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.
P.S. No disclosures to report here – I just really love my t:slim!
You may love it Frank, but I hate it with a vengeance. It’s slippery surface and my extremely dry hands mean I have to keep a rubber band around my t:slim, otherwise I can’t grip the damn thing; it also helps to stop it sliding off furniture whilst dressing. With the Tandem I had to deliver boluses divided into smaller doses, because anything over 1.3U hurt too much. Similar problem with the t:slim – if I don’t divvy up the boluses, it blocks around 8 times out of 10. And here’s the kicker – it takes so-o-o much longer to deliver those 3 doses, because the deliveries are so-o-o long. I also have to write down every bolus I’m about to deliver and cross them off as I’ve done them, because the pump history for bolusing like that records about 12 lines of mumbo-jumbo. Seriously, I’m not happy with it at all. And good luck with the 5 year cure – that’s what I hung my hopes on 46 1/2 years ago!
I am sorry to hear that your experience has been the opposite of mine, Merinda. It’s frustrating when the devices make life harder for us! All I could really suggest is contacting your local Tandem support team and see if they could investigate further – but I’m sure you’ve probably done so already.
There’s also some great t:slim peer support groups on Facebook which are great for talking to other people using the pump.
I hate my T-slim also. Numbers too small to read at night. Hard to impossible to disconnect tuning at site & fails to deliver insulin 20% of time. Ready to trade for new Medtronic. Much better & easier.
I am glad you like the pump. Everyone I know who owns one loves theirs.