Pump start for me was just over a week ago now.
Before I started on my pump I did a lot of preparation, I think this has made the transition much easier for me.
Just a few of the tips and advice I think might help anybody looking to start on a pump.
- Prepare yourself mentally for the change – This is a big change in regime, you need to be ready in your mind for it.
- Do your research – Read up as much as possible on Insulin pump therapy. Get hold of a copy of Pumping Insulin and read up to chapter 13 before your start date. It really helps so much to get your knowledge up to speed before you start.
- Try and get your control as good as possible on injections before the start day – Easier said than done I know, but it really helps to try your best beforehand. For me this included stopping snacking, reducing number of hypos by running levels a bit higher and exercising more.
- Really work hard on your carb counting in advance – Sounds obvious but go back to basics, check your food labels, use Carbs and Cals just to refresh your skills really. Carb counting is essential to success on the pump.
- Test your basal levels whilst on MDI – If you know your exact needs on MDI it helps with your initial settings on the pump.
- Work out your correction factor – A big bonus on the pump is the bolus wizard, make sure you know correction factors at different points during the day/night.
- Make sure you know your carb ratio for all meals and snacks – Same applies here.
- Take somebody with you to the pump start – It really is a intense couple of hours. Everything is covered and if you take somebody with you they might remember the bits you don’t.
- Book the next day off of work – Not essential but I found it helped. Gave me a day to register my pump, phone Medtronic and set up the online account, place my first order for supplies, sort out insurance etc etc. Also gives you a chance to play with your new toy.
- Get back to routine quickly – Even though I had 1 day off after, it is important to get back into your normal routine asap. My levels are always different on work days to non work days. There is no point in having a week off getting it all set well, only for it to change once you get back into a routine.
- Make sure all your prescription is updated in advance of starting the pump – You have enough to do once you start pumping without having to sort all these bits with your GP. You will need your insulin changing, and your test strips. It is essential you still keep the old insulin on repeat in case your pump ever fails.
- Meet up with some other people already using the pump – This is really worth doing. Other pumpers will have the answers to any questions you can think of. Feel free to contact me if you wish. Or join our Facebook meetups group ➡ Here
- Follow instructions about your basal dose the night before starting on the pump – Your clinic will give clear instructions about your last basal injections, take note of these. You don’t want to have to much insulin left over from injections when you start pumping.
- Have written records for the 2 weeks previous to start day – Sounds a bit over the top but I found it helped focus my mind back onto my diabetes care.
- Write down any concerns you have – If you have concerns do speak up. Even if you are in a group training session, chances are the others have the same concerns.
- Make sure all your questions are answered – Seems obvious but with all the info you will be taking in you can forget to ask your questions. Make sure you are happy before you leave clinic as the DSN isn’t on the phone at 2am. However if you do have a 2am question, have a look on Twitter, there is always somebody about who can help, don’t forget to # your question with #gbdoc
Those are a few of the pointers I followed and my start to pumping has been a great experience so far.
Any questions please do get in touch, will do my best to answer quickly for you.
Take Care us pumpers are everywhere