Sunday, February 17, 2008

It's Not A Pager

Insulin pumps rule!!! Or the flip side of that coin, diabetes sucks.

I've had Type 1, or "juvenile" diabetes for 18 years now. It's been a challenge to chase after the ever-elusive "perfect control" that doctors talk about. Personally I don't think perfect control is possible, but the pump lets in a glimmer of hope.

Type 1 means that you are stuck using insulin. There are no diets or meds that will do the job. Insulin is the only choice. Although insulin treatments have improved options over the years, with multi-injection therapies, it's been a challenge to harness all those high numbers, and get them into some semblance of control.

But now I'm one of the lucky ones.

I've had this since I was 28 years old, and have just recently started using an insulin pump. The pump delivers a steady stream of insulin through a small tube. I can program it to give more insulin at certain times of the day, or less. I can press a button to give myself more insulin at mealtime, or if I want that donut. All I have to do is enter the number of carbs, and the "wizard" in the pump figures out how much insulin to deliver, and a push of the button will start the delivery.

My meter, that measures blood glucose, will even nag me when it's time to test, and send the result to my pump. Pretty cool, if you ask me. It's not perfect, but it's better than before. I don't have to haul out my equipment at every meal, and make like a junkie with my drugs.

There are a few trade offs... in that I'm attached to the pump almost all of the time. It's hooked to my pants in a cell phone case - pretty inconspicuous really. Perhaps naively I'm thinking nobody will really notice. I'm still learning the science of better control and learning the hard way what happens if one isn't hooked up properly. And I still have to test several times a day. But it's easier... and better. I have pretty good control now, and feel a ton better.

And in the end, that's what counts.

Contributed by Jamie Naessens

No comments:

Post a Comment