Tag Archives: pump

It’s Like Riding a Pump

Errr… bike?

Have you ever switched back to your old pump?  For various reasons, well one really (I ran out of supplies waiting for the New Year), I decided to go back to my trusty Medtronic Paradigm 722.

I haven’t worn Gidget since… October of 2013?  And I have to tell you, going back was amazing.  I thought I might have trouble priming.  Figuring out how to insert the infusion set.  Or change the old basal rates to my current ones.  Nope.  I did it all at 6am, groggy with sleep, no coffee.   When I finally got up for the day around 8, Gidget was chugging, or clicking away, and my sugars were around 110.  What, what!?

I thought it would be a roller coaster of trial and error trying to figure out what I did wrong.  Did the insulin make it through the tubing?  Did I bend the cannula?  Is my carb ratio still the same?  After years of being turned off will all of the settings still be in there?  All was there, all worked out in my favor.  Neither one of us forgot.  It was like riding a bike.

So fret not my fellow pumpers.  The day when you need a backup pump that you haven’t used in years, it will be waiting for you, ready to jump into action.

Do You Feel Like a Machine?

The other day I treated myself to a massage.  They don’t happen often and I never really plan on where my pump and cgm will be placed before going.  This time my cgm was on my upper left thigh and my pump on my right flank?  Something like that.  When I talked to the therapist before we started I mentioned to take note of my cgm and work around it as best as possible.  Then when we got started I also mentioned my infusion site.  She asked if that was my pump, then what was on my leg.  Explaining the devices and what they did she said, “Oh, do you feel like a machine?”

Yes.  Yes I do.  That, or a robot.  Or a Cylon.  Hence my blog title.  But it’s a wonder why people ask questions like that in the first place.  When they see someone in a wheelchair do they ask, “Do you feel like a car?”  Or someone with a prosthetic leg, “Do you feel like a pirate?”  But more than anything, shouldn’t I feel like a human?  I’m not bothered by people who take interest, ask questions, and want to better themselves and learn more, but you can do that without asking questions like, “Do you feel like a machine?”

On a side note though, just a few days ago I posted a Tweet about my pump.  “Some days I am amazed I live off of a machine.”

And I am.  I find it incredible that I’m attached to a fairly small piece of equipment that can deliver tiny amounts of insulin and keep me alive.  I know shots can do the same thing but technically, if I didn’t eat (and everything went my way), this machine wouldn’t need me to do anything for at least three days.  Sometimes it hits me how far we’ve come since diabetes was labeled? Discovered?  Named?  And I am in awe of how I am able to live a “normal” life,

So while I don’t want to feel like a machine all the time, or have people point it out to me (especially when I’m trying to relax,) I am part machine. And doggone-it, people like me. 

The 3rd Boob

I love dresses.  I own more than 75 dresses.  I could wear a dress every day.  What I hate is my pump.  Well not my pump necessarily, but my pump in a dress.  (And now all I can think of is dressing my pump in a little dress.  Tee hee so cute)

I’ve sewn hidden pockets.  I’ve cut hole to snake tubing through in dresses.  I’ve worn spanx even though I don’t need them to keep my pump snug against me. I’ve worn the leg garter.  I’ve tucked it into the side of my bra.  I’ve clipped it to the back of a zipper and hope my hair would cover it.  I’ve literally had my underwear fall down because my pump was too heavy and took the whole kit and kaboodle with it.

The one thing I have not been able to do… wear the pump in the middle of my bra.  Ladies, you know the place.  Right there in between your boobs.  I wish I could.  People keep telling me to put it there but I am not well endowed enough to cover the pump’s bulginess.  Yes, that is a word (in my own personal dictionary).  Unless I wear the Carri dress where she was HIDING her pregnancy .  I might be able to hide it in a dress like that but rarely does that dress come along AND look good.  When I try to put my pump in the middle, it just looks like I have a third boob, in the shape of a squarish rectangle.   Not pretty.

This summer I’m in a wedding and I’m trying to figure out where I can place my pump this time.  It’s fairly flowy towards the bottom so I may have to endure Spanx in 90+ degree heat in August to keep it on me.  Pockets are not an option and I’m hopefully not wearing a strapless bra (those suck).  Guess once it comes in I’ll figure something out.  Otherwise, I might just have a third boob.

Prepare for the worst

3… 2… 1…

Kittens, kittens, kittens.

Hold your breath.

What do you do before you squeeze the buttons allowing your pump infusion set to inject itself into your body?  Or feel the sting of the needle being pushed into your thigh when replacing your cgm sensor?  Or back in the good ol’ days I would use my BD Inject-Ease automatic injector and carefully load my syringe before plunging it into my stomach.

When I first made my way into the CGM world I tried out Medtronic and that one HARPOONS you.  I use to count to three and then pull it away.  It would take me easily two to three times before I finally “pulled the trigger”.  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReZX7rLi5D8   Watch at two minutes in and you’ll see some major harpooning.)

I now use a Dexcom g4 and it works like a charm.  Love it.  Sometimes there is a little pain but this morning as I pushed the needle into my upper thigh I was pleasantly surprised.  Didn’t sting.  Didn’t bleed.  Didn’t anything.  I didn’t feel a darn thing.  I taped it up, started the sensor, and was on my way.

Some days you prepare for the worst… out of habit, out of fear, out of previous experiences.  But when things go smoothly… do a little dance of victory.




Most nights when Roxy (my CGM) goes off I feel like Elaine from Seinfeld except you replace the word dog with Dexcom.

But waking up this morning something was different. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then it came to me. I slept through the ENTIRE night! I didn’t wake up to any Dexcom buzzings or beepings. My pump didn’t get tangled around my waist or get snagged by my puppy’s paw. I had a diabetes free (well as close as that statement can get) night of sleep. And it was amazing.

Pink is Not the New Black

So I have an Animas Ping and it came with a pink rubber protector thingy.  I use it because I (aka door knobs and frames, counters and other random items) can be a bit rough on my pump.  The pump itself is silver and usually when it is in its bare form no one really takes notice of it except my boss who calls it my GoPro Pump.  But when I have the pink rubber case on it, it sticks out like a sore thumb.  Pink, is definitely not the new black.  I wear a nice outfit, that for once in my life is put together, and there peeking out below my shirt is something that resembles a dirty item one would buy at an adult only store.  It’s embarrassing.   So now every day I get dressed I think to myself, do I wear my pump so it looks like a sex toy… or do I bang it up and leave it with a few battle scars?  Ahh decision, decisions.

FYI: Orange is the New Black is an excellent book and great TV show as well.  I recommend reading and watching both.