Today I finally got my very first insulin pump!
I say finally… I’ve actually only been waiting just over 3 months. A tiny fraction of the time some people here in the UK have had, or are having to wait, to start their Insulin Pump Therapy. Some spend years on the waiting list! I can only assume that it varies from Health Board to Health Board, due to funding etc…
So the last time I posted about my Pump Therapy journey, I had just attended an Insulin Pump Showcase, a kind of informal open evening explaining how this new method of treatment could benefit us Diabetics, how it works and the training involved. A chance to check out some pumps, press the buttons (I love pressing buttons!) and ask questions. I left the showcase feeling positive and contacted my DSN the very next day to confirm I wanted to go ahead. You can catch up here if you missed my last post!
I had, what seemed like, a very long, anxious 5 week wait to hear when I’d be starting my training! My first bout of training was the Pre-Pump Education Training Session, taken place in two 3 hour blocks over a fortnightly period and led by our DSN and our Dietician. The Pre-Pump Training was more or less a carb refresher course. As I’d already attended a DAFNE course back in December, it was all still fresh in my mind. Again, we had the chance to ask any questions about pump use. I was quite surprised to find that out of the 12-15 people who attended the initial showcase, only 5 of us decided to go ahead!
As well as the carb refresher, we had another chance to have a little fiddle with our future life saver, an Animas Vibe, and we were asked to choose our favourite colour. For me, it was a close call between the pink and the lime green, but I finally settled on the green!
So, as I mentioned a little earlier, today is the day I finally got my insulin pump! Today was part one of two 3 hour training sessions. All 5 of us returned to meet once again with our DSN, our Dietician and this time, our Animas Rep. Today’s session was all about walking us through the pump, step by step, and how to set it all up and attach it to our body. The whole procedure initially seems like it’s going to take forever, but I’m sure as I get used to doing it, it’ll take me a lot less time.
My main worry about the training session was, being male dominated, I’d have to whip out my belly in front of everyone. I needn’t have worried, my DSN took me into another room and helped me insert my first cannula. I was worried it would hurt, but I was pleasantly surprised to feel a tiny prick, kinda like a finger prick test, or if you’re a Freestyle Libre user, it’s that very same feeling. It took a few minutes to feel comfortable sitting forward as I kept thinking I’d somehow yank the cannula out, but I soon got used to it.
We left the training session with a gazillion supplies, as every Diabetic is more than likely used to (Diabetes appointments are a bit like Christmas!), plenty of supplies to allow us to spend the next week practising using the pump and fitting the cannula. The best thing about this coming week is that we haven’t been sent off with bottles of insulin and told to get on with it, instead we’ve been supplied with Saline solution, giving us the chance to practise and perfecting without mucking it up and then panicking that we’re not getting insulin… We are still giving our insulin injections for the time being.
Im looking forward to seeing what this next week brings, so many thoughts running through my head… How will I cope with this new system & manage my time, whether or not I’ll get the hang of it, will it annoy me, how will I wear it… So many questions, but I’m determined not to give up! I’ll be relying lots on the Diabetic Community via Social Media for sure!