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Switching the Diabetic Routine Up!

I have recently switched back to my injections for the time being, so have decided to express my thoughts and feelings why I have done this. This has been a complete personal decision from myself only. I have the full support of others around me and from my hospital staff, so please be kind if commenting as I have had some strange reactions on my Instagram account this which have made me feel quite rubbish.

So, to start painting the picture, I went on an insulin pump break back in September 2021 due to a shortage of Medtronic Advance Cannula’s I moved back onto injections for a couple of months as the replacements I was given did not work for me. I moved back onto my pump in December 2021 as my cannulas had been replenished which was perfect.

But recently, the past month or so, wherever I have put my cannula’s, however often I was replacing them, nothing seemed to help get my sugar down or keep them at a nice and consistent level. I was starting to feel a constant sicky feeling, with my Dexcom alarms constantly going off overnight due to high blood sugars. After a month of this I knew this wasn’t okay and something needed to change.

I have been thinking about switching back to my injection for a little while now but have always been a bit scared as it is such a change from using an insulin pump. The thought of these constant injections are scary and actually there is no shame in admitting this whatsoever! But a couple of weeks ago, my cannula was due to changed AGAIN – in the space of those 3 days I think I had changed it 4 times due to failures, accidentally ripping it out and blood retracting up into the wiring. I just had enough.

But I am pleased that I had these troubles. Admittedly I was not pleased at the time but looking back it pushed me through my breaking point with my pump. So, I started my injections that evening.

I started my long-acting insulin, I use Levemir, at 18 units morning and evening. You need to fully expect high blood sugars for the first 2 days of the switch as there will be a lack of long-acting insulin present in the body but I semi-counteracted this through larger doses at the beginning and increased short-acting insulin.

I am now over 1 week into my injection experience, and I have now reduced my long-acting insulin to 14 units in both morning and evening and looking to decrease it further if these stubborn low blood sugars continue. Overall, I feel like I have much more control back on my blood sugars. The urge to not treat a ‘low blood sugar’ when I was at 5mmol/l as I was feeling hypo has been crazy – that is how consistently high my blood sugars have been recently.

I also have lost my snacking appetite as well. I find the urge to snack when I am on my pump to be huge as I know I can easily give some insulin, whereas on injections more thought has to be given to ensure insulin is in your body. For me, this means I have stopped snacking! As much anyway!

I also believe that Levemir keeps my blood sugars much more stable than little drops of Novorapid, I do not feel like I am part of a rollercoaster anymore, I have felt so much better and that is only after one week of switching. By no means will this be completely permanent or easy. I am enjoying it at the minute but in a month’s time, I can imagine my views will change but currently its perfect right now. I feel more confident because I have much more energy.

If anyone is feeling uneasy and like they have fallen out of love with their insulin pump, try switching, even if it is for the weekend – sometimes what we all need is a nice change and break from our regular routines.

I am so pleased that I have followed through with my decision, diabetes does not have to be one treatment option, it can be a multitude of treatments. Helping us to be on top of our blood sugars on a much more frequent basis!

I understand that I am one of those lucky people who has access to a pump, I know in the UK not everyone is as fortunate. But hopefully now with the NICE guidelines changing for FGM/CGM’s, hopefully a pump guideline will mean they will become more accessible in the UK. For more information, please click the link for the NICE guidelines. For a simplified answer (because the report is confusing), please see Diabetes UK.

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