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Sunday, 2 March 2014

Hanging up my Line

Normally, if you asked me, my pump is my life-line. I couldn't live with out it. For me, getting my pump was the turning point of my diagnosis, when I knew I could do this - live with diabetes - and live well, for the rest of my life.

Recently I have taken a HUGE disliking to wearing my pump. I know the benefits of my pump far outweigh the cons - where the only con I perceive is that I am attached. But right now, its bugging me. Alot. Just being attached. I need to detach myself. For a little while, I want to feel more free...I want my skin to be completely naked. I want to run my hands over my body and not stop at the jarring clear cannula, I want shirts to glide over my body and I want to wear clothes that cling and don't show the tell-tale cannula bump. I want to get dressed in the morning without the routine clothes-shuffle around my line and decision on where to stick my pump today. 

I have no idea what brought this on. Maybe I just need a change in my routine. Maybe I've finally cracked it. Most likely the second option - the last time I was on MDI people had to dodge flying needles when I threw 'I-Hate-Needles' tantrums. Which happened at least twice daily.

 Unfortunately, just upping and changing back to MDI isn't something I know how to do or can do. I need to see my educator because - this is terrible - I have forgotten how to do a needle. I know there's some pinch up of skin maybe, and a certain angle you're supposed to inject in? I also have no clue how many units of long-acting to take and when. Which presents a further problem of cajoling my diabetes care into supporting my venture back into the dark-ages of MDI. Which I can almost fully presume they will not be on-board with. Basically, I'm the poster child for pumps; I advocate pumps to young and to old. My care team will probably vehemently remind me there is no way I can match my current BGL control whilst on MDI.

But you know what? I don't care if I don't have tight control. I know a pump break for me will last as long as a well-loved pair of cheap K-Mart flats. (basically, not long).

And I guess that's the thing - It's my diabetes. No matter what my care team think about my decision, I will get my pump break. The person with diabetes, their needs should always be considered first. They need a break, let them have a break. They want a pump? Let them have a pump. 

The challenge for me now is to find a way to get past my extreme fear of needles long enough to actually disconnect my pump and do my first shot of long-acting. I was thinking I could actually wean myself into the pump break by doing long-acting shots but keeping my canula in and doing bolus via my pump.

Any readers out there have any suggestions for a pump holiday? Or on getting over needle phobias?


  1. I am not a pumper mainly because I have been advised that a pump would not work for me because of my extreme and varied reactions to insulin. I use a pen for Levemir and a needle for NovoRapid so I can not get bolus and basal insulins mixed up.
    I have changed my Levemir pen needle from 8mm to 5mm and will try 4mm pen needles next. I am a person who does not change the needle on a pen unless there is a problem with it. A pen needle for Levemir may last from 4 days to 10 days depending what type of work I am doing. After 20 shots the needle is getting very blunt but I use this to my advantage. I get very few bruises or bleeds from my injection sites because I test the site first before injecting. I touch the needle to the needle site and if there is any pain I move the site by 5mm and inject where there is no pain. If there is a burning sensation when I am pushing the needle in, I withdraw the needle and try another site. If the needle is new, it goes in too readily and I will inject very slowly if there is pain.
    I have only being injecting for 5 years but have had no injection site problems except for the occasional bruise and very rare bleed. On a bad day I can have up to 12 needles (mainly NovoRapid corrections) and still have no lumps because of injections. Like all needle uses, I rotate sites and avoid areas where I have problems.
    Contact your Endo (you are in the right place) and DE. Needles do not worry me but insulin is the devil I have to dance with.
    All the best with your needle phobia.

    1. Thanks for the tips! I was only on pens for 3 months or so before i got my pump and I never bothered to learn any tricks of the trade. I like the idea of testing the site 1st - I will give it a go. I used the 4mm needles when I was on them and will probably go back to these because being shorter they look less scary. Have an appointment with my DE coming up to get it all sorted so I can disconnect for a while.