I needed a pump break for a few days.
Actually, I needed a diabetes device break entirely, because the cold winter air was eating my skin alive. Everywhere I had put an infusion set or a CGM sensor in the last month or two became a patch of scaly, itchy skin that I was scratching into oblivion even while I slept. Itch, itch, itch.
I decided to take a break from my pump and CGM for a few days so I could slater on the lotion without worrying about compromising any adhesives and also just to get a frigging breather from all the technology.
The timing was good since my Dexcom transmitter died the day I decided to take a break. I took Tresiba at night and used Humalog pens for corrections and bolusing, and the biggest hurdle was making sure I had a pen on me at all times.
For the first few days, being device-free felt good.
And then my reality set in. After three or four days of injections, I had small but irritating bruises and welts on my skin (especially on my abdomen, which is never where I put infusion sets or CGMs but is a favorite place to inject manually). Low blood sugars became more frequent (and especially noticeable since starting on Basal IQ and having my time-spent-hypo significantly reduced). My blood sugars were okay but not as good as they are when wearing my devices, and the lows were exhausting.
Argghhh but my skin was still a mess.
I didn’t want to start a new Dexcom transmitter because it works for 90 calendar days, not 90 days of use (... which I think is bullshit. The timing of diabetes crap is so frustrating, so I’ll slap a new sensor on in order to get the most life out of my transmitter, even when my is red and irritating beyond consolation. Waste not, want not, make insulin not.) I had received a trial of the Freestyle Libre 14 day sensor from Abbott’s PR team, so I put that on in order to get more blood glucose data. (This is not a review of that product – that’ll come later this week. This is just a disclosure.)
Scanning the Libre sensor proved to me that my blood sugars benefit from pumping insulin. Man, I was all over the place and having low blood sugars and just feeling in general that diabetes was taking up a LOT of time and required a LOT of work and I was all caps OVER IT.
So I put my pump back on last night, after an afternoon of highs and then a crashing low.
Today? Things are much, much easier. I’m back in range-ish with way less effort. My numbers aren’t perfect but I can make adjustments with ease and without piercing my skin. And the Libre sensor, which alarm-less and leaving me feeling more vulnerable on the overnight, gives me BG insight that finger pricking can’t provide.
You know what, though? This whole post reads super matter-of-fact and kind of boring because it ticks through the finicky specifics of diabetes garbage. It’s all about itchy skin and trying to take good care of my diabetes stuff while simultaneously not ripping my arms and legs off my body in an itch fit. I’m not burnt out on diabetes, exactly, but I am definitely over all this extra crap. The careful timing of my transmitter dying plus the expiration dates of other resources I have access to in addition to the privilege of that access pitted against my own preferences … it’s a dizzying dance of a whole lot of STUFF.
That’s it. No good ending to this post, other than this period.