(No, not "pump broke." That would suck.)
I wanted a little bit of a device break earlier this week. After dealing with itchy Dexcom rashes and doorknobs tugging hard on pump tubing and just feeling a little excessively-robotic over the last few weeks, I wanted to disconnect and decompress for a few days, before upcoming travel forced familiarity (and for me, device necessity).
Because I live in that "hope for the best, plan for the worst" cliche, I have all the MDI tools on hand at the house. I carry a Humalog pen with me all the time (in case my pump borks), so there's always one or two of those on hand. My endocrinologist keeps a standing prescription for Levemir at my pharmacy in case of emergencies, which I had filled for traveling purposes a few months ago. (And I've had the same two shoe boxes filled with unopened bags of syringes under the bed for about eight years now. They don't go bad, right? Here's hoping.)
So earlier this week, I took off my pump before showering and, instead of reconnecting, I took my doctor-discussed dose of Levemir at 10 pm. (Months ago, when I took another short pump hiatus, my doctor and I worked out what kind of dose to take for days off the pump. For me, splitting my Levemir dose in half and taking it 12 hours apart seems to be what works best. So I take one injection of basal insulin at 10 pm, and the next one at 10 am.) And I dose for meals/correct highs with an insulin pen of Humalog.
I do like the device-free feeling. Or at least the device-free-ish feeling. (Still wearing the Dexcom and trying to figure out a way to wear the device without experiencing a rash. The next few weeks have me traveling quite a bit, and I'm not willing to go without the Dexcom for extreme time zone changes.) I have worn a lot of dresses without shoving the pump into my bra (severe lack of disco boobs), and workouts have been nice without my pump gently trying to pants me. I am enjoying these robot-free moments.
And I do like how injections make me really think about food choices. The ease of bolusing from the pump makes me more likely to reach for a snack, but knowing I need to inject for it makes me rethink certain choices. I can say, with certainty, that I've made better food choices in the last few days as a result of deciding what is and isn't bolus-worthy.
I don't miss multiple daily injections as part of my long-term routine. I don't know if using the pump has made me a wimp, but I think the injections sting. (Yes, I'm a baby.) Remembering the insulin pen is easy, because I keep it in my glucose meter case, but last night I forgot to take my Levemir before bed, and was greeted at 6 am with a 404 mg/dL (I haven't seen a number that high in a long time, and I forgot how gross the super-high glucose headaches suck). Thankfully, I was able to bring it down quickly with a Humalog bolus, but it was a reminder that my brain enjoys not thinking about insulin injections and is comfortable with/accustomed to the steady stream of the pump.
And I don't like injecting in public. I don't have a problem with it, but I much prefer to take out my pump and bolus from there rather than take out a pen, expose a needle, and then expose a bit of skin to inject into. I never thought I'd feel this way, seeing as how I did injections for 17 years before I started on an insulin pump, but I do favor the discretion of pumping, when it comes to being out in public. ... I've become a delicate effing flower.
What I like most is having options. I prefer the pump for long-term use, but I like that I can take it off when I need a little breathing room and can swiftly revert back to multiple daily injections in the interim. (Especially since my doctor feels strongly about having all kinds of back-ups in place for pump failure, leaving me with the right tools for MDI.) This pump break has been good, but I'm oddly looking forward to reconnecting.
Because honestly, without the pump on, I have absolutely no idea what time it is.