Moving onto Insulin Pump Therapy

Friday, November 22, 2019 - 09:36

Living with diabetes has its ups and downs – literally. As diabetics, we all have high blood sugars and low blood sugars at some stage. But my ups and downs were more like mountains ranges and low ravens. My Blood glucose levels were not as well controlled as I would have liked. Life seemed to get in the way. I'm a busy mum, with two kids, running my own business, helping out at school, part of community groups and trying to grow a veggie patch! It all adds up to a busy lifestyle, which isn't always conducive to diabetes.

In particular, I was experiencing regular night-time hypos. These were not fun; my blood glucose levels where sometimes down to 1.2. Often, I didn't seem to wake up to them, and they were beginning to get scary.  My medical team had tried different variants of how best to prevent this from happening but without much success. I would feel dreadful for the next 24 – 48 hours after a bad night-time hypo like I had been hit by a truck.

Not only was this affecting my physical health, but it was also affecting my mental health. High BGL's and lows BGL's have emotional symptoms as we all know, and sometimes these were just out of control, and I had no control over them. I knew that I needed a change. I wanted to have more stability in my lifestyle with my diabetes. I wanted to be better, not continually exhausted, where I would push through each day and in the middle of it all and feel emotional due to unstable blood sugars. I was ready for change and to achieve this, I needed an insulin pump.

But an insulin pump was not something I really wanted. I did not want the inconvenience of having to wear it all the time. What would happen when I had a shower? How do I wear a dress? How will I feel with sticky things on me all the time, like ALL THE TIME???

It seemed overwhelming and scary, and I wasn't sure how I would go. Or if it would help. But I needed to try.

I booked my appointment and organised someone to come with me on the day in case I wasn't sure what to do when driving home with my new pump and for moral support. I took a deep breath and waited until the day arrived.

I was getting an insulin pump!

Only I wasn't.

I didn't get the pump at that first appointment, nor would I get the pump for a few months.

The process to get an insulin pump is long. There is training, support, guidance and a service that has stood with me and held me up so that I know what to do at any given time. And if I am unsure, there are helplines available 24/7.

In a way, it was like learning to live as a diabetic all over again. But was it worth it?

Absolutely.

I am much more controlled in Auto Mode on the 670G. And I no longer have the night-time hypos!!!!!

Yes, the insulin pump is different. Yes, I can't wear some of my favourite dresses (but, maybe they were coming out of fashion anyway).  It beeps at me, telling me what's going on with my body.

I wear my pancreas on the outside of my body now. It can be frustrating at times, but being diabetic can be frustrating at times, the pump helps make it easier.  The positives outweigh the negatives by a long mile with insulin pump therapy. I have learnt new things about my body that I never knew before, like the different affects that factor how I feel & stress I have on my blood sugars.  How much the temperature affects my blood sugars and just how long certain foods take to be absorbed. It is truly fascinating. And my little pump takes care of all of that for me. It is amazing.

But it wasn't until my family commented on how much better they were sleeping, that I really understood what an impact the pump had had on my whole family.  My family’s comfort in knowing that I would be ok through the night, that I would no longer have night-time hypos or if I did I would be woken up, made everyone sleep just that little bit better.   Not only has the pump made a difference in my life. It has made a difference to my husband and two children, and that is worth its weight in gold.

Tiffany Johnson
 

*The patient is a member of the Medtronic Patient Ambassador Program and has received consideration for their time. This patient testimonial relates an account of an individual’s response to the treatment. The account is genuine, typical and documented. However, the individual’s response does not provide any indication, guide, warranty or guarantee as to the response other persons may have to the treatment. The response other persons have to the treatment could be different. Responses to the treatment discussed can and do vary and are specific to the individual patient. Please consult your healthcare professional for a full list of benefits, indications, precautions, clinical results and other important medical information that pertains to the therapy or products discussed.

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