It was last year that Alexandra started pumping. That was only thanks to the generosity of many, many lovely people who donated the incidentals needed to begin pumping, including the pump itself (a gently used Animas 1250), the cartridges, various insets and a whole host of other stuff.
We’ve used it faithfully, although inefficiently, for the past 8 months or so. And a recent scare had me thinking we’d be forced to go back to MDI but it proved to be a false alarm (at least so far, knock wood). There’s a slight crack near the battery housing, which has been crazy-glued and taped, and we’re now protecting it with a rubber skin to keep it compact. Fingers crossed it holds up for a good long while.
Now, I can’t speak for Alex – she’s a kid who really just goes with the flow – but I love the pump. But because I was learning to use it on my own (for liability issues, Animas declined to help train me), I was hesitant to go beyond simple boluses for the longest time, and combo boluses were only recently added to our repertoire.
In all that time, I never availed myself (I mean Alex, of course) of the ezBG or the CarbSmart features of the pump. Part of the reason for that is because we read blood glucose differently here in Ghana; it’s read in mmol, whereas everywhere else is in mg. The pump features use mg, too. And I just couldn’t trust Alex’s conversion or math.
But then I ran out of strips for the (mmol) meter we always use, and had to rely on one of the donated meters. I had passed out a great many donated meters to Alex’s doctor at Korle Bu Hospital, but I held onto these because this particular meter (Freestyle Lite) isn’t sold here, so strips aren’t sold here either. And I have (well, now had) lots of strips and I just hate letting things go to waste.
So, when Alex started her Easter break (which lasts here for an interminably long 3 weeks!) we started to use the Freestyle meter and the pump together. With the carb counting that we already do, adding a bg and having the pump tell us if she needs insulin or not is a no-brainer. This is so easy!
I know most other CWDs use their pump 24/7. But because Alex is untethered she doesn’t have to. She attaches only when she needs to for boluses. And I don’t have to worry about basal rates, either (though I do give her a little during school because she’s a chronic under-boluser).
I can’t believe it took me this long to figure it out. Better late than never, though, right?