For many of us, going onto an insulin pump has revolutionised the way that we manage our diabetes. I have been on one for nearly a decade now, and as an athlete, I find temporary basals and CGM incredibly useful.

I love the diabetes control that having a pump gives me, and the way that it fits in with my lifestyle, as so many other people do. In fact, because our pumps fit in with our lives so easily, and daily life is often so busy, it can sometimes be difficult to remember when set changes need to happen. The science says that every 3 days is the best time for a set change with a plastic cannula (2 days for steel).

I’m on a Medtronic 640g pump now, which gives me a helpful reminder every 3 days, when I need to do a set change. However, when on previous pumps this wasn’t the case, and whilst I knew it was important to change my sets, sometimes it was a challenge to recall when the last one had been. I know that I’m not alone in this, as we’ve got an incredible community of people with diabetes and their loved ones online, and remembering set changes is often a topic of conversation amongst them.

But did you know, that there’s actually a very good reason why our healthcare professionals tell us that changing our set and our reservoir at the same time is important? As people with diabetes, we can often focus on the numbers of our condition, whether it’s our HbA1c, our blood glucose levels and the list goes on... So I’m conscious that I want to do all that I can to ensure I’m managing my diabetes well, for both my health and my sporting performance.

My healthcare professional explained to me that changing my set every 3 days means that the delivery of my insulin is better. Small crystals can form in the tubing and block the flow of insulin to the cannula. So should I have forgotten to change my site after the 3 days, I would have seen my glucose levels rising and I would be reminded I needed to do it. There’s also potential for the area around the site to mark, and become itchy and uncomfortable.

I find that changing the reservoir and cannula for the insulin pump every 3 days is also a great way of reminding me of the importance of changing my sites. Rotating them this regularly, I find that I’m free from insulin lumps and that my skin recovers much better from having the needle there. Allowing me to feel confident in the clothes that I wear, and to get on with enjoying physical activity and everyday life!

If you'd like to find out more about Mel’s journey with diabetes, doing sport and being on an insulin pump, you can find more information here.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this testimonial and article are those of the patient interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official position or product claims from Medtronic. Writing this article has not created any obligation or expectation for the patient to use, promote or purchase Medtronic products. This patient testimonial does not contain all the information necessary for the proper care and treatment of patients with diabetes. As such, no individual may rely on the information presented herein in forming a comprehensive treatment program or in treating any patient with diabetes.