5 Tips for a Happy Insulin Pump Marriage

A pump user discovers her relationship with her pump requires much the same attention as a romantic relationship.



 

I’ve found that living with an insulin pump is a lot like being in a marriage. Like most thriving partnerships, it requires a solid investment of time, energy, and patience.

It’s taken me some trial and error to stay saddled in a happy, functioning relationship with my pump. From my experience, I want to share a few tips:

  1. Make one-on-one time. Setting aside time to program and reassess the carbohydrate ratios, basal settings, and alerts of your pump can relieve a lot of pressure in daily life.
  2. Treat it with respect. Even though a pump seems indestructible, it probably wouldn’t appreciate being plunged into a toilet or hurled out the window in a heated rage over false blood sugar alerts. Show a little care and tenderness.
  3. Don’t settle. Insulin pump therapy isn’t the perfect match for everyone, and with a handful of pumps on the market, it helps to pinpoint the pros and cons to each. Most companies offer the opportunity to test drive a pump before signing on the dotted line. You’ll know if a pump has potential when you spend some quality time together.
  4. Don’t grow complacent. Changing a pump infusion site in a timely manner is pretty crucial for skin tissue health, insulin viability, avoiding infection, and keeping up a healthy routine.
  5. Stay connected. Aside from situations where a pump disconnect is intentional (showering, changing sites), you pretty much need to be attached at the hip at all times, even when the pump doesn’t blend in well with evening wear.

An insulin pump certainly brings its share of baggage and complications to the relationship. The tubing is prone to getting caught on door handles and seatbelts, and you have to take it everywhere. But the benefits of dosing insulin down to 0.025 units and CGM-syncing technology can make pump therapy worth it for many people with Type 1. Consider the time you put into your relationship with your pump a labor of love!

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Chelsey is currently a freelance writer and holistic nutrition student based in Whistler, Canada. She has contributed to publications such as MindBodyGreen, Trekity and tuja wellness. As a Team Diabetes marathon runner and JDRF advocate, her diabetes community roots run deep. Through her blog Miss Insulin, she shares healthy food for thought on thriving with the peaks and valleys of Type 1 diabetes.