still new. I'd give it a few more weeks and see if some of the feelings you're having fade (since most relate to the pump being there and/or its reliability).
In regards to feeling tethered, when I first went on the pump, that first evening I felt totally overwhelmed with the thought of having this thing attached to me from now on. I just hated the idea, but then I realized I could just disconnect the pump at any time, so I did. I disconnected it and left it lying on my bed for about ten minutes. For whatever reason, that broke me out of thinking of the pump as something that was attached and tethered to me, because I can just disconnect it easily whenever I want to. Even now, I've been pumping for over five years and occasionally I just get sick of having the pump "there" and I'll bolus to cover some basal and disconnect for an hour or two.
When I first went on the pump I was also really scared of DKA. I was scared something would happen overnight and I wouldn't notice and would wake up in DKA. Well, I've had two instances now where things have gone badly overnight—one was where I dropped my pump before going to bed and didn't realize the cartridge had cracked and was leaking insulin, and the other was where I went to bed with a nearly-empty pump and didn't wake up to the alarms when it ran out of insulin completely. Both times I woke up within a few hours because I had to go pee from high blood sugar. Both times I had very high blood sugar and, yes, had ketones, but I was okay and was able to deal with it on my own. As long as you are on top of testing and are aware of your own body and when you don't feel right, the chances of going into DKA are not huge. Even with a pump it takes 4-8 hours for full-blown DKA to develop, so just make sure you are testing regularly and take warning signs like having to pee a lot, not feeling good, high blood sugar, and especially ketones seriously and you will be fine.
MMOs. been there, done that, got the complications. I was old school Everquest for 3 years though, and burned myself out on hardcore raiding. By the time WoW came out, I had a pretty good handle on casual versus hardcore gaming.
Anyway, deciding on a pump is a tough choice. No management strategy is going to work well if you're not dedicated to it. Hopefully, your mom can understand, but even if she doesn't, you can only do what helps yourself.
I went over to the Omnipod for every reason you mentioned. If I had to do a tethered pump, I'm not sure I'd be able to stick with it either.
This site is great, I felt alone the last 6 years with my T1 Diabetes. I think that's why i played World of Warcraft for three years to try and forget about my own crappy life. I've been depressed the last few weeks so ive started playing again. I haven't told anyone, If my mom found out she would be not happy