Six days is the magic number. That's how I know I'm doing ok and taking good care of myself.
Some people know that they're doing well when they get enough sleep and feel rested. Other people know when they drink enough water and feel hydrated. Or when the don't get sick. I know I'm doing well when it's six days between insertion site changes.
When I first got my pump, I would change my site every three days (dutifully) because that's what I was told to do. Then I clued in that I still had a day's worth of insulin left in the pump. Changing my pump site before the insulin ran out seemed wasteful so I pushed it to four days. That's where I stayed for the first two years. Four days. Sometimes four and a half. The odd time, I would last five days.
During the last 6 months or so, I noticed that I was lasting longer and longer before I ran out of insulin. That was also the same time that I was losing weight. Ten pounds down - I figured my body just required less insulin - which is at least partly true. But really? Ten pounds = two extra days between site changes?
Last fall I went from four to six days before I my pump ran dry. That's a huge jump in terms of insulin use. I have been consistently lasting six days for months now. I'm talking six days right down to the hour. I change it in the morning before I go to work. If I change the site on a Monday morning, I can bet $$ that I'll change it on a Sunday morning the next week. Then a Saturday morning the next. Clockwork.
During these last few months, not only have I maintained my weight loss but I've also kept to a pretty predictable schedule in terms of eating and exercise.
Last week, for the first time in a while, I only lasted five days. One day less means that I used a heck of a lot more insulin. That means that a) I was eating a whole lot more food, b) I was eating a lot of high carb foods (desserts etc) or c) I had a lot of high blood sugars that needed insulin to come back down. None of those options are good in my books.
This week, I lasted 6 1/2 days. I can also confirm that I ate well, at consistent times and consistent amounts. I can confirm that I didn't have too many highs and (other than one crazy day post-period) I didn't have too many lows either (which often lead to rebound highs which require more insulin).
Even though I may feel my best when I eat well, get to bed at a decent time and exercise regularly, the best proof I have that I'm taking good care of myself is when I last six days between pump changes.