How long would you imagine you might go without a meal? Or, if you have diabetes, how long do you think you’d go without a high blood glucose level? Or without looking at the device that’s administering the insulin to keep you alive? I was asked this question when I was trained on my new insulin pump and I didn’t really know what to say.
When I went back on an insulin pump about six weeks ago, one of the many new features that have been introduced in pumps over the years since I’d last gotten one was the “auto off” feature. I like the idea of my insulin pump shutting off – it might have been a nice thing all those years ago back in Japan when severe hypoglycemia made me unconscious and it wasn’t until nearly 24 hours later in a hospital when I came to that I had to remind people that my insulin pump was still pumping insulin.
But even so, I had no idea what to set my auto off time to. The default was 12 hours, but that seemed a bit short. I decided to try 14 hours and figured it would never kick in.
But it did this weekend. After a restless night of good blood glucose levels and two let’s-play-the-game-where-I-knock-everything-off-your-bedside-table cats, was desperate to sleep in. And I did. It wasn’t until my pump started to alarm that I realized how long it had been since I’d gone to bed: 14 hours. I thought about stretching the time further to be 15 or 16 hours, but I don’t see the need. At the same time, I don’t want to turn off the feature, it makes too much sense.
But I’m curious how people determine their auto-off time and what types of conditions they’re considering when they make that estimation. Any pointers?