Pump it up!

Ah, the insulin pump!

This post is for people like me using an insulin pump. For those using injections, maybe it will help you if you are thinking about going on the pump. I have the Animas Vibe, but for those using another insulin pump, maybe they have similar functions so it can give you an idea.  I've only had this amazing machine for a year now, and like everything, it has its pros and cons. Sure you don't have to use a needle for every meal, snack or correction, but I find it personally difficult sometimes to find the perfect basal and bolus combination. However, I discovered many useful tips when using the pump and I want to share it with you.

Regarding the temporary basal rate, this option can be really helpful if you're exercising, or even when you are sick. When doing some physical activity, you can set a reduced temporary basal rate for before, during and after exercising to avoid hypos. Also, since sickness tends to bring the blood sugar level higher, you can also use this function when you get a cold for example and bring the basal rate a bit higher for a couple of hours to avoid hypers this time. I didn't mention it before but this function is also helpful when you are drinking alcohol since the effects tend to appear the next day. You can set a reduced temporary basal rate the night after having a couple of glasses to avoid hypos at night. 

For the boluses, a useful tip I can give you for this function is the combo (dual, extended)  bolus. Every person needs a personal dose of insulin so I am not here to tell you how much to take for which kind of food, I just want to let you know that when eating fatty food, such as pizza, fries, sushis, and even pasta, this function can come in handy since it gives a normal bolus delivery, and then an extended one. Why is this helpful? Because food that contains fat takes more time to have effect on the blood sugar, so the longer you have insulin in your body, the fewer the risks of having high BG levels after a meal. 

A last personal tip that can help people using an insulin pump, expect those using the Omnipod since it has no tubing, is how to sleep with it. At first, I tried to sleep with it under my pillow or next to me, but I really did not like it because the tube was always pulling hard and waking me up every time. Sometimes, I would wake up and panic for 0.3 seconds because I would think that I lost it when it was really under the covers ( how can I lose it if it's attached to me!!). After a few nights of having that much trouble, I tried to sleep with it clipped to my pj's and even though it can get in the way, I found it to be the most confortable solution, especially for those like me who sleep on their back. Just clip and sleep!  

-Judy