ANYWAY, I have realized recently that there are some people who are interested, possibly curious, about my life with diabetes. And that, I don't mind sharing. I have lived in my new location for just about a year and many of the people I now associate with, my friends, don't know a whole lot about diabetes like some of my friends whom I've been associated with longer have already learned from me about my condition. So, for their benefit I've been posting little snippets on my Instagram and Facebook. When the reaction is positive, I tend to be more willing to share more... a little.
SO... Here's what I've recently shared. It's nothing new. It's stuff people who wear insulin pumps already know, but for some of my new friends, they were fascinated. They had no idea I could chose where I want to put my site, that I could move it every three days, and that I could wear my pump in any place I want to. I wear my insulin pump on the belt clip and apparently in the same location on my waistband that one of my friends thought it was permanently in that spot at about four o'clock on my belt.
Without further ado, I give you the process of changing out the insulin pump set in a step by step post.
Going from right to left, top to bottom here are the steps of changing out my site- or my pump.
1. (not pictured) I rewind my pump, remove my old site and throw away the tubing, reservoir, and infusion set.
2. (top left) fill the reservoir with enough insulin for three days (300mL for me)
3. (top middle) attach the reservoir to the tubing (the little blue thing that's on top of the insulin vial in photo 1 is thrown away
4. (top right) I insert the full reservoir (now attached to the tubing) into the pump... I should have taken a different photo.
5. (bottom left) Fill or prime the tubing by holding down the ACT button. In this photo you can see 2.6 units being primed into the tubing. I hold that down until it reaches about 14 units and then I see drops coming out of the needle and no air bubbles in my tubing. Sometimes it takes more units and sometimes it takes less. I like the longer tubing ( I think it is 42 centimeters long or something) so it takes a few more units of insulin than the shorter tubing but that length just works better for me.
6. at this point I attach the insulin pump- see next photo
8. my arm, hip, or stomach (let's be honest, I NEVER use tummy sites- bad experience)
9. I pull the needle (blue piece and attached metal needle) out and the plastic cannula 6mm long stays inside of my body for the next three days.
Just as a bonus here's a BRIEF explanation on how pumping insulin works.
I use fast acting insulin only mine is called Humalog but there are a few other brands and names. I have programmed my pump with the help of my doctors and logging my blood sugars to meet the needs of my body without food or exercise throughout the day. This type of insulin delivery is called BASAL insulin. It is like my baseline. So hypothetically if I am fasting all day long this is the amount of insulin I need throughout the day and night.
The second way I give insulin is through BOLUSING or a BOLUS. I give a bolus of one unit of insulin for every gram of carbohydrate I eat. So, if I eat a meal of 30g. of carbohydrates I need a bolus of 4.2 units.
To take it a step further, my pump and my glucometer (blood tester) communicate with each other wirelessly (blue tooth) so at a meal time I will test my blood sugar and the value gets beamed to my pump. Then I count the carbs in my meal and enter my bolus. If my blood sugar is high I need one unit of insulin for every 25 points over 100 mg/dl that my sugar is. So... if I were eating a meal of 30 carbs and my blood sugar was 125 I would need 5.2 units instead of 4.2.
Conversley, if my blood sugar is low then I need a little less insulin. So if I tested and my blood sugar were like, 65 then I would take about 2.2 units instead of 4.2.
Wow! It's a good thing I know how to do a little math! But don't worry because really my insulin pump has all of my own calculations entered and it really does all of the math for me! ;) Maybe I'll do some screen captures and photographs of insulin deliver for my next series of Instagram photos.
PS: If you're still way down here reading this entire post you can look up on this blog for my tag "a day in the life" and see the series of posts I did back in 2007 for a more comprehensive look at my daily diabetes routine. Not much has changed even though it's been 7 years, diabetically speaking.