Elsie and I, Day #9

My going live date for my insulin pump was 17th February 2014. so today is day #9 by my reckoning – if I finish writing this post before midnight.

After a few days I decided to name my pump Elsie. I quickly got the feeling she, as I’ve decided, was a bit like a gently prodding, well meaning Granny. Reminding me to do stuff quietly and generally keeping an eye on me…

So far it’s been good. Good, but not great. This is to be expected. I’ve also dropped the ball a little.  I had a weekend away walking and indulging myself and my other half as our Christmas present to ourselves this (last) year.

The first five days were pretty hard going. With lots of overnight testing of my blood glucose. The diabetes isn’t a new thing, and I’ve had years of getting to know what happens with my slightly dysfunctional body. I know, for example, that first thing in the morning my liver is likely to go into overdrive, dumping glucose stores into my bloodstream, making me feel like I’ve been awake for days in the Sahara desert – parched and exhausted – usually as irritable as an old rabid sloth with a wasp in his ear.

This dawn phenomenon isn’t unique to me, or indeed other people with diabetes. It’s a natural response to help us get up and going for the day but for me it’s aways been a thing – take enough long acting insulin to cover it and I’m fine through the day but overnight I’m dangerously low and have been known to take hypo related seizures. Sort out the low blood sugars overnight and I feel awful first thing in the morning. Vicious circles here we come.

After 4-5 sleepless nights with me (almost) managing to test 3 hourly overnight and a couple of days of fasting the standard basal rate is almost there.  It’ll no doubt need some tweaking but it seems not too bad already.

I’m slowly starting to trust Elsie, I’ve had years of anxiety about night hypos and getting there with the basal has been one of the biggest thing for me so far. As a shift worker I’ll need to sort out patterns too, but I reckon this will be a fairly straightforward shift of the whole day by a few hours as it was with my MDI regime.  I’ve got that to look forward to over the next wee while.  I would often joke that my default state was tired and hungry. Always exhausted, particularly in the mornings and constantly hungry – all day, every day. The hunger has gone. I still don’t quite believe it and I have far more energy too.

I’ve been known to witter on a bit, so I’m going to finsh here with a few points:

  • Biggest leap of faith – switching off the automatic shut off overnight.
  • Biggest inconvenience – infusion set packing in through the night.
  • Biggest positive – feeling far better than I could have imagined after only a few days, not being hungry and no overnight hypos (yet).

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