Sunday, 5 January 2014

Switching back to injections

On June 14th 2011 I was given my purple insulin pump- which I named Maurice.
In December 2013, I decided to switch back from my insulin pump to injections.

When I tell someone this, the first question they always ask is simply "Why?"
I gave up my insulin pump because I realised something this year, that I relied on it too much. That probably sounds peculiar because people think; but that is it's job? It's there for you to use and rely on. But when I say I relied on it too much I literally just relied on the basal insulin. I feel like maybe it made me too "lazy" in terms of diabetes. Looking back I think I just thought "oh well the basal is there it shouldn't hurt to miss a bolus..." then it became a vicious circle and I dropped out of a routine, bolusing for food just wasn't something I naturally did any more, it all became sort of alien to me.

This whole year my Hba1c has varied from 11-12%. I am sick and tired of seeing such a high number; I just want to be a "good" diabetic and see a perfect Hba1c, my consultant suggested a pump holiday- so that is what I did. In early December I got out my pen and notepad, brought up the settings on my insulin pump and wrote it all down, then I taught myself how to do a correction dose again, how to give insulin for meals and how to work out my basal insulin all on an injection pen. Then I took off my insulin pump and haven't put it back on in just over a month- and if I'm honest, I haven't felt more in control.

Right now, I just feel as though there is something about using insulin pens again that I like. I, personally feel more freedom with out my insulin pump on. The small things like simply getting dressed are slightly easier now because I don't have to figure out where to balance my pump while I put on my leggings or my jeans, no more deciding where it will go when I where a dress, no more infusion set changes every three days, no more bulky extra supplies, no more catching the pump on door knobs, no more possible dodgy sites, no cannulas falling out while I'm sleeping...Everyone is different though, these are just the things that I have picked up since being off of the pump that I never really noticed that bothered me before.

It leads me to ask myself the question, maybe I don't like the pump? But then again, I know I do like it. When I did things properly it was just the best thing, but then I look at my Hba1c from before the pump, to after the pump, there is a big difference. Higher. My Hba1c just climbed so much over the past two and a half years and whether or not that is to do with being on the pump or me just being a teenager and trying to navigate my way through my teenage years with type one, I do not know. But what  I do know is is that since being off the pump for the past 4 weeks, my Hba1c dropped from 12% to 11.4%. Something which I am very proud of.

Every now and then I miss the sort of "freedom" that the pump gave me. The freedom from 5 plus injections every day, the freedom from the lumpy patches of skin on my stomach and legs, I could also use the CGM with my insulin pump, something which I really liked. But I made the sacrifice in my best interests, I felt that it was time to make a decision and I feel more under control than ever while on injections. I sort of like the effort you need to put into injections, there is no basal insulin to solely rely on, apart from my Levemir but on the pump the basal insulin was fast-acting, so the effect was immediate.

For now, I am on injections. Whether or not I will go back to my insulin pump I do not know. But I am enjoying my break from the pump. I know each diabetic is different, for some the insulin pump is perfect and a straight-forward solution, for others, like me, not so much. I know I will get there in the end, to that perfect Hba1c, I just have to keep trying and with all the support I get from my parents, family and friends, it will be fine.

You know what they say, keep calm and carry on.



  1. Well done at taking that step and doing what is right for you!

  2. I went off of my pump in 2011 and 2012 for the same reason you did: I wanted better control. It definitely "kicked" me back into testing my blood more and eating less stuff because of all of the shots I had to take. (I used an insulin pen, though.) After staying on pens for two years, I decided that even though my pump was more awkward at points (like when I was wearing dresses,) I liked using it more and I went back on it. My A1C's have been getting better since then, so I'm hoping that going back to shots will help your A1C like mine did and maybe one day you'll go back on your pump as well!

    - Sarah
    Insulin Pens Don't Have Ink