Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Our First Week Pumping

Well, our first full week pumping has been kind of a mixed bag. The pump itself has been all good, and I can tell you that the past several days would have been much more challenging without the pump.

Thursday night, T-Bear was pretty high at bedtime (335) and I didn’t know why. That can mean a pump problem, and when I checked the cannula there seemed to be a tiny bit of blood around the insertion site. Okay, I figured, looks like maybe the Pod got knocked while the kids were horsing around on the trampoline, and maybe the cannula isn’t sitting quite right. So, I corrected and retested about an hour later, and he was fine (116) so I knew he was getting insulin. Just for the heck of it, I checked again at about 4:00 am, and he was high again (241). Whaaa? No food, and his BG goes up in his sleep? Could be a pump problem, but maybe not. I correct and retest in an hour. Down a bit (217). Correct and recheck in two hours, and he’s up again (253). At 8:00 am we change out the Pod, and two hours later he’s still a little bit high, but by lunch he’s fine. And, BooBoo Bear is sick. So, either the Pod was knocked and T-Bear wasn’t getting the full insulin dose I was programming, or he was getting sick, which always pushes his BG up.

Turns out he was getting sick. The kids all got sick with a respiratory virus that’s been holding on like a dickens since Friday. I, in my infinite wisdom, waited until Sunday, Mother’s Day, to get sick. And Papa Bear was working that day. Joy. At least the kids were feeling better and occupying themselves by then, so I could spend most of the day in bed. Reading. Heehee.

So, how has the OmniPod made our sick days better? Viruses usually mean higher BG for T-Bear. Before the pump, that meant either more frequent injections, or leaving him high for longer periods, depending on how miserable he was at the time (really, who wants to be stabbed in the butt when you’ve got burning sinuses and hacking cough?). With the pump, we can give him more frequent corrections, keeping his BG from getting out of hand, with no additional discomfort

Also, the correction doses are more precise (as little as .05 U at a time, rather than .5 U eyeballed in a syringe) so we’re not having the lows following corrections that we were having with injections (low + fever = bad juju).

Oh, and the BG reminder is pretty cool. As part of the testing and dosing procedure, the PDM will ask me whether or not I want to schedule a BG reminder, and how far out I want the reminder to remind me (usually 2 to 2.5 hours, depending on whether or not he’s eating). No more fiddling with reseting the timer on my watch. And, unlike my watch, the PDM will keep on reminding me every five minutes until I shut it off. No more missed reminders because I slept through the two alarms, or watching a loud movie, or in my house with three wild monkeys making all kinds of noise. You get the picture.

But, really, I just can’t overemphasize the importance of the convenience factor, especially when Mama Bear gets sick. With injections, we had the Diabetes Counter in the kitchen with everything we needed to test, calculate, log and dose. It pretty much had to be done in the kitchen, or I’d be running up and down stairs for all the little gizmos I’d forgotten. So, if I had to test T-Bear in the middle of the night, it was downstairs to get the test kit and log sheet, upstairs to test him, oh shit he’s high need to do a correction. Back downstairs to get write down the BG because I forgot to bring a pen the first time, get the calculator to figure out the correction dose, write it down, draw the dose. Oh shit I just dropped another vial and shattered it on the tile floor, so get another vial from the fridge, which is going to be COLD going in, and cause more discomfort than necessary. Draw the dose, back upstairs to inject. Back downstairs because I forgot the alcohol wipe, and back upstairs. Oh shit, forgot the blasted rocket, so back downstairs for the rocket, back upstairs to deliver the dose to a grumpy kid. Can I go back to bed now before I pass out? Oh, but I’ve got to get up and check him again in two hours in case I gave a slight overdose and he’s going low…

Now, everything I need to test and dose in the middle of the night I can hold in one hand, AND, I don’t have to do any math (what a blessing that is when you’re sick and exhausted). T-Bear’s SPIBelt holds the lancet, alcohol wipes, test strips and back-up meter (plus emergency glucose tablets...yummy). The PDM sits in the palm of my hand, and I bring it with me back to bed so I can hear the alarm, so I don’t have to either depend on T-Bear waking to the alarm or set a 2nd alarm for myself. Five minutes, start to finish, and I can go back to bed. I almost don’t even mind getting up again in two hours to do it again. Almost.

So, now that we’re all just about back on our collective feet, I expect the next couple of weeks to be much smoother. It will definitely be easier to spot trends and patterns without the added complication of virus-spiked highs, so we'll know whether or not his programming needs to be adjusted. My Mommy Sense says it's all programmed just fine and it's going to be smooth sailing for a bit. Wouldn't that be nice?


  1. We just battled the flu, and the pumps were a godsend! I'm glad you are all feeling better!

  2. God Bless you Monique!

  3. More than I hope i"ll ever need to know about type 1! Missed you today. Feel better all!

  4. I read the first part and was so confident that it was the Pod and then, I saw that I was wrong (as I so often am).

    I'm glad things are going well so far. Pumping does add variables of what could be wrong, and it can be tough to wait to try and figure it out. But you sound like you have an amazing attitude about it. Yay for you guys!

  5. Technology is an amazing thing, isn't it? I am so, so happy you have all found something to make life a bit easier!