t:slim-aversary

At around 8 o’clock on Friday night, as I was sitting in front of my MacBook revising through Company Law notes trying to stifle my yawning, it dawned on me that I had marked one year on my t:slim.

Pump fatigue had accompanied me for the majority of the two and a half years that I had been pumping insulin prior to the t:slim. That could be partly attributed to the significant adjustment and learning associated with a new method of insulin delivery. The high personal expectations that I’d set for myself probably didn’t help my cause, either.

But the other significant reason for that pump fatigue was that I was bored. Diabetes is such a monotonous condition to live with. Waking up and doing the same thing every day, over and over again does little to excite me. When my long term health is on the line, I need my diabetes tools and technologies to motivate me to keep doing this for the rest of my life until the cure arrives in five years’ time.

My late Animas Vibe was doing little for me in that department. Quite frankly, it was something that belonged in the last decade. Quite possibly even the ’90s. It was chunky. It’s clip wobbled all the time. It’s skin quickly began to peel in various places. Navigating that pump was like navigating a game of Tetris.

There were times where the pump itself really bothered me towards the end. I so badly longed for something new and exciting. The market here in Australia was looking extremely dire of choices at the time, and never in a million years did it look like there was even a remote possibility of Tandem’s beautiful little pump hitting our shores.

Thanks in part to the demise of Animas, the t:slim finally landed Down Under last year – and it was everything I had been longing for in an insulin pump for such a long time. Small. Modern interface. Highly customisable settings. Could easily be mistaken for a smartphone. By far, my favourite thing about this pump is its size. I did miss having a clip in the beginning, but now I love being able to discreetly tuck the pump into my waistband when I’m dressed for work with ease.

Like any new piece of diabetes kit, it was definitely an adjustment. Particularly learning how to fill those black cartridges and developing a sixth sense for fill flaws.

Reflecting on the past year, I think the biggest change I’ve noticed is that the pump fatigue is all but gone. I can honestly say that I still love picking up this pump and administering insulin just as much as I did on day one. My pump definitely supports my motivation to manage my diabetes, and that is definitely something that I’m keeping in mind with a pump upgrade on the horizon in the New Year.

#TslimForFrank!

P.S. No disclosures to report here – I just really love my t:slim!

I Never

I’ve never pricked my finger without washing my hands first.

I’ve never swapped an infusion site without rubbing an alcohol wipe over dry skin first.

I’ve never thrown a syringe in the bin because a sharps container couldn’t be found.

I’ve never left an infusion site on my stomach for longer than three days.

I’ve never pushed a pen needle beneath my skin more than just the once.

I’ve never seen a purple bruise from injecting into the same spot.

I’ve never had more than two hypos in a single week.

I’ve never treated a low blood sugar with chocolate, biscuits or cake.

I’ve never given more insulin than what my bolus calculator suggested.

I’ve never worn a sensor on my arm, or Libre on my leg.

I’ve never refilled a cartridge that’s already been used.

I’ve never filled my reservoir with more than three days of insulin that I would use.

I’ve never left the house before without my backup gear.

I’ve never forgotten to write down in my logbook a single blood glucose reading.

I’ve never walked off to the bathroom to test or give myself an injection.

I’ve never attempted to minimise the impact of diabetes when talking to family and friends.

I’ve never lied to a healthcare professional, for fear of their reaction.

I’ve never trusted another person with diabetes, especially those I know from the internet.

I’ve never failed to correct an ignorant diabetes comment.

I’ve never used diabetes as an excuse to get out of something I didn’t want to be doing.

I’ve never for a minute doubted that diabetes might be able to stop me.

I’ve never wavered in my faith of a cure being just five more years away.