Today I woke up for the first time with a stranger in my bed. I don’t mean a person, but my newest friend for life, my pump.
Yesterday I finally got connected, to the Minimed Paradigm 522. After a day long training session I was finally sent home with an incredibly positive feeling. This “thing” attached to me feel a bit odd, but I was convinced great things were about to happen.
The training included all the basics of pumping, from loading the battery to changing your set. We started by calculating all our settings based on my total daily dose (TDD) and using some rules to estimate starting values. While these rules are amazing, it was also funny to see when the rules don;t quire work, like in my carb ratio, where the rule wanted me to almost double the ratio I used on MDI (no way that was going to work, so we manually adjusted to a more reasonable number) . We programmed a single flat basal rate, which is probably a good starting point, as well as single insulin sensitivity factor, and single carb ratio.
After setting up the rest of the menus, it was time to put some insulin in the pump, and more importantly, to put in my first infusion set. I must admit that I hate needles , and this part of the process was making me particularly nervous. In addition to that, I started using the Medtronic Quickset, which uses the Quickserter, a spring loaded device that shoots the needle into you… really scary stuff… To my surprise though, I didn’t feel a thing. The automatic insertion was so quick that by the time I looked it was all over. I’m very happy about the insertion process… it turned out to be not that scary after all.
The next concern in my list was sleep. How do you sleep with this thing… I couldn’t imagine how it would be. For the first night, I decided to leave the pump on its holster, and just clip it to my boxers. I chose to put it in the front so at least I could move around and sleep on my back or either side. My body of course had other plans and I tossed and turned like usual. Again, to my surprise, the pump was like it wasn’t there. I even woke up for my 2am blood test and realized that I was sleeping over the pump and could not even feel it. Again, in my case, sleeping proved to be another misplaced apprehension that had no reason to be.
After a day I have virtually eliminated most of the concerns I had about going on the pump, and I can not wait to see the real benefits of this incredible technology. Stay tuned…