Thursday, May 14, 2015

D-Blog Week Day 4 - Changes

Today's topic: changes.

Specifically, changes that we would like to see in the diabetes world or changes that we have been through since we were diagnosed.

Well the first thing that popped into my head when I read the topic was the change in attitude that I have experienced when it comes to insulin pumps.

Like most people, when I was first diagnosed, I started off on multiple daily injections (MDI). I had two different insulin pens (needles). One with long-acting insulin that I took in the morning and again at night. The other with fast-acting insulin that I took every time I ate something with carbs in it or when my blood sugar was high. And heaven help me if I mixed them up.

I did all of the calculations in my head (40 carbs for breakfast, 1 unit of insulin for every 8 grams of carbs = 5 units.  Plus perhaps an extra unit or two because my sugar is high. Or perhaps only 2.5 units because I'm going for a run etc etc).

When I first heard of the insulin pump, I had a visceral reaction to the very idea of it.


My mother and I were having dinner together one night and she asked me why I was so opposed to the insulin pump. She had read about them and said they sounded like a good alternative. I said that I didn't want to have something attached to me all the time. She probed a bit more and, to the surprise and horror of both of us, I started crying. Right there in the restaurant.

See, years ago I had been in a nasty car accident and had to undergo some pretty major surgery that saved my life. I had a temporary colostomy which was successfully reversed a few months later. I thought I was over the ordeal but, when pushed about the pump, I suddenly realized why my reaction to it was so visceral. Having something attached to my body, that was somehow both on the outside and on the inside at the same time, reminded me too much of that really painful, difficult time. It fell into the category of 'colostomy' and I wanted nothing to do with it.

My mother understood and didn't ask again. I went on with my MDI routine.

I had not yet discovered the Diabetes Online Community (DOC). I did not know anyone else with diabetes. I certainly did not know anyone on the pump. Still, it was hard to avoid the information and posters I would see when I went to the Diabetes Centre. It took me a few more years before I would even consider a pump but I slowly opened up to the idea.

When I heard about a pump info session in my community, I took a deep breath and went.


I tried on an infusion site. I wore it all day. I lay down on it, I put clothes over it. I bent and twisted and moved around and I realized that it was nothing like I thought it would be.

So I signed up and got a pump.

A pump that does all the insulin to carb calculations for me. And the pump actually remembers when I took my insulin and how many units I took in case I forget. And it tells me how much insulin is left in my system so I don't have to guess. And it lets me fine tune my insulin doses which makes all the sports I do much easier and safer.

It's not perfect and there are days when I curse having to be attached to something. But I don't think I would ever consider going back to MDI.

In fact I am the first person to promote insulin pumps. Anyone I talk to who is considering one gets gushing reviews from me - the girl who once cried in horror at the very thought of wearing one.


  1. You just summed up all the things I appreciate about the pump. (I still can't get myself to want to go back on and its just as well since I can't afford it right now) But you made the case for it very well and for others reading, I totally appreciate that. The fact that you are so active really sells it. You're inspiring :) It's exciting to know more and more updates will becoming to pumps in the near future, too :)

  2. Great post! I hope anyone debating getting a pump can talk to you! :)

  3. I was pretty anti-pump when I first heard about them. I did take a year-long break from it a few years ago, but for the most part, I'm very pro-pump. But in reality, I don't like pumps. I don't like shots either. That's because I don't like diabetes!!

  4. Your instinctive reaction opposing the idea is completely understandable. I'm sure you didn't want to be associated with the previous tragic accident, and I'm glad your mother quickly understood your stand against it. Of course, I'm happy that you slowly opened up to the idea of having insulin pumps, nonetheless. You're brave, strong and an inspiration to us all, Celine. Thanks for sharing that! Take care always!

    Jerry Brady @ Lambert And Williams