Monday, July 12, 2010

Little things can make a big impact

It’s not a big deal and yet it is.  It shouldn’t make that much of a difference and yet it does.  Sometimes it’s the small and insignificant things that most affect quality of life. 

Diabetics have to do things.  They have to.  The alternative of not doing things come with grave consequences.  So, most diabetics choose to do the things they have to do that their bodies no longer can do, like take insulin.  If the things diabetics have to do are made more comfortable suddenly the quality of life goes up even more.  It doesn’t always make sense but it is still true.  Let me explain with a personal change I made.

I have worn an insulin pump for the last 10 years because, for me, it’s easier and more comfortable than multiple daily injections of insulin.  In the 10 years I have worn my pump I have been using the most uncomfortable infusion sets.  Although I didn’t know that until yesterday when I switched from the Sof-set Ultimate QR sets to the Quick-sets. 

Now my eyes have been opened to new comforts never before experienced as a diabetic attached to a machine.  The tubing is shorter.  Not by a lot but enough that I notice.  This means I have less to wind around my fingers and hope it stays wound up inside my underwear.  Have you ever had the tubing come unwound in your pants?  That is a strange feeling.  I checked to be sure there is enough tubing to go across my ample belly.  There is.  It shouldn’t have been a concern but the tubing really does look much shorter.  

Disconnecting at the site rather than the quick release a couple inches down from the site is so so so much nicer.  So nicer.  I can’t even express how much nicer it is.  Not only do I have less tubing to find a place for in my underwear but I also don’t have to adjust the wad of tubing to keep the quick release out of the way.  I am much more comfortable all the way around.  Getting rid of that cursed quick release is as relieving as finally digging out a painful piece of popcorn stuck in your teeth.  It’s only been one day since I’ve been without the quick release irritating me and digging into me so the popcorn comparison really rings true.

One potential issue I’ve thought of with disconnecting at the site is that it won’t be as discreet to disconnect in front of my endocrinologist’s nurse when she needs to download the info on my pump.  Oh well.  I’ll deal with that later.  In the meantime I am prancing around my yard as I type this because there is no quick release bugging the living snot out of me every second of every day.  Come join hands with me as we play a rousing game of Ring Around the Rosies in honor of the quick release-less infusion set I’m wearing!

That was fun.  Virtually anyway. 

My next praise is for the absence of tape.  It wasn’t time consuming to have to put on two pieces of tape over every new infusion set site.  It was all I knew.  Push the button, tape over it using the special tape with the hole in the middle so the needle could be pulled out without pulling out the whole infusion set, pull out the needle, prime the cannula while putting on another piece of tape without a hole to protect the whole site.  Then scratch all around the tape wishing you could scratch underneath the tape because that’s where it was itchy.  Take a shower, bath, or swim and hope the tape didn’t fill up with water and fall off.  Which it did.  A lot.

Do you know what happens now?  Insert the infusion set, remove the needle, prime the cannula, move on with your life.  The adhesive part is on a tiny circle of breathable fabric.  At least that’s what it looks like.  It doesn’t itch.  Nothing came off in the shower after nothing came off with a sweaty workout.  Because of the lack of tape the infusion set takes up less space on my abdomen.  It was so liberating to shower around a tiny little circle as opposed to a large rectangle of tape with a tail.  I think the infusion set has a thinner profile on my abdomen too.  Less of a bump shows under my clothes. 

I admit that a wireless pump would be pretty cool.  I looked at a brochure for one a couple years ago but I decided to stick with the Paradigm from Mini Med.  I don’t remember why.  I think it was because I didn’t want to deal with the insurance and I knew they would pay for a Mini Med model.  Until I decide to make the switch to an Omni Pod, I am loving my new infusion sets.  They are making pumping so much more comfortable.  And, like I said earlier, it’s not a big deal yet somehow it is.  Happy and comfortable diabetics are in better control.  It has to be true. 

1 thoughts:

Dawn said...

I loved the popcorn analogy. Great word picture. I hate to admit I skipped the ring-around- the -Rosie game. I just had a massage can I can hardly keep my eyes open let alone jump in a circle. Sorry, maybe tomorrow.