“Do You Ever Get Sick of It?”

“My daughter’s friend has diabetes, and she had to have needles all the time. What a pain that would be! Do you have to do that?”

“Not anymore now that I have the pump,” I replied as I pulled it out of my pocket and began gesturing wildly. “So, the pump does two things. It gives insulin continuously in small increments to keep me steady in the background. Then I enter insulin doses myself to cover the foods that I eat. So yeah, the pump is really convenient when I’m out and about or at work,” I concluded in response to her remark.

“Do you have to do that thing where you prick your finger all the time as well? My daughter’s friend said she had to do it 10 times a day! You would think there would be some kind of technology that could do that for you by now!”

“Yeah. I’m wearing this at the moment” I said, picking up the FreeStyle Libre reader that was sitting on top of my iPhone. “So, I wear this sensor on my arm,” turning sideways and showing it to them. “And then I just swipe the reader over it and it tells me my blood sugar. So that’s a pretty good reading,” I said, holding it up and showing them my unicorn and graph.

“I’ll have to tell her about it.”

“Yeah, it’s really good for figuring out trends and things. But it’s expensive so I don’t wear it all the time. And the numbers do my head in sometimes.”

“Can you have a lot of this stuff?” She asked me, gesturing at the hot cross buns and chocolates on the table.

“Yeah, of course I can. I need insulin for most food that I eat, so that my body is able to convert it into energy. I would look at this,” I said, picking up a marvellous creations wrapper from the plate of Cadbury Favoutites on the table, “and say its about 8 grams of carbs. I know that I need 1 unit of insulin to cover every 8 grams of carbohydrate, so I would give a unit with my pump.”

Do you ever get…sick of it? I know that you would probably be used to it by now…

“I wouldn’t say I get sick of it. Most of it is second nature to me. If anything, it just feels really, really monotonous. Getting up and doing the same thing over and over again every day. Looking at the same items and devices all the time. I get bored of it.”

Vacation’s End.

When my Lantus pen finally neared empty after my evening dose on Wednesday, I knew that I was just about ready to reconnect to my insulin pump.

Its been almost a month since I started this pump break, and it’s been just what I’ve needed to clear my head and feel a little more ‘free’ from my diabetes.

But I’m also beginning to feel a little over the effort required to physically inject my insulin, moreso at this time of the year.

When I was in the comfort of my own home with all the time in the world to spare, injecting wasn’t really a big deal. But when I was on the go and short of time, i was really starting to miss the convenience that wearing an insulin pump allowed me.

I really had to make a big point of injecting before I could go and have my morning tea or lunch. Which meant finding a place where I wouldn’t be disturbed, pulling out my iPhone, opening up the RapidCalc app, calculating my insulin dose and then concentrating on actually injecting it.

Concentrating?

Yep, concentrating.

If I didn’t put all of my focus towards the task of actual injecting, I ended up with those annoying little drops that manifested on the end of my insulin pen. I was left wondering how much insulin actually went in, shooting out half a unit to compare while deliberating over whether or not I should top up.

In case you’re wondering, there is a technique to avoid this. Gently lift the skin beneath your injection site (don’t pinch), inject your insulin, hold the pen in for 15 seconds after the injection, release the skin and then pull the needle out. I’m not sure I’ve quite mastered it yet, but I have successfully revealed a few clean needles by using this technique.

Then there was the effort required to swap out blunt needles. Because they sure did hurt when I forgot to change them.

Injecting is a lot of effort to put in during my break when I really want to be savouring my coffee and Walkers Shortbread. Or when I’m in the car, trying to give a quick correction inbetween traffic light changes. Also in the middle of the night, when I actually have to switch on my lamp and physically get up out of bed to make sure I properly administer my correction dose.

I fully get that these are all first world problems, and I’m super grateful that I have the luxury and choice to choose the style of management that suits my needs.

On Wednesday evening before bed, I inserted a fresh pump site on my left side and loaded a fresh insulin cartridge. When I woke up on Thursday morning, I skipped my morning dose of Lantus and clipped my pump line into the clean infusion site on my hip. I rode out the day as the rest of my Lantus tapered off. By 3.30pm I thought I could safely switch my basal rate back on, and I was pumping insulin once again.