You can see that this has been a life-changer for me: I usually don’t do anything much “random.” But becoming a pumper — especially with such an innovative wireless system — has brought on all sorts of experiences and feelings that don’t necessarily stack up in any methodical way. I’m just letting it all sink in at the moment…
That said, you can read the “aerial view” of my thoughts on becoming a pumper at my newest dLife column this month. For those of you more curious about the daily nitty-gritty of it all, here are some initial notes:
Surprisingly, nothing too substantial was required yet. My biggest struggle has been getting the correction factor right. I keep going too low, so readjusting the factor setting, but then sometimes it’s not enough after all. Go figure.
Not using extended bolus delivery yet, even though I’ve been eating steak and margarine and other fat and protein items that could probably benefit from that feature. We want to establish my baseline insulin requirements first.
Still working out workouts. The temp basal setting we created — 50% for three hours around an hour-long workout — is good, but still I’m going low sometimes. I believe it’s due to too much bolus insulin beforehand. But since — regrettably — I don’t always eat the same thing for each meal, it’s still a guessing game.
I emailed my endo my DexCom records for the first week and she wrote back to me: “Wow! Those are fantastic numbers, especially considering how much we changed your algorithms from pre-pump! Great work! Keep it going!” (LOVE this doctor, btw)
Waterproof goodness. The OmniPod scores high on that count! Oh, how I disliked those shower patches necessary for the DexCom. So inconvenient — don’t forget to put it on and take it off! — and costly, too. I felt guilty any day I showered more than once. And they irritated my skin as well. With the OmniPod, water is never a problem unless you’re soaking in very hot temperatures, which can kill the insulin, of course. If you want to bathe or hot tub, you might try wearing the Pod on your upper arm, which will stay out of the hot water. And no, I haven’t tried that trick yet.
What, That Lump?
A reader who wrote to me recently noted that the Pods might look like “tumors” under your clothes. Yikes! I totally disagree, but it’s hard to get that image out of my head. I’ve invested in a little new lingerie and Victoria’s Secret perfume to help maintain the sex appeal factor. More on that later.
Pod changes: quick snap and a pinch. I definitely do feel a poke when the cannula is inserted — but it’s nothing worse than one of those lancet pricks that hurts a tiny bit more than most. And I love the “automation” of it — the fact that I don’t have to insert the cannula manually myself.
Already a bunch of people have written to me about things they’d like to see in the next-gen OmniPod. I agree completely: perhaps a smaller pod option, which carries less insulin for those of us who are highly insulin sensitive? A disconnect option would be nice, too, mainly for jacuzzi-lovers. And how about a Pod you can wear longer than 3 days?
The latter is of course an FDA approval issue (all the on-body sensor products are currently restricted to 3 day wear to avoid infection). On the Pod size issue, Insulet tells me it’s a battery issue at the moment; the batteries won’t fit into a smaller unit as yet. Disconnect? Well, current design doesn’t accommodate it. But right now, I could actually care less.
I am so happy not injecting and not wearing tubing and achieving better control, that I could kiss someone. (Where is that cat?) Right now, I feel like I could never go back!