I remember the days of “timestamped injections” where I would take a specific dose of insulin at a specific time of day with no special considerations for what I might have been eating or doing at the time. I also remember very clearly my thoughts when I switched from that old method of diabetes management to MDI (multiple daily injections). I had been having some crazy low episodes in my early 20’s that facilitated the necessity for a change. I would get confused while driving or trying to do something, other times just wandering around completely out of it. I was found passed out on the kitchen floor one morning completely unconscious, and the one that really put me over the top was when I had a seizure from a low BG while on a roller coaster…A ROLLER COASTER!
I considered a pump at the time from MiniMed, but my own fears made me choose MDI because I was not yet ready to rely on a machine to keep me alive any sooner than I absolutely had to. Maybe I am a control freak when it comes to my diabetes, but I didn’t feel an insulin pump was as reliable as I needed it to be for my own comfort. Plus, I had no insurance, which plays a big factor in people’s ability to get a pump even today.
MDI worked for a time, and staved off some of the low episodes. But not all of them. After all, diabetes is an unpredictable beast, and even the best control can be thwarted for seemingly no reason at all. One example is when I went on a 12-mile bike ride by myself one evening, and before I could get back home I was pushing my bike down the street fighting off a low BG seizure. After getting home, getting help, and recovering from that episode, I knew that it was time for another change.
My endo at the time helped me get my first and current pump, the Animas 1250. Since having the pump, I have still had some lows, but so far not near as dramatic as before. My Animas 1250 has allowed me so much more freedom in my life with diabetes, and ability to control it, than I’ve ever had before.
Recently however, I’ve been dropping into dangerously low levels again (see my recent post Bike Ride & Motivation). Being in my early 30’s, and arguably too independent for my own good, I know that it is up to me to take care of myself. No one is going to do it for me. That is why I am very excited about my upcoming transition to the Medtronic Revel insulin pump with Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM). Once again it is time for a change, and I am ready to use technology to its full potential to help me not only manage my diabetes, but to keep me healthy, aware, and alive until it is time for the next change.
One day I hope that we willl be able to abandon these pumps and needles altogether. In the meantime, I will use technology and whatever diabetes treatments I can get my paws on to make sure I am around to see the day when we finally shut down the glucoaster thrill ride once and for all.