The first question people ask me when they find out that I went from wearing an insulin pump to using multiple daily injections is why?
However, I have a hard time answering this question because it isn’t really the right question to ask. It’s not so much “Why did you stop pumping?” so much as “Why did you continue using injections?”
The reason I started taking injections, quite simply, is because my insulin pump broke. At a wedding at the end of March 2012, my insulin pump threw a hissy fit in the middle of the reception. Calling Medtronic’s customer service from the reception hall’s parking lot was not my idea of a celebratory occasion. They were prompt in saying they’d send one out and I’d be back in the game in no time. My brother-in-law is a physician and he kindly wrote me a script for Lantus (I had Humalog with me) and syringes and we drove to the nearest Walgreens to fill the order so I could, you know, not die from all the food I’d just consumed.
And it just sort of stayed that way.
At first, it was just going to be a week long “break.” Then I thought maybe I’d just use up the whole bottle. Then I thought maybe I’d go a little longer and somehow ended up with four bottle of Lantus. So then I thought I’d just use up those four, and by the time that happened, I was kind of digging the whole no insulin pump life.
One thing I noticed right away was that my control was not significantly hampered by being on shots. It didn’t really help, either, but it didn’t hurt. I was already in a pretty stinky pattern of diabetes management, and injections pretty much kept the status quo.
It wasn’t until January that I really fell hard into the Must Get Control Now phase of life. With a new Paleo diet experiment and newfound fitness comittments, I dropped a full percentage in four months. Of course, it wasn’t perfect. One month was nothing but highs, while the other month was nothing but lows. Even though my diabetes management looked good on paper, it wasn’t that amazing.
I enjoy not having to wear an insulin pump. I enjoy getting dressed and not having anything — not even a pod! — on my body. I like that I look like Allison, and not Allison with diabetes. I don’t find that it was very difficult to manage injections and last fall I discovered RapidCalc, a bolus wizard calculator app for my iPhone, which I think really sealed the deal on staying on shots for the long haul.
On shots, I take Lantus twice a day. I find that my timing of taking Lantus can vary wildly (I believe the technical term is “laziness”), and so having the buffer of the previous shot really helps catch any gaps in coverage. Even when I was perfectly timed in taking shots, I always noticed that by the time 24 hours was up, my blood sugar was climbing. I use syringes, because I find them easier to manage. I didn’t have anyone help me figure out my doses. I’ve always been pretty independent, which is perhaps ironic considering I want to be a CDE. I split my 24 hour basal dose in half to start with, half in the morning and half at night.
There was a lot of tweaking.
But life on shots might be coming to an end sooner than I thought… and I’ll have more on that next week. Happy Friday!