T1 Trick or Treat

I woke this morning feeling like a truck hit me. I am exhausted. Bone tired.

‘Been working hard, Cyd? Not particularly.

Working out? Straining yourself physically? Nope.

A week ago I noticed a crack in my insulin pump. It was basically superficial, but it does mean the device is likely no longer waterproof, so, it was important to have it replaced. I called the company and a refurbished pump was sent quickly. Free of charge.

I sat at my desk and programmed the new pump according the the cracked pump’s settings. The programming of the pump is important because it’s the culmination of years of tweaking various settings to find the right balance for me. An apple at one time of day will require a different amount of insulin delivered than at a another time of day because my sensitivity changes throughout the day.

Since having the new 670G pump system, which comes with a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), I have been feeling a billion times better than I ever have before, because when the pump is put in Automode, the CGM communicates with the pump and makes micro-adjustments, giving me small amounts of insulin throughout the day depending on what my CGM says my sugars are. Being in a healthy range helps me feel far less negative symptoms (foggy-headedness, physical exhaustion, etc)

When you get a new or refurbished pump though, you cannot go directly into Automode and enjoy the perfect numbers and great feeling of being in the right range most of the time. You have to use the pump in what’s called Manual Mode for a few days. Then the pump info gathers and studies how my body works, so once I put the pump in Automode, it knows what it needs to do to keep me in range.

So, that backstory created, I have been in Manual Mode for two days, and my sugars have been in the 200s. It’s much to high, and leaves me feeling like hot garbage all the time. I wake up a million times in the night to pee (a side effect of high sugars).

I couldn’t figure out why my sugars were so high, and I chalked it up to Automode being a miracle and Manual Mode being just plain old less effective. I tossed and turned all night last night, but it was my 3am trip to the bathroom when a light went on in my head and I realized what happened.

When you have a healthy functioning pancreas, it delivers insulin into your body all day long in little amounts, like Automode does for me. But when I’m in Manual Mode, I have to program the pump the give me that teeny tiny steady stream of insulin to keep my sugars down. It’s called a basal rate.

I forgot to program that part of the pump, so for the past two days, I have been getting no insulin aside from what I was giving myself when I was eating something or making corrections in an effort to get the sugars down again.

I sent an email to my doctor at 3am asking if she has a record of my basal rates. They also change throughout the day – so it could be .25 units/hour from 12am to 9am, then .45 units/hour from 9am to 4pm. You get the idea. I can’t just make up a number.

At least I figured out there was a reason why! Hopefully the solution will come soon, I can sit in Manual Mode for another 2 days, teach the pump what’s up, and get back into good old Automode soon!

Happy Halloween! Here are some of my favorites of my Oliver back in the day, ready for Trick or Treating. Or, ready to pose for five minutes. Good boy.

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