Monday, 27 February 2017

Insulin Pump Therapy And Me - Week 1

About two weeks ago, by the time you're reading this, I started insulin pump therapy. Below are notes that I made at the time, when I was aiming to do bi-weekly posts, but it turns out starting on a pump takes a fair share of my energy. Take a read of my mutterings.

5th February, 2017 - The Night Before The Big Day

I feel like I have a great deal of pressure on my shoulders, and the reality that this new treatment may not suit me is all to apparent in my mind. 'What if it's not been worth it? What if I hate it? What if I've wasted everyone's time?' seems to be circulating my mind. A cycle of self doubt, if you will. There is so much uncertainty and I'm not one for gambling, especially when it comes to my life in my hands. These worries have no evidence, just irrational and out of proportion. I guess it's the devil on my shoulder.
I've had a quiet day, ironically with it being my last day on injections, my blood sugars have been perfect, no highs or lows. What I like to think of as 'the calm before the storm'. I opted for a lower carb dinner in hopes for a stable overnight.
Early bedtime, I want to be rested for tomorrow.
I feel calm.
Oddly so.

6th February  - The Big Day

I cried because for the first time in my life, I felt genuinely well and capable and healthy..❞

I wake early, tired, but treat a hypo and drag myself out of bed. I shower, run my hand over my stomach and thought this is it, this is the last time I'll do this without a cannula attached to me for a while. I feel an ache of sadness, but only for a second. I am sure this is what I want to do, however many times I've tried to talk myself out of it. I finish getting ready and grab a banana for breakfast whilst taking my last injection. Before I have time to doubt myself further, Mum and I are out the door and on our way to the hospital.

The beautiful sunrise on my way to the hospital
Whilst on our way, Mum kept asking if I was excited, and was looking at my face for some kind of physical reaction. It doesn't feel real and it won't until I can see everything with my own eyes. On our walk to the hospital we walked to a hill that overlooks the city. I've always had a thing for sunrises/sets, so seeing this beautiful mix of blue, purple and orange seemed pretty poignant. It was a new day, a new dawn and I'm feeling...well, anxious.

We arrived at clinic, where I met the other lady starting pump with me (S I'm not sure you wanted to be named, forgive me!), we filled in lots of paperwork, made some small talk, and off we went. The next 4 hours are a bit hazy in my memory if I'm honest, so much information.

By 11am, I had inserted my first cannula, primed my first infusion set, navigated my way around the insulin pump and was officially.. pumping insulin! Off I went on my merry way, trying to soak every snippet of advice like a sponge. For the rest of the day my body was running solely on endorphin's and insulin. I felt so good, every emotion I felt over the past year suddenly became worth it.

God bless the NHS
Mum and I went to a local pub for lunch, where I took my first 'big' bolus dose, the amount of trust you have to put in this small box is absolutely insane, and something that will take a bit of getting used to. We then walked home, my bloods behaving beautifully. I sat down for a grand total of an hour, and spent my evening with my sister, her best-friend and my girlfriend, a celebratory drink was had, and I learnt how to handle alcohol on an insulin pump. Okay, I lied, it didn't go that smoothly, but I kept myself safe and that is all that matters!
I ended the night with an albeit not entirely sober cry, it had been an emotional day and I was so tired. 

Image result for and so the adventure begins

And so the adventure begins, the next few days were glorious, I was the picture of health and boy did it feel good.
My blood glucose levels were perfectly in range as I still had basal insulin in my system. I cried because for the first time in my life, I felt genuinely well and capable and healthy. As opposed to being exhausted and anxious about my blood glucose levels all the time. That feeling I felt on those initial days is my driving force.

Over the next few months I will be fine-tuning my rates, factors and ratios in hopes to re-gain control of my bloods. I've had a fair few wobbles, and my bloods are running extremely high whilst I work with my nurses and consultants to get things right, but I am okay. I am excited for where this journey will take me, and how good I will feel as a result of my hard work and resilience.

My insulin pump and I, a work in progress

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