It’s been almost a month since I started insulin pump therapy. So, I thought I would share my experience with it so far. For the most part, it’s been great, but I have had a few issues!
On the morning of my pump training, I was nervous and excited. It had been almost 5 years since I was on a pump, so I knew it was going to be a big change.
When I walked out of the doctor’s office, I wondered if I was making the right decision. It felt so weird being attached to a device again. Not to mention, my basal rates would require a lot of tweaking at first, so I knew it would be a lot of work. I was okay with it though, because I had a feeling being on a pump would make my life a LOT easier!
I have to say, being on a pump is a lot more convenient than injections. Having a low blood sugar on the pump seems easier to manage and control. For instance, if my blood sugar is dropping I will just stop insulin delivery for a short time, until my sugar stabilizes. I have avoided quite a few lows this way!
The temporary basal rate feature is great too. If I need more/less insulin for a short period of time, it’s easy to do. When you are on shots, it’s not that simple. Having the pump is great for workouts too. I was never able to do cardio on injections without going extremely low. So, I avoided cardio all together because it was easier. The first time I did cardio on the pump, I was shocked! I did a cardio workout for 45 minutes, and my blood sugar stayed stable the whole time! I ate a small snack, and then took off my pump for the duration of my workout.
Another thing I love, is the IOB (insulin on board) feature. The IOB lets you know how much insulin is still active in your body. Typically, insulin can last about 4 hours in your body. So if you give a bolus for a meal and you end up going high, and try to correct your blood sugar, your pump will let you know how much insulin is still active so you don’t over-correct and go low.
I have terrible allergies. I swear, I am allergic to everything. Obviously, that’s an exaggeration (haha!) but my allergies are out of control! Since starting the Dexcom in 2015, I have noticed that I have an allergy to almost every tape/adhesive I try. It’s extremely annoying and inconvenient. The Dexcom sensors are very expensive, so keeping them on is a must! Everything I tried broke me out in hives and made me want to itch my skin raw.
In the back of my mind, I was worried about being allergic to the adhesive on the pump site. I had been on a pump before without issues, so I thought I could be okay. Well, I was wrong!
The first day I had my pump on, I noticed my site was a little itchy/irritated, but it wasn’t that bad, so I ignored it. After I changed my site for the first time, I saw my skin underneath was red and swollen. I used some Cortisone cream and went about my day.
Long story short, the itching only got worse. I was itching my skin so much near my site that I was making my skin bleed. While all of this was going on, my blood sugars slowly got worse and worse. I didn’t think much of it at first, just because my period was about to start and my blood sugar goes high around that time anyway. At one point, I had my basal rate at 180% and I was still running high! That’s when I knew something was wrong.
My blood sugar stayed high after my period, so I knew that wasn’t the reason for my erratic blood sugars. I finally figured it out. It was because of my allergic reaction to the adhesive! Ugh.
So, I took my pump off and went back to injections for 3 days. During that time, the allergic reaction got better and my skin calmed down. My blood sugars got better too, thankfully!
I asked people on Instagram for some advice with my pump sites, to see if anyone else was having this problem. I received a lot of great advice, so I want to thank everyone who commented on that post! It helped me out so much. So, I bought Flonase to spray on my skin before putting my site on, and AllKare barrier wipes. I was hoping and praying it would work…and it did! On day 3 of my pump site, I still have NO itching. I am so happy!
I am back to having pretty good blood sugars, so I’m glad I solved that problem! Unfortunately, I went through 2 1/2 weeks of high blood sugars before I figured out the problem. Oh, well! Live and learn.
I love the t:slim so far. I’m happy that I chose this pump over all the others! The t:slim is so small, which I love. I thought my old Medtronic pump was so big and bulky. I was worried that I would hate being attached to a pump, and the cord would bother me. Honestly, I don’t really notice it!
The touch screen is a great, and it’s nice that you can charge the pump and not have to worry about batteries. I know I have only used the t:slim for a month, but I can’t think of ONE thing I don’t like about it.
Overall, I am loving my pump and I’m so happy that I have it! If you are thinking about getting an insulin pump, I would highly recommend the t:slim!