Deciding to Switch To An Insulin Pump

Diabetes has never felt more difficult to manage in these past couple of months. Quite frankly, insulin injections are just feeling like a lot of hard work.

The best results seem to come if I eat similar foods, consume a similar number of carbs and do the same level of activity every day. I can remember my diabetes educator telling me that most people have around 10 to 15 meals they have in rotation. Theoretically, once I knew the correct insulin doses for all of those meals, managing my diabetes should be a piece of cake.

However, that’s not always practical when you’re a human being.

Sometimes I feel hungrier than normal. Sometimes I don’t feel like eating. Other times I go out and I want to eat more than normal. I don’t always eat the same foods together on my dinner plate. Sometimes I’ll indulge if there’s leftover desert in the fridge. Above all, I don’t enjoy eating exactly the same thing each day.

I’d like to think I have a really good understanding of the effects that different foods have on my body. Some foods need a delayed bolus, some need a pre bolus and others need a bolus when I eat them. I have a good idea of the carb content in most of my foods, but I don’t rigorously count or weigh my foods. So, my insulin doses are generally a good old guesstimate.

Usually, guesstimates work well for me. However, I still like to test 2 hours after a meal in case I need to correct a high reading, or to stop a low in its tracks. If I eat something with a higher fat content later in the day, I can expect a spike after bedtime. If I’m eating something that’s digested really slowly, like pasta, ditto. Then there are the Lantus Adjustment Struggles. Will my Lantus dose will be enough, or not enough to match the food I’ve eaten in one day?

I cannot remember the last time that I did not have to endure the Nightly 1am Glucose Checks. I don’t enjoy them, but they are necessary. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt confident that my glucose levels will remain stable through the night. I absolutely hate waking up high. The thought of a blood sugar out of range for the 8 hours I’ve been asleep puts me in a really bad mood. I don’t like starting my day on that note. Night time testing helps a great deal. More often than not I do wake up in range, which makes it all worthwhile.

Which brings me to a big decision. To Pump, or Not to Pump?


After much deliberation, I’ve decided that I’m going to give the insulin pump a go.

I’m hoping that with the pump’s ability to continuously deliver insulin, some of that work to regulate my levels in the background might be made a little easier. My hba1c level has fluctuated over the years, so I’m hoping that the pump might help me to achieve a little more stability.

Sure, it’s going to be a big learning curve. Sure, the pump is only as smart as the person operating it. Sure, I’m still going to have diabetes after it all…

But I really have nothing to lose. My Private Health Insurance will cover the cost. I’ll have as much support as I need from my diabetes clinic. And I can always go back to injections if I don’t end up liking it.

I’m thinking about the Animas Vibe pump, because of it’s compatibility with the Dexcom CGM which everyone raves about. I’m not really interested in a CGM at the moment, but it’s always nice to have that option for the future. My other options here in Australia are Medtronic and Roche. Opinions anyone?

It was a big decision for me to make, and I’m glad I took the time to think it through. I can’t thank you all enough for your friendly words of advice and support over these last few months.

I’m off to see my diabetes educator next week, and hopefully I can get this looooonnnng process started. Wish me luck!

Wishing one of my readers, C, the best of luck for her pump day today. 

Diabetes Instinct

“Frank, when you first got diabetes, what were the symptoms?” Mum asked me on the weekend. 

Of course, Mum knows the symptoms of diabetes well enough. But I knew exactly why she was asking. I was actually thinking the exact same thing myself.

“The weight loss was the very first thing, but that was a few weeks before I was diagnosed. I didn’t even notice that until the very end. Then I started to feel a lack of energy, and the thirst, a few days before. Eventually I couldn’t even get out of bed.”

“Were you eating?” (if you want to get Mum worried, just tell her you don’t feel like eating!)

“Yeah I was, up until a couple of days before.”

My sister hasn’t been feeling well. It seems like a bit of a virus that’s been lingering around over this past week or two. 

Of course, I know the symptoms of diabetes all too well. I still remember my own, as though they happened only yesterday. I was certain that this was nothing to worry about. But I could still feel the knots in my stomach, turning. I was anxious, and I could feel myself begin to tremble as we were talking it through. 

That instinct was still there. That instinct of diabetes symptoms will always be there.

I hate this disease. I hate how time consuming it is, I hate how much I have to think about it, and I hate how I feel because of it. There’s only one thing I can think of that would be worse than having diabetes itself. That would be having to see any of the people that I love live with it.

In this very moment, as I am writing this, I realise exactly how all the courageous diabetes parents and families in the world feel.

I realise exactly how my own loved ones feel. When they hear the prick of a lancing device. When they hear the clicks of my insulin pen. When they see me shoving sugar down my throat. When they hear noise coming from my room at 2am in the morning. 

I’m not ashamed of my diabetes.

Diabetes hasn’t held me back from doing anything.

I don’t spend my time worrying about diabetes.

But knowing that my loved ones have to see me live with this disease day in and day out, is far worse than having diabetes itself.