Still Adjusting to Pump

My daughter has been using her insulin pump for about a month. We have been battling lots of highs and lows while we try to adjust her basil rate and I:C ratio. I finally got frustrated enough to “start over” using one rate all day like we did in the beginning. We were told that starting a pump would almost feel like being diagnosed all over again and I have shed enough tears lately that I do feel that way. I can’t even remember a day in the last few weeks that she hasn’t told me at some point that she didn’t feel good. I feel like I’m failing with this pump. I’m just curious how long it usually takes to get all of the different basil rates fine tuned.

Hi there, after 30 years of being insulin dependent I went onto a pump about 5 months ago, I feel your pain. I took two weeks off work to try to get levels correct and tested every two hours during that time and all went very well. However as soon as I went back to my crazy busy life the highs and lows went to all extremes for no reason. A few things helped me. I don’t use the suspend option but when I am going to be physical for the next few hours I test and if levels are good I will take the pump off and keep testing hourly during that time and only put it back on either if levels are creeping up or I finish being as active, this has worked better than allowing my levels to drop too low then panic eat and have fluctuations for the next 24-48 hours. Try it, but please persevere with the pump, only make really minimal changes to the basal and wait about a week before you change it again. Your better to correct the highs with additional corrections rather than deal with the miserable lows, in the short term anyway as it will make her extremely miserable and moody. Please reply to this post I would be happy to help as it can be very lonely when the fabulous pump doesn’t work, I too have shed many tears during the initial months

one year. and btw, I am a fully grown man with what I would consider a static metabolism. there wasn’t 2 days in a row where I didn’t want to fling my pump out a window. My “doctor” was so conservative, I was high for a solid month before I took matters into my own hands. I also made a commitment to master the pump and use it for a year before making a new choice.

my advice is to stick with it, because once the basal rates are close, I have found pumping to be the best thing for me. The guiding book on how to tune a pump is “Pumping Insulin” by John Walsh and Ruth Roberts.

my other advice, some people have trouble with the plastic cannula type infusion sets. depending on the infusion set site, part of the problem could be bad absorption. other problems include issues around changing a set (I can be high for hours if I change a set and get a histamine reaction at the site), and all the random things like exercise, growing, colds, and mixed carb meals. Take another look at the high blood sugar protocols and don’t be afraid to use a backup-system like a shot.

good luck, I hope you have the support you need, sometimes changing CDE or getting a different pump trainer works too.

I’ve been pumping for about 12 years now. I can vouch that it was just like starting over! The first few months were rough, and there are still periods where I can’t quite figure out what’s going on. But nobody’s going to take that thing away from me…I love it! Can’t imagine going back to shots. One thing I had to buckle down on was accurately computing carbs. If you look up the words “carb counting eyeballing” on the internet you can find some visuals that make it easier, such as 1 cup is about the size of a baseball. Another thing is fatty meals (e.g. pizza or deep-fried anything), because those take longer for the carbs to absorb and can really stretch out high BG’s for a long time. The Dual Wave setting on the pump is designed to handle that, but you have to experiment.

Have you done basal checks, where your daughter fasts for 6 or so hours at a time and you check and record BG’s every hour? Start with that first, then you can fine-tune the bolus ratio settings once the basal is set up well. Keep in mind that people feel “off” at different times of day for all kinds of reasons that are not BG-related. So check her BG and if it’s fine, then it’s something else.