In my blog post last week, I talked about how I’m hoping to transition to an insulin pump this summer. I know it will be a bit of an arduous process, but I’m eager to share each step of it with others in similar situations.
I don’t know how greatly the process deviates among endocrinology practices, but I assume they all follow a similar pattern. You have a regular appointment with your endocrinologist, you express your interest in using a pump, you talk it over with your doctor, and so forth. My endo was really enthusiastic about the idea and wanted me to set up an appointment with my diabetes educator pronto. So four days later, I was back in the office.
The appointment was an hour long and extremely informative. We kicked it off by testing my blood sugar. “I just want to make sure you’re not going to go low when I’m in the middle of explaining everything to you,” my educator explained. “You’d be surprised how many patients will go low, and I can tell because they don’t listen to a word I say!” A quick test told us I was safe at 149 mg/dL.
Initially, the appointment felt a little bit like a job interview. The first question she asked me was why I wanted to go on the pump. Despite being such a loaded question, I think I answered it pretty well. After a brief pause, I answered “I want to go on the pump because I want to improve my A1c. Now more than ever, I’m aware of what I do and don’t need to do when it comes to my diabetes. These days, I’m immersed in the diabetes community and I want to share the same success story that I’ve heard over and over again from other diabetics who are on the pump.”
We were both satisfied with this answer, and the appointment flowed seamlessly from there. She asked me a few more questions, and then launched into a monologue that explained the three kinds of pumps sitting on her desk. Even though I had my heart set on the OmniPod, I was still glad to hear the differences between it, the Medtronic, and the Animas Ping. It reassured me that I was choosing the device that best fit my lifestyle.
And I have to say, it was awesome to finally learn the meaning of terms like square wave bolus and basal rate. These concepts were utterly confusing to me a week ago, but now if someone were to ask me to define them, I feel confident in my ability to do so.
At the appointment’s conclusion, I was given the green light to proceed with the next step: set up an appointment with the nutritionist to get an assessment on my carb counting skills. Unfortunately, she didn’t have any open appointments until the end of July, so it looks like I’m already encountering my first speed bump on this journey. Rather than sulk about it, though, I’m going to enjoy this mini-vacation from the endocrinologist’s office. Because after driving there four times in one week, I need it.