Thursday, 30 January 2014

Pump Assessment Clinic.

Way back when, I received a letter "inviting" me to attend a "pump assessment clinic" where I would be able to put forward my case for an insulin pump. 

That appointment was on Tuesday, and I'm happy to report it was a very positive clinic. 

Image taken from Google Images.
I was so nervous. I mean, I'm always nervous before my appointments at the diabetes clinic, but where I didn't know what to expect from this one, I was even more nervous. Now, I understand that "pump assessment clinic" is carried out in various different ways depending on your hospital, but I'm going to document here what mine was like, in the hope that it provides some insight into what to expect, as I had no idea.

First things first, I had my weight and blood pressure checked, as well as having some blood taken for my hba1c. Routine diabetes clinic checks, yes?!

The actual appointment, however, was very different to what I'm used to.

For a start, there were three health care professionals in the room with me: the head of pump clinic (who happens to be my consultant too), a DSN and a dietitian. I felt a little intimidated walking in, but they were quick to put me at ease, and we got started. The appointment seemed to be split into two main "subjects": my current diabetes management and then insulin pumps themselves.

My current diabetes management: blood sugars - where do I have problems? Is there a reason for those problems (exercise, time-of-the-month, stress, etc)? This then led into talk about insulin injections, insulin to carbohydrate ratios, correction factors, carbohydrate counting. It felt like they were testing me. In fact, I'm pretty certain they were. I think they needed to see that I knew what I was talking about. And in spite of having a meter that does everything for me (the Accu-Chek Aviva Expert), I could answer all their questions.

Insulin pumps: what do I know about insulin pumps and why do I want one? Now, this isn't something I've entered into lightly. An insulin pump is a big deal. It's going to be like going back to day one of diabetes. It's a completely new way of managing it, and I'm well aware of the fact that it's going to be a learning curve. As a result of this, I'd done my research: what pumps are available, how they work, the pros and cons of using them. I told them what I wanted from the pump and I was also very honest about my concerns.

The appointment was an hour, and I was very happy with how it went. Got a few more hoops to jump through, but hopefully it'll all be worth it. 

Watch this space!  

1 comment:

  1. I have my fingers, toes, arms and legs crossed that you get approved for the pump :)