Once you get used to it, the worst part about using Diabetic equipment is changing it out or replacing the disposable aspects. For example, I use three main pieces of Diabetic equipment: my insulin pump, continuous glucose monitor and my glucometer. My pump gets changed out every three days (on average) to prevent issues with crystallization of insulin in the infusion set, leading to improper dosages of insulin. My continuous glucose monitor gets changed out every seven days. I’m uncertain as to the reason for that, although I’m sure there is one. My glucometer simply requires recharging.
Despite the differences in timing, it’s pretty rare that I have to deal with more than one of these items at the same time. But last Saturday morning, I found myself having to deal with all three at once. As near as memory can provide, I don’t believe this has ever happened. It can definitely take the “get-up-and-go” out of your morning; especially if you have to deal with all that equipment and doing the replacements, all at once. Although the replacements don’t take long, combining them all can be a bit more tedious. Much like a sable grain of sand on your back won’t hurt you; but a truckload dropped on you will be harmful.
If you want some idea of how quickly changing out the pumps’s infusion set or the continuous glucose monitoring can be, you can visit my YouTube channel and watch the videos where I demonstrate here.
It started on Friday night when the entire family was outside. I mowed the back lawn and the kids were playing. As I was doing things in the yard, my wife made a point of asking me when my sensor was supposed to expire. I explained to her that I had installed the current one later in the day than I usually do, resulting in calibrations and checks throughout the night. This resulted in a later change than the typical Thursday. She reminded me it was Friday. Shit. I checked my status screen on the pump and sure enough, there it was! There was about an hour and half left to the current sensor.
Since it was almost 8 o’clock in the evening, this would mean changing the sensor (no big deal) followed by a two-hour warm-up period (a bit bigger of a deal) followed by calibrations AT that two-hour mark and again at the four-to-six hour mark. Screw that noise! It was Friday night and I had no intention of being woken up every few hours to test my blood. I decided to do some writing and simply ride out the remaining time on the sensor then shut off auto mode and replace it in the morning. I carried on with my evening and at about 10 o’clock, the sensor expired, so I placed it in its charging dock and went to bed on manual mode.
The following morning, I awoke to an angry buzzing at my hip. It took me a few moments to remember that I was on manual mode and that I shouldn’t be getting alerts. The buzzing as because my insulin reservoir was empty. Well. Shit, again! So now I had to change out my infusion set AND my sensor. My wife was nice enough to help with the sensor replacement, since I put it on my tricep and it’s difficult to see. I then refilled my insulin. Since I had gone about eight hours without nay testing either by blood or sensor, I tested with the glucometer. hence, the “unholy trifecta.”
There’s really no point to today’s post. I just don’t recall it every happening where I had to change up everything and use all my equipment at the same time. And yes, lack of auto mode made a difference, throughout the night. I awoke to a blood sugar level of 12.6 mmol/L instead of my usual window of 6.0 to 6.5 mmol/L. So if nothing else, the experience demonstrated how effective the auto mode on my pump can be. ☯