Monday, March 27, 2006

Levemir Day 3-6, and the return to pumping

Well, if you can't tell from the title, and I'm hooked up to Grant (or Jeremiah Jr.) once again. I'm glad he's back. I didn't expect to have him back so soon, but once again, I surprised myself. Each day I was on Levemir I felt worse and worse. I do not like being high. Worse still is being high almost constantly. I felt like my organs were being eaten away from all the extra glucose in my blood stream. Okay, that's extreme, but the point is, I didn't feel good. I went up to 300+ ever day, and I spent a lot of time in the 200's. Now, if that was the only thing, I could have worked at it and gotten back into normal ranges. BUT, I woke up Sunday morning and I realized I didn't like the way my arms looked. (small bruises) I didn't like having to wait to eat my smoothie at the mall until I found a bathroom to inject. I had to carry a little notebook and pen with my so that I could remember how much insulin I gave. The pump didn't just tell me. I'm not quite sure how MDI-ers do it. I'm sure I would have adjusted with time, but I woke up Sunday, and instead of being happy about not having to look for my pump, I was sad. I have a habit of looking over the history screens before I go to sleep at night, and I sort of missed that ritual. So I slapped another site in, set a low temp basal to account for the levemir still in my system, and off I went. My blood sugars today have an average of 170. Ahh, success. Yes, I do think I love my pump. It bugs the (*&^*& out of me at times, but it is an awesome tool. I now have a huge stash of levemir and humalog pens. I like the thought that if I ever have major site change issues, I can take a shot and worry about it later. I am back to pumping, but I haven't solved all my problems by far. First of all, I shut off a number of alarms. Some day they will be put back on, but for now, I don't want to hear them. Second of all, I need to try a new site. I'm using quick-sets now. I've tried the insets, and I hate them. I tried the silhouette once at camp, and I hated it with a passion. I am getting to the point that I just might try them again. The only thing that worries me is that I have a fairly major reaction to IV300. Do those sets use that tape, or am I remembering wrong? I'm hoping to get my hands on a few Cleo's soon. With some work, I hope to find a solution to my set problem. Maybe some LMX4? Who knows, but I'm sure Grant will be happy when I do! I don't think he liked sitting in the drawer all alone.


Shannon said...

I saw the Cleo's on Cozmo's website and liked the way they set up.

I plan to ask Brendon's endo about them at our next visit.

Pumps, you can't live with them, you can't live without them :)

Felix Kasza said...

Hi Jen,

I am glad you are back to pumping. I confess I didn't understand your decision to take a break in the first place, but then, I am notoriously devoid of perceptiveness. :)

On a practical note, stacking boluses with MDI is a pain in the neck, as you noticed; my compromise was to remember time and dose of the latest bolus and the one before only, and to never bolus while there still was insulin-on-board from the penultimate one. That at least reduces the amount of mental arithmetic.

And as far as pumping goes, compared to all of that needles and IOB and trying-to-eyeball-a-quarter-unit crap: Life is good. I love my pump.


Andrea said...

I am one who has admittedly had a love/hate relationship with the pump...

When it works as it should....I love it. It makes my life easier and I have so much more flexibility. Plus, I hate injections, so that's really the key reason I opted for the pump in the first place.

When it doesn't work or I have problems...I am ready to chuck it against the wall as hard as I can. There are definitely times where I am frustrated, b/c I dobt it's working as it should. And I get even more frustrated trying to figure out what is causing the problem. Seems like there are a lot more variables that could be the problem than MDI.

I've taken pump "vacations", but have always returned to the pump... It's not perfect by any means, but it is a good tool in managing this disease, as you said :)

Jen said...

Felix: who are you?
OK, now that I got that out of my system. :-) I understand the need to lurk. I did it myself for quite a while.
It's OK you don't understand my need to take a pump break. I wouldn't have understood it myself a few months ago. But I just ran out of usable sites. I have bad reactions to tape. Every site change was a painful struggle. I realized I didn't have to deal with it anymore, that I could take a break, so I did.

Felix Kasza said...

Hi Jen,

I am Felix Kasza -- yes, that's my real name, and my email address is findable, too (I just never bothered to fill in more than the minimum on the profile page). It's, btw.

Tape sensitivity sucks; fortunately my own skin seems to be as thick as the bones around my insensitive brain. I don't know why, I never had to play around with IVprep, IV3000 dressings, and whatnot -- I slap on a Quickset, and it stays on. (In fact, I get itchy skin from IV3000 ....)

I was miserable on MDI. Oh, I achieved decent control -- but I like bicycling (to the point that I neither have nor want a car or driver's license), and my low HbA1cs were bought at the price of falling off the bike more often than I can count. I mean, something is not right when you go through half a dozen glucagon kits in a year! :)

So, good-bye, Lantus. I'll keep pumping even if I have to ram the set into my funny bone.

Anyway, I am sorry that you and Andrea have less than completely satisfactory experiences; if there is anything I can do to help, yell.


P.S.: The collected experience of thousands of pumpers ....

Anonymous said...

I am new to the pump game, actually just submitted to the insurance company last week. I am searching all over the net for picture/AVIs of inserting and removing the infusion set. Trying to find out what the site looks like after the canula has been in a few days.

Google got me here.

I have been on MDII for 47 years and am very healthy. Why the switch to the pump? Well, I am tired of shots, done with the, don't want to use a syringe ever again.

Will drop back by sometime and check in after I have my Cozmo.

Have fun!