I took a vacation to the beach a couple weeks ago. I decided to disconnect the pump for the week, just because I wanted to. I was expecting that I would come home and rave about how much I missed my pump and how thankful I am for it. Surprisingly, I waited a week thinking about what to write because I have mixed feelings.
Disclaimer: I love my pump. Really I do. I’m not ready to give it up. Take this whole post with a grain of salt.
Other disclaimer: I had really bad blood sugars this week. They influenced the tone of this post and they are sorry.
So during the vacation, I used a split dose of Lantus for basal insulin with Humalog (as usual). I ate at least one ice cream cone per day, we ate out some, and I left my food scale at home. So I was expecting wild swings in my blood sugar with 8-10 injections per day correcting all those crazy swings. BUT I woke up between 80-100 mg/dl and most of the times that I checked, my blood sugars were near perfect. I was doing everything wrong, but the numbers didn’t show it.
OK, I was definitely more active than usual, but I wasn’t experiencing frequent lows the way I usually would. I was constantly amazed by my great blood sugars.
I chalked it up to a GREAT vacation and reconnected to my pump on the last night. Right when we got home, I felt a cold coming on… and I’ve been sick most of the week. My blood sugars were everywhere- really horrible. Highs that linger and just refuse to come down. It seemed that NOTHING was going right.
So it’s hard for me to write about how I love my pump and how much I missed it during the vacation. BUT when I am thinking more rationally, I realize that there are reasons that I love the pump and reasons that I have better control with the pump. I will list them here, mostly to reassure myself that all the extra work with the pump is worth it. Feel free to add to my list (or disagree with it!):
- I correct EVERY blood sugar, even when they are just slightly high. It is hard to correct just slightly high blood sugars with injections.
- I exercise more with less lows because i can turn my basal rate down to 50% one hour before exercising– this is amazing!
- I can live with more flexibility, because if I ate, checked my sugar, then want to eat more, my pump can process all that data telling me what to do without going high or low (it remembers how much insulin is active in my body– something that is hard to keep track of unless you write down your every move).
- It’s easier for me to give boluses early. You should give your bolus 15-20 minutes before eating. I can often do this while walking to get lunch, while cooking, etc. I think that with injections I would often not bother to do this.
- I have different basal needs through the day. In fact, most of us do. So the pump can give me more basal insulin in the late evening than in the early afternoon. You can replicate this by splitting your long- acting insulin dose, but with much less precision.
- With the pump, if I have good blood sugars and do not eat or bolus, they will stay good all day. The basal really works as a background insulin. When I used injections, I could not go 12 hours with eating, which means sometimes I was feeding my long acting insulin.