Thursday, 23 October 2014


Transitioning From Daily Injections To An Insulin Pump

I was contacted by the American Recall Centre to write about and bring awareness to the medication I take due to having diabetes for their October campaign 'Talk About Your Medicines' month!

It was a privilege to write this post to help them with their great campaign to bring awareness and to outline the importance of taking your medicines and looking after your illness. I tend to steer away from the word "illness" when referring to my diabetes but essentially that's what it is! Don't worry though, this isn't going to be a "feel sorry for me" post because I don't feel sorry for myself and there's no need for me to feel sorry for myself! Everyone has their issues and this is mine and that's perfectly okay. 

As you might have guessed by the title above, I'll be talking about the medicines I take but unlike the assumed method of administering insulin, via multiple injections a day (which I did for years!) I now administer my insulin via an insulin pump. I hope this post is of help to you and if you have any questions, please get in touch! :)

Let's get on with it...

I've been diabetic for 10 years, going from injecting 4 times a day to now administering my insulin via a Medtronic Insulin Pump. Over the past 10 years, I've gone through highs and lows and not just in regards to my glucose levels - mentally too!

I was 11 when I was diagnosed and didn't really understand how it would impact my life other than knowing I now had to inject myself up to 4 times a day, which I remember thinking “how am I going to inject myself 4 days every single day for the rest of my life?” It was definitely a frightening experience for an 11 year old to deal with, heck, for anyone to deal with!

The doctors couldn't pinpoint what made my pancreas stop working but I have quite a good idea. Whether this is what caused it or not, I believe that the stress of starting secondary school only a couple of months prior brought on my diabetes. I hated school so much that I would cry constantly and refuse to go in which obviously didn't help my health condition any!

Injecting 4 times a day would wear anyone down so when I heard about the opportunity to go on a trial of a Medtronic Insulin Pump in 2008, I immediately put my name down and began an intense training course which taught me all about the insulin pump, how to count my carbohydrates (which is an extremely important aspect to using a pump!) and how to adjust to a lifestyle on an insulin pump instead of injections.

Being only 15 at the time, this was challenging and difficult to wrap my head around so I'm so glad my family were there to support me and take some of the weight off my shoulders when it all got a bit much. After many weeks and months training about the insulin pump, I was finally given one of my own I felt a sense of relief that I could finally see what life would be like without injecting 4 times a day. With this insulin pump, I need to change the set (inject myself) every 2/3 days which is, as you can imagine, a great change to injecting 4 times a day!

At first, it took awhile for me to get used to, making sure I was following all the “new rules” and in a way, it kind of felt like I was being diagnosed with diabetes all over again. I have to say though, it was so worth it.

The insulin pump has allowed me to do so much more and have so much more flexibility in my daily life than I could have ever imagined having. Growing up with diabetes, I had to obviously put my diabetes first which used to hinder a lot of the plans I used to make with friends, family, holidays, outings etc., but the pump completely changed that for me. The flexibility of being on an insulin pump allowed me to do things like learn to drive as soon as I turned 17 (I know diabetes does NOT stop you from learning to drive, however arranging driving lessons around my injection times would be awkward!), I got my first part-time job, I went to California with my school - something that still amazes me as it gave me so much independence! I also went onto university (currently in my last year!), I'm interning for an advertising company and I'm also running my own campaign on my blog called 'Take Back What's Yours' which provides support for people who are going through bullying, low self-esteem, mental health issues and medical issues such as diabetes. As well as that, I have recently become a Youth Ambassador for JDRF UK! I have many posts on diabetes on my blog, one including all about my pump and more in-depth about how it works.

Of course, everyone has their good days and bad days, no matter which way you administer your insulin. In fact sometimes on the odd occasion when the insulin pump decides it wants to frustrate me and stop working until I change the set again, it will send my glucose levels rocketing and makes me feel like I want to go back to injections but once it starts working again, I realise it was only a moment of anger and that I don't think I could go back to injecting unless I had to.

The message of this article is not only to let you know about the freedom and flexibility an insulin pump gives you, but to let you know that diabetes doesn't have to hinder you from doing anything you want to do in life! I know that because the insulin pump has given me the freedom I needed to reach my goals and lead as normal life as possible and I wouldn't change it for the world!

Be sure to check out American Recall Centre's latest post about the dangerous side effects of the medicine Xarelto. The post ensures you know about the side effects of the medicine you take before you take them, so please check that out here.

If you'd like to check out my campaign, here's a link to explain it all a bit better!

Thank you for reading!

Get in touch! 

Twitter: @ChloesConcept


Chloe x

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