Friday, February 15, 2019

Getting Pumped! An Insulin Pump Guide for Active Individuals with Type 1 Diabetes

I've had Michael Riddell's Getting Pumped! An Insulin Pump Guide for Active Individuals with Type 1 Diabetes for probably around a year or so.  It's one of those books that I really wanted to read (and needed to read), but I just kept finding excuses not to.  But after a rather difficult week where I haven't been able to exercise pretty much at all due to low glucose levels (and with the long weekend coming where I want to exercise a lot), I thought that now was the perfect time to finally read Getting Pumped! (and hopefully glean some tips to help me survive the weekend).

At 96 pages, Getting Pumped is a very quick read; it's also written in very plain language, which adds to the ease (although there are some concepts that took me a second read-through to understand).  It starts out by explaining how diabetes affects the body, then goes on to show some strategies you can use while on an insulin pump (and preferably with a continuous glucose monitor) to make it through aerobic and anaerobic exercises.  It's also got profiles of nine athletic individuals of various ages living with diabetes, and some very interesting notes on some lesser-known diabetes champions.  Riddell has Type 1 diabetes himself, so he adds some sidebars with his own thoughts from living an active life with diabetes.

I was a little bit confused as to who the audience for the book is (beyond the obvious of a person with Type 1 diabetes who has an insulin pump).  There were some sections of the book that seemed written for parents of children with Type 1 diabetes, and others where it seemed to be aimed more at teens (the chart showing a starting point for ex-carbs only went up to people who are 60kg, so that seemed aimed more at teens, too).  But one of the profiles featured a sixty year old man with Type 1 diabetes, so I'm not entirely sure.

I also noticed that when Riddell was talking about running a temporary basal (the background insulin) for exercise, he didn't actually say when to stop it.  But he's included an email address at the beginning of the book, so I'm going to message him and see what he says.

Other than those rather minor things, I think that Getting Pumped! is a fantastic resource for people on an insulin pump who want to live a more active life.

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