A Day In The Life...
Debbie Green has had Type 1 Diabetes since she was a little girl. Now in her 30s, she has a busy time managing work, home and all of the normal things in life. Debbie has been using an insulin pump for the last 10 years or so. Most recently the MiniMed™ 640G Insulin Pump. We asked Debbie why the MiniMed 640G system suits her...
“The MiniMed 640G pump suits me because I love being able to use its different features as much or as little as I need. There is so much that this pump can do but I love being able to switch off the aspects that I don’t need and just use what I do need. It makes it so quick and easy to use and I don’t have to go through endless menus and screens to do something little. One thing that I use a lot is temporary basal rates. The fact that I can ‘save’ my favourites with this pump in particular is great and makes this especially easy. I also love having a big clear screen with the little status icons on the top that I can read at a glance. It feels much more like a gadget than a medical device to me.”
My advice to anyone going onto a pump
“What feels like a big deal honestly won’t be! Where >you will wear your pump, what you will do with it at night time and so on. I was really put off by the thought of having to take my pump out to use it and so the handsets that come with some pumps really appealed to me. In fact, although it looks very techy, they broke down a lot and actually became very frustrating.
I love the flexibility a pump gives me to change my plans. Day-to-day life isn’t always easy to plan and things do change, plans fall through or I change what I was going to do. With injections that used to really restrict me. Whereas now I really value being able to do whatever I like whenever I like. If my friend asks me to join her for a run then I can. Or if we planned to but the weather changed then we don’t have to go!
I feel better. I know that HbA1C is just a number and I was fine day-to-day. Having gone onto a pump though and lowering mine, I honestly feel better. I think I had got used to how I felt day-to-day and didn’t think of it as being any different to anyone else. Where now I feel less groggy, less sluggish and just ‘well’. I didn’t realise I could actually feel better.”
My advice to anyone thinking of changing Pump manufacturer
“The set changes compared to my old pump are so much easier. I don’t even have to give them a second thought and can change them anywhere and anytime I like. I used to be really put off because I needed an angled cannula and with the Roche one I could only manually insert it myself. It was worse than giving myself an injection. Whereas the MiniMed™ 640G sets and filling system is so easy. I found I could easily miss steps with my old pump and ended up with less insulin because I’d forgotten to fill the line or something. Because the MiniMed™ 640G takes you step by step through things I don’t make any mistakes.
The handset is something that I thought I would really miss. Like I said before, it really appealed because I didn’t have to take my pump out. But I really don’t miss it. I would tell anyone else the same, that it really isn’t a big thing.”
I recently started to use Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM)
“I have always had night time hypos - even with an insulin pump. They weren’t unnoticed though and did wake me up. This meant that I had to deal with them each time and would invariably wake up high, tired and feeling horrible. Those highs made me feel heavy, slow, nauseous and like I had grainy lungs. Spending the day with jetlag is a good description.
Because my lows and rebounds are being managed and I’m not swinging high and low as much, my HbA1C is the best its ever been! Which is great from a longterm complication perspective. And actually day-to-day my husband has noticed a real difference. He says that I’m more relaxed and my moods don’t swing as much. In actual fact, the whole thing is more relaxed. He knows I can see things in an instant and he can visualise things too because he can see the screen graph. He isn’t asking how I am or nagging me to test all of the time so its taken a lot of pressure off us both.”
The orange block shows Debbie’s SmartGuard™ automatically stopping her insulin and preventing her hypo that night at around 6am.