Now, as the ‘Fit Diabetics’, myself (Vanessa) and Georgia have A LOT in common. However, one thing that we don’t have in common is how we administer our insulin. I am an old school injection user, whilst Georgia is the owner of an insulin pump. These days, many diabetics I meet/contact are now a proud owner of an insulin pump, as they are becoming more and more readily available (however, funding isn’t always possible!).
If I am being completely honest, I do not know much about the insulin pump. What I do know (and correct me if I am wrong) is that it pumps small amounts of insulin constantly around the body, which can then be altered when a certain amount of carbs are consumed (Georgia can answer that one!). To be honest I would like to learn a lot more about the pump, but I am not in a rush to get one myself. Why? Well I am perfectly happy with my two little friends. Novorapid and Levemir (Insulin pens). Quite often I hear the same comments:
- How can you still put up with having injections?
- If I was you I would get a pump”
- Injections are so much more hassle.
But to be honest, at this moment in time I do not want a pump and I am happy to continue with injections. Why? Well a number of reasons:
- Injections are not connected to me 24/7
- Once in a routine, administration of injections becomes a completely normal part of life
- The needles are TINY and to me painless
- LONG ACTING INSULIN less chance of DKA (which is possible if the pump fails)
- Less chance of a technical fault (Hoorah for disposable insulin pens)
However, there are the downsides to insulin injections, which is probably why many people prefer the pump to administer insulin. Firstly, it can be a bit of a nuisance having to inject, especially when you have to find a toilet just so that you can pull your pants down to do it (trust me, doing it through your clothes is not a great idea!). Secondly, I myself have NO problem with regards to injecting in public, whereby I can whap it out wherever I am without feeling ashamed, however, there are many people who turn their nose up at it.
Thirdly, as insulin needs alter constantly, having to estimate the correct units to administer can be quite difficult (even when you do know how to carb count), especially if I am having one of those days were my diabetes is running high for NO reason (we have all been there). Fourthly, it can be really easy to become lazy at rotating, for example, my ‘easy access’ area is my arm, but the black and blue look is NOT a good look. Finally, hitting a vein can be the most uncomfortable feeling a diabetic can experience!
So I suppose injections do have their ups and downs, as do insulin pumps. But at the end of the day, whatever method we use, as long as it allows us to maintain effective control of our condition, then that is all that matters. I mean, look at those in third world countries who do not have access to ANY insulin!?
One thing I do find quite funny, even though I have 5-6 injections per day, I still can’t watch when I have a huge needle stuck into my arm when having a blood test! I mean, I would have thought I would be completely desensitised to needles!
So, maybe one day, I may gain access to one of these fancy insulin pumps, but for now, I am more than happy to stick with my two little pens!