When I started on the pump in April, the agreement was that I would give it at least a 3 months try-out, and if I still felt that it wasn’t a kind of diabetes management that suited me, I could go back to MDI and the nurse would keep her mouth shut about the pump for the next year or so (that was her exact saying, although I am not sure if she would be able to keep that promise if I return to MDI ;-)). When I agreed upon that, I had several reasons to finally give in to the pressure of my diabetes nurse for at least giving it a try. First of all she managed to “sell the concept” to Jimmi, who had been on my side regarding pumping until then. Second, I had – and still have – a wish to eliminate the visits of paramedics/my visits to the ER due to severe hypoglycaemic reactions, not only for my own sake but also for Jimmi’s as these episodes are tough on him too. These episodes had probably also affected his attitude towards the offer of a PhD.-position that I got from
Now the initial 3 months are long gone and I am still pumping, but also still debating the advantages and disadvantages of this therapy with myself. Within the initial 3 months I was so close on quitting several times. I felt like I was starting all over again, having to collect experience for the handling of different situation once again, and being frustrated about very low or high BGs. I managed to pull myself together, however, because I was aware of the fact that it would be impossible to give a fair evaluation of the therapy based on less than at least 3 months try-out.
Having tried the pump has changed my conception of it in some areas, but it has also confirmed others. I have no doubt in the fact that an insulin pump is actually the best mimic of a natural pancreas available for the time being. However, I also believe that things can get a lot better. A pump is not optimal in every context of life. Still, it may be the best alternative in others. This is probably also why I am still not convinced about pumping, yet certain that it definitely is the alternative of choice in some situations.
I want to become a scientist. Working as a scientist in the biotech-/biomedical fields means that your working hours are determined by the experiments and other scientific work that you have to do, and that you are likely to go abroad frequently to participate in internal conferences and meetings with collaborators. For a diabetic this offers several challenges in terms of regulation and the need to be flexible. In this regard, no doubt the pump offers most freedom. I got the pump about a month before I was off to a conference in
Why am I debating with myself about it then? One of the reasons is leisure time activities. I still find it very annoying to have to wear the pump during soccer. In general, I frequently have moments where I miss not being attached to anything. Although the pump can be disconnected, you still have the infusion site sitting around. Another thing is high readings. Though I do not have that many of them, every time they make me doubt in the function on the pump just as much as in my own actions in the hours before (did I miscalculate the carbs of my last meal, have I done anything different that may cause this, ect.). With injections there are not that many options to consider evaluating a high reading. Of course you can always doubt the absorption and general effect of the insulin, but usually it pins down a wrong assessment of dose size covering your last meal(s). With injections you can visually confirm that the insulin is going into your system by looking at the movement of the plunger move in the pen. With the pump you have no visual of where the insulin is going (I have tried having a leakage somewhere around the place where the tubing enters/connect with the site once, noticing it by an unexplainable high reading and a very wet site patch when I started a correction bolus).
I guess that what it all comes down to me not being totally comfortable with and trusting in the pump yet, despite the fact that I recognise the advantages of it. That is probably why I find it so difficult to evaluate. So far the list of disadvantages with the pump is longer than that of the advantages, but some of the advantages are compelling, so at the moment I guess it is more like a tie that may tip to either side.