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Re: [IP] Is pumping easier?

On 27 Jan 00, at 20:00, Maureen Reagan wrote:

> > Then why is the only information I'm getting my diabetic care team is that
> > the pump is more work and has many more problems than MDI? 
> Natalie wrote:
> The pump is more work than being on the conventional 2 shots a day,
> match your food and exercise to your insulin regimen.
> I have to disagree with Natalie.  In one sense, pumping is MUCH easier than
> trying to live my life matching it to insulin peaks of two shots.  MDI was
> a lot easier than that (despite the appearance of more work).  I would
> choose to do what I want to do, when I want to do it, it is a lot less work.

This is where it's a YMWV issue.  For many of us our time on MDI was a 
time when we could not choose what to do or when to do it.  We had 
absolutely no choice, nothing worked the way the "medical professionals" 
told us and no matter what we did it wouldn't work...  We were constantly 
trying to either come out of a low or come down from a high. When we 
weren't crashing or spilling ketones we were trying to predict when the 
next crash or peak would hit.  Then we were watching the clock to 
determine when the Ultralente or NPH would hit (and trying to guess if it 
would hit at all)...  It was a bad time for me - kind of like trying to steer 
your care with a variable delay and ration between when you turned the 
steering wheel and when and how much the front wheels actually turned...  I 
never could get it right, even when living according to Dr. Death and Nurse 
Ratchetts iron-clad "no variability, no change, do-everything-by-the-clock-
or-die" torture trip SCHEDULE AND DIET... 
And since the meal plan allowed only a handful of edible meals you didn't 
get to eat out because even a fast food hamburger was more exchanges than 
you were allowed for a day.  I remember going to family reunions and having 
to eat an hour before everyone else because my bg was crashing and then 
sitting there watching everyone else eat later...  so much for the "easy" meal 
plan..  and church dinners or potlucks were out of the question because they 
didn't fit the SCHEDULE...  I remember not being able to go to the movies 
because the first showing overlapped the SCHEDULE time for the evening 
meal and the last showing overlapped the SCHEDULE time for the snack and 
if you missed the times by very much you'd be crashing in the floor...  My 
church members liked the fact that my sermons were limited by the peak of 
my insulin from the night before - if I wasn't getting ready to eat by 12:00 
I was in trouble and my bg would be crashing - so they could predict that I 
wouldn't preach too long...  and if I did it was generally because I was 
crashing and had lost my place and was generally confused - so someone 
would gently remind me to eat a couple of sugar tablets and dismiss them...

And I don't think I am alone in my experience.  The pump is infinitely 
easier - I can actually sleep late, skip a meal, or live the strange life where 
I don't have three or four insulin reactions separated by bg peaks...  

Other people seem to have been able to survive well on two shots a day.  I 
don't know how their bg values ran or how tightly they were trying to 
control their bg, but I used to have four reactions a day on the old 2 shot a 
day routine.  When I shifted to 4 shots I sometimes had a "good day" with 
only 2 reactions...  and by the time I was at 6 shots a day I could routinely 
get through a day with only 2 crashes and a few hours twice a day when I 
was over 300...  and that was with a three-insulin mix (Regular, NPH and 
Ultralente) in the evening, with Humalog before each meal...  and I was still 
waking up with fasting bg over 250 most days... then the "medical team" 
agreed that a 3:00 a.m. shot was the only way to get a decent fasting bg...  
we discovered that when I was getting up in the middle of the night with the 
boys and would check my bg when I got done with the 2:30 a.m. 
change/feed/rock routine...  

It's one of those things that is so frustrating about this condition - what 
works "fine" for one person will kill another...  I get tired of people talking 
about having a "little sugar" and not being able to understand what that 
really means...  

On the funny side, last Sunday at church one of the older men was talking to 
me about the problems he's having with his bg - he's type 2 and was 
complaining about having to take a pill in the morning and in the evening to 
keep things stable... he made some comment like "I don't guess you would 
understand this" and I just lifted up my sweater so he could see the pump 
on my belt.  He looked at it and said "What's that" and then his eyes got 
really big and round when I said "Insulin pump"...  he decided I really did 
have a good idea of what he was going through with his bg...  We laughed 
together and talked about the difficulty of making people understand the 
frustrations we go through when we do things right and it doesn't work...  

So we, the Assimilated, just keep on trying to keep things going using 
whatever tools, techniques and assorted craziness supplied by the Collective 
we can to get through the day.  And we pray that tomorrow will be the day 
when we get that phone call, e-mail or breathless announcer on CNN with 
the news that the cure has been discovered and will be available in a couple 
of days for all of us...

Rev. Randall Winchester
WD4HVA (email @ redacted)
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