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Anna Sabino, MSW, CDCES

Patients be patient and trust your insulin pump!

I remember back in 2016 when I first tried basal IQ (low suspend only) using a TSlim pump, I didn’t trust it.

I told my family it would take me a while to rely on it to do its job. I treated my lows despite the pump catching them and ultimately treating it for me. Out of habit. I feel low, my body knows to eat.

I ended up high. A lot. I learned my lessons.

What the pumps do is science. How we behave and interact with these systems is an art. What I also learned here is that waiting is not easy. I had to train my brain to rely on the trend and the algorithm and sit with the experience of something I used to.  Let me visually see numbers with arrows I was typically uncomfortable with and wait it out, and not treat it right away. (safely of course).

trust your insulin pump

I was experimenting with the science of the pump while using the art of my brain. It takes a lot of time to do this, but I’m finally in a good place with my trust and my pump. (Still using the Tandem system).

How do we get there? What happens if we just “can’t wait” and either raaaaaage bolus until we crash, or eat the entire fridge and wake up at 350 (been there on both ends, Hi it’s me, I’m the problem it’s me)!

We want the insulin to work faster and the food to kick in and keep up with the thousands of thoughts in our heads.  Unfortunately, the speed of insulin and glucose just can’t keep up with us, especially in fight or flight mode.

If we continue to use this technique with anxiety called “fast forwarding” what we end up doing is treating our anxious thoughts with the future blood sugar and not the present blood sugar.

  1. When you start to notice the flooding of these futuristic fearful thoughts, label it. “Oh heeeeey annoying arrows that make me crazy, I see you.” Acknowledging that the thoughts are in front of you is the first step.
  2. Pause and prioritize. Put the phone/pump/CGM down for 5 minutes. Set a timer if you have to (unless you are unsafely out of range).
  3. Take 5 really deep breaths. No, really, it helps center your entire body.

AND, if we can’t let science do its job (based on the programs we have set up for it to do) then we need to revisit our overall goals and priorities as well as the basic understanding of the “why” behind our desire to use the systems. Maybe you need more education, some therapy, perhaps both?

That’s why we’re clinicians, we can do this with you. :)

In peace, love, and trust of insulin,
Anna Sabino, MSW, CDCES

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