Today marks four weeks that my husband has been on an insulin pump. Four weeks out of nearly 45 years of diabetes. Wow.
I can honestly say that I wish we had had the money and the education to start this process when we first looked into it. We attended a pump information session about 10 years ago and it just didn’t work out. The counting carbs was a foreign concept to both of us. It seemed too difficult to take on that task in addition to all the regular life stuff that we had going on. Also, 10 years ago, the cost of a pump seemed prohibitive. Now, thanks to http://www.ynab.com I feel confident that we can come up with our portion of the pump cost.
We have been carb counting for the past two or three years. I remember going into a Borders book store and looking through all of the diabetes related books. I settled on “Think Like a Pancreas”. The author, Gary Schreiner, is a fellow diabetic. He was able to explain some complicated terms in ways I could understand. Two and a half years ago, our precious BONUS baby was born. My husband was 47, and he knew that he needed to start taking his health seriously if he was going to live better, just so he could be with her for as long as possible. She is a miracle. 🙂 So armed with the info in Think Like a Pancreas, we started counting carbs. Now it seems like we’ve always done it.
We have finally figured out my husband’s night time basal rates. I can not express enough what a relief it is to feel confident that his blood sugar is not dropping when we should be resting. I admit that I still check on him at night. Most diabetics and loved ones of diabetics know about the cold, clammy sweat that accompanies a sudden drop in blood sugars. So I do the sweat test. 🙂 I feel like I have won the lottery every morning when he wakes up with a blood sugar that mirrors the one he went to bed with!
We are still tweaking his day time basal rates. We tested one segment of time on Saturday. In order to test the basal rates, you have to check your blood sugar every 2 hours, and not eat for 8 – 12 hours. This is so you know that your sugars are staying in the normal range without having to consume carbs. At about 4 hours, his blood sugar dipped a bit below 80, so we stopped the test, he ate, and we adjusted his basal for that time period. Now we just need another weekend so we can test it again.
I can not express enough how much I love this pump! It has simplified the procedure for my husband. He doesn’t have to do any mental math before dosing. He doesn’t have to remember if he has insulin left in his system, because the pump tracks it for him. In fact, the other night, he tested his blood sugar and when he put it into the pump for recording purposes, it warned him that with the insulin that was still calculated in his system, and his blood sugar, he was at risk for going low. WOW! Mind blown.
We still don’t know how much we are going to owe on the pump. Insurance gave us an estimate of benefits, but we have not received a final bill yet. I am making and selling handmade necklaces and bracelets to help ease the burden of the final cost. If you are interested in seeing them, shout out!