The past week has definitely not been what I expected.
Making the decision to actually ‘switch off’ after 9 years and go back to multiple daily injections (MDI's) has been brewing for a few weeks. The choice was not easy to make but it all came down to one morning when I had to change my site 4 times before it actually felt comfortable!
Yes… 4 times!
I decided in that moment that my body needed a break.
I use the term ‘break’ lightly because there is no actual break from type 1, but my body has become so resistant to the pump sites that I began dreading that third day when I was due for a set change.
After reducing the amount of times I used my stomach as a pump site for the last year due to scaring and pain, I had been focusing on rotating the sets only around my back and ass (sorry -to put it frankly) but I have been noticing my body has just been becoming more and more sensitive.
The pump has been the longest relationship I have had and the best part of it is that besides the occasional beeping, it never argued with me!
Clearly, I wore the pants in that relationship! But, to ‘switch off’ has been a surprisingly difficult yet interesting thing to get used to.
Let’s think about it as a relationship – imagine disconnecting and breaking it off completely with someone. It is like losing your best friend or side kick. The one that has your back. There are moments when you want to just share something random, sit in silence or go with someone to an event with –
you would naturally turn to that person without realising it, but when they are gone you have to take a step back and realise that you can’t do that.
Well, that is what the last week has felt like for me.
In more ways than one, I have lost that security or familiarity. I can’t just tell the pump to deliver when I want that treat.
The key thing I noticed was that I never realised how my behaviour had altered or changed in the last 9 years. I was conscious of how I was sleeping, which way I could lie down. I was conscious of what I was wearing and where I could hide the pump. I was conscious getting up off the couch and lounging around if the pump wasn’t clipped in. I always had to remember where my pump sites from the previous week were so I didn’t insert the cannula there again. I was even conscious of my site when I went to the bathroom so I didn’t accidently pull out my pump site when I had to go to the toilet! Although these aren’t specifically negative, I still feel like the last week I have been a rebel and had a bit more independence.
I haven’t had someone or something reminding me that I have type 1.
However, with my reflection of the past week, I have realised how much consistency and quality of life the pump actually has given me over the years.
There is no way I could have gone through my teenage years without it – it really has been my side kick!
It has given me freedom to eat that piece of chocolate cake!
It has allowed me to correct my sugar levels when they are high instantly without an injection.
It has given me flexibility in my meals and my day-to-day management although at the end of the day, I had to listen to my body.
Will I go back?
At this stage I really do just want to give my body a break from all the pump sites. I do believe I will be back on the pump because it has so many benefits, specifically for long term management, but for my own sanity and for my body, I had to go back on MDI's.
So, I’m giving myself the rest of May on MDI’s and then I will re-assess.