My First Month on the T:slim!

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!

Switching from injections to the pump

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!

T:slim X2

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.

My blood sugar during a 45 minute cardio 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.

Allergies suck!

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 during the allergic reaction

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!

My blood sugar during the 3 day pump break

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

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!

 

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