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[IPk] Reply To Babara re my decision to pump etc - LONG!

I seriously considered sending this privately to Barbara but since she wrote to the list, there 
may be other lurkers who find this addresses issues they are thinking about.

 Hello Barbara , 

apologies for the delay in replying.  Plaster cast finally removed from right hand on Friday 
when consultant confirmed what I'd suspected but other docs had ignored, I'd not broken 
my scaphoid but badly staved/sprained it and had broken 2 fingers.  Hence the pain 
shooting up them!  As usual pain worse once the cast is removed and the support removed.  
Splint in place and waiting to hear from physio.  Pain brought tears to my eyes.  Not good to 
be wearing eye make-up at times like those! <g>

Barbara asked "I am interested to learn how you are doing because Danielle started the day 
before you (although you went on insulin sooner)". 

I infinitely prefer pump to the MDI of the last 4-5 years.  I instituted this as two basal injections and two 
regular/actrapid did not work for me.  I did a lot of reading and asked to be started on Humalog.  First at 
my local clinic.  This helped me tweak and improve control but meant no of injections rose to 2 basal and 
3 or even 4 Humalog injections a day determined by bg testing.  It was a hassle but the best option I had 
if I wanted to prevent complications.  I've had DM for 24 years or thereabouts and I'm currently 54.  So 
probably have a few more years in front of me.

Insulin makes me bloat massively - doc at clinic recently estimated I was lugging around 48-52 lbs of fluid 

I started asking about pump therapy 3 years ago despite my reluctance to be attached to a machine!  Head 
problem there <g>

I kept making cases and funding kept being refused.  After nearly dying earlier this year I put in another 
bid and describing a hypo in hospital that lasted nearly an hour.  I think this with my complicated medical 
situation opened the door to funding.  I was totally surprised by this as the first I knew was a message on 
my answer machine telling me my pump had arrived at the DM Centre and could I pick it up!

For several months I was doing 6 insulin injections a day plus one of fragmin (warfarin).  It took mental 
effort to continue with this regime - believe me, plus all the testing.

Being attached to the pump is by comparison freeing!  I know this sounds peculiar.  Testing 
is not a problem, and being able to massively reduce insulin doses and consequent bloating 
is wonderful.  Okay there are some hiccups re tape/cannula reactions, lumps etc but these 
issues will be resolved.

I don't see me being able to do the pantie line insertion yet, as I need to be able to check 
through the small window in the dressing whether the site round the cannula is starting to 
be inflamed.  I do not currently have the flexibility to do this with the site round there.  Wish 
I did as the pump is not comfortable on my waistband.  With my reaction to various tapes 
even ones like micropore and hypafix, I don't want to use extra tape unless forced to.

Barbara wrote: I also would like to ask you how you feel about inserting the 
silhouettes into yourself.

Initially I just had to get on with it as I found if I thought about it, I'd hesitate and make a 
mess of it.  Anticipating the jab is totally out of proportion to the experience unless you hit a 
scarred spot or otherwise tender area.  You'd encounter this with injections/pen so it's no 

The length of the needle may be what causes psychological barriers but believe me, they're 
ok.  If you're thin, bunch up some skin and this will help.  Also helps confuse the pain 
receptors in the skin.  (you can see that I used to do research on pain !!!)

Barbara wrote:  I have just cancelled my appointment to see a 
diabetologist about a pump for myself because I am not ready yet.

Why not?  Ignoring the financial aspect, what is holding you back from trying a pump for 
yourself? I suspect it's easier for an adult to stabilise than a child/teenager as their 
metabolism is more regulated.  Others more expert than I in this could advise me on this.

Is it a psychological/mental thing about inserting a set into yourself?  The more you think 
about it, the bigger the barrier that can become.  The best thing it to try one of Danielle's on 

Or is it the noise the inserter makes when you click it?  By the time you hear the noise the set 
is inserted under the skin.  That's how quick it is.

Barbara wrote: "I want to get Danielle running smoothly and then maybe try it myself. 
.......I have other problems as well and the pump was going to be a measure of helping me in 
other areas."

Barbara, if you're at the point of considering a pump for yourself, it probably means you've 
more than struggled to maintain good control by diet, exercise and MDI.  Yep, looking after 
yourself will enable you to be more able to look out for Danielle and to help her pumping.  
Could be you'll help each other and learn that way.  If your DM is well managed then other 
conditions have a better chance of being well managed.  DM affects so many parts of our 
systems that if that is out of kilter it is hard to manage other conditions.  I'm speaking from 
experience here. 

It's hard for someone who doesn't have DM to understand the pressures and difficulties of 
living with DM.  As we know, it's a 24hr a day task, and whatever can help us maintain good 
balance so we feel better and therefore enabled to live a more "normal" life, is vital.  

I don't know about you, but I don't want to make a career out of having DM!  Too many 
other things to do of interest <g>

At the end of the day, did you choose your pump because you had problems 
associated with diabetes or did you choose it because of quality of life?

I applied for a pump as I felt I'd gone as far as I could managing my DM by diet, exercise (v limited over 
last 6 years through multiple health issues, but v active prior to that), and MDI.  As I was already starting 
to experience some complications, I wanted to prevent them getting worse and so maintain and hopefully 
improve my quality of life.  

don't know what to do to be honest.  I would like one but I am not sure if I 
would manage two in one house.

Believe me, pumping while you have to work at it, is not nearly as demanding as doing MDI and you see 
the results in such a short time.  At least that's my experience so far after only about a month on the pump 
and from what you say, Danielle is experiencing this too.

I'd encourage you to try pumping and if after a month you decide it's not for you, you've lost nothing.  

Barbara wrote: Your comments would be appreciated.

You may regret making that last request <g>

If you want to take this up off list, please feel free to do so.

All the best.


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help SUPPORT Insulin Pumpers http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/donate.shtml