Hi, just a little bit of background information about how I am..
I live in Berkshire, UK with my wife, and three children Jake, Amy and Elise – I also have my own Diabetes Blog web site called http://www.mypumpblog.com .
I have had Type 1 Diabetes all my life which is over 40 years and technology/treatment has changed so much for the better since I was a baby. It would have been around 1972 when I was first diagnosed with Diabetes as my parents noticed I would be drinking a lot and lethargic. I still remember when I was a very small child that my Mum used to inject me with my insulin using a stainless steel and glass syringe which was very big and did used to be quite painful to say the least but I only had one injection per day. Diabetes back then was far more difficult to control and your Blood Glucose or sugar levels where monitored using a urine stick rather than the high tech blood glucose meters we use today from Bayer Diabetes Care, Roche – Accu Chek, Lifescan etc which are far more accurate. When I was very young I did spend quite a lot of time in hospital from very bad Hypo’s where I actually would go into a Diabetic Coma and find myself waking up in Hospital which was awful.
As time went on my control got better and of course technology also got better with small syringes and better insulin plus not forgetting the blood glucose meters we use today. Diabetes treatment changed fairly rapidly with me going from one injection per day to two which at the time was a huge step for me and then going onto an insulin pen with four to five injections per day (what a pain literally).
I never thought I would have any complications from Diabetes but unfortunately in 2003 after a visit to Vision Express opticians they said I had signs of Retinopathy eye complications and sent me to a specialist straight away. It was confirmed that I had Diabetes Retinopathy and would need laser treatment in both eyes to save my sight. I ended up having 10,000 burns of laser in each eye to try and stop tiny blood vessels bursting in my eye. The laser was very uncomfortable but did help but because the Retinopathy was so bad I then ended up having a Vitrectomy operation in each eye, this operation is not nice at all and involves a tube being placed in your eye and the clear liquid being taken out – your eye naturally replaces this cloudy fluid with its own clear liquid. My site now is stable but the operations have still taken there toll as my night vision is very bad (i.e. I can not see to drive a car) and my left eye central vision is damaged. I do think things could be far worse and I just hope they stay stable.
I got to the point where I seemed to be injecting myself 4-6 times per day which is surely enough for anyone and this is why I spoke to my Diabetes team about the Insulin Pump. So after being on injections for almost 36 years I was lucky enough to have funding from my local PCT for an Insulin Pump which is amazing and has really changed my life for the better as it is so easy to use. I use a Medtronic Paradigm 722 and an Animas 2020 pump but currently upgraded to the Animas Vibe in 2012 (No not at the same time lol) with each pump having plus/minus points but far better than constantly having injections for food or correction dose’s. An Insulin Pump basically delivers a small dose of insulin 24/7 as a background dose called a Basal Rate and each time you have a meal or snack you give yourself a boost of insulin to counteract the food called a Bolus dose. The pump did take some getting used to at first but once the tiny cannula is inserted into the same are as you would inject you hardly know it is there. The pump itself is a similar size to a mobile phone and can be worn in normal places 24/7 and even while you are in bed (you do get used to it). One major thing you need to do when on an Insulin Pump is Carbohydrate Count to ensure the Bolus dose you give is enough to cover the food you have just eaten but yet again this gets easy with time.
I hope you enjoy my Blog and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or why not follow me on Twitter @MyPump1).
Thanks for reading.
Andrew Borrett My Pump