It occurred to me today that I’ve only ever physically met two other people who wear an insulin pump! The first was a young man who was visiting Byron Bay and who showed me how his pump operated, not long before I got mine. His demo was a great experience for me. The second person was my Animas pump-start rep.
Now that I’ve moved to a more populated area, I’m hoping I’ll meet more pump users. While the Diabetes online community (DOC) is teaming with pump users, and I’ve come to know many of them over the past couple of years, talking face-to-face with others seems to be quite a different experience.
I was a bit worried about getting a new Diabetes Educator up here. I’ve known about one DE who is in private practice in this area. I wasn’t sure I could afford appointments with her, but since I’ve made further enquiries, it seems I can. I’m really excited to be seeing Deb Foskett from Insulin Pump Angels. She not only comes highly recommended but has won awards as a DE. I’m not sure when I’ll be seeing her yet, because I need to get some referrals from my family dcotor, but I’m hoping it will be soon.
So that’s one worry about being in a new area, organised and solved!
I’ve also had an endo recommended to me, so I’ll give him a go too. Apparently appointments take a while. No problem – I’m not so eager to see an endo right now.
Being up here has played some havoc with my diabetes. I have no idea why. I’ve had to increase my basal by a quarter of a unit for about three quarters of the day! Yet, I seem to be more active here! I’m still going to have to tweak the basal a tad. It’s not quite right yet.
I’ve been in the pool nearly every day, and I’m still working out how to avoid higher BGs when I get out, despite exercising in the pool. I must say that with all my aches and pains, I’m feeling ever so comfortable swimming and floating around weightless and cool. It’s hot here – so far, not as hot as it can get, but hot enough. (Read: too hot for me.) The pool is a godsend!
The winters here, like Byron Bay, will be glorious! Few more months before that though.
Annoyingly, I’m getting raised BGs after some very low-to-moderate exercise in the pool. Really, there’s hardly any effort at all in 30 minutes of swimming, floating and walking in the pool.
What usually happens to me is that the first lot of increased activity for the day raises my BG and the second lot (if there is one) lowers it.
I’ve not yet experienced this amount of swimming on a pump, so it’s an experiment in itself to see how I’m going to manage it. So far, I’ve only been in the pool once per day. It’s such a hassle to peel off that miracle suit (which doesn’t work because I still look like a beached whale), shower the salt water off (yes, it’s a salt water pool) and then wait for the swimsuit to dry again before wriggling and struggling my way back into it. A second swim will have to wait for a second swimsuit! Those suits are hard enough to get on when they’re the right size. I think mine is one size too small! Maybe time for two new ones?
I’ve tried eating a small amount of carb before I get in the pool, taking a bolus and then taking my pump off for the 30 minutes. It didn’t work so well. I’ve tried doing nothing. That didn’t work well either. Next experiment is just a small bolus without any carb. Two hours after swimming, I’m still not going any lower and I always have to bolus.
I’ve only just ordered replacement parts for my Animas that will ensure it is waterproof. They should arrive in the next couple of days, so I’m not worried about managing all this without the pump on for the swim-time. I will pay closer attention when I get the parts and I can wear the pump while swimming. That will mean no break in basal insulin and I’ll get a better idea of what my BGs are doing both in the pool and a couple of hours later.
I haven’t gone anywhere near the gym yet (which is right next to the pool). I’m hot and sweaty enough and that gym looks like pure torture! I’ll leave the gym to the cooler days/months.
A change in lifestyle often means a change in insulin regimes and a learning curve to figure out what’s right. That’s on top of seasonal changes in insulin needs. I’m hoping that Deb (the new DE) can give me some help as well.