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Tackling The Unexpected

In my last post I talked about using my pump’s Dual Wave Bolus feature to tackle foods that are rough on my blood sugar. But the Dual Wave isn’t the only feature on my pump that helps with my blood sugar management. I also make use of the Temp Basal function to try to cut down on highs and lows.

When I was on multiple daily injections I sometimes found the inflexibility of my long-acting insulin tough. My endo had recommended reducing my 24-hour dose a bit if I knew I’d be having an unusually active day. But in life things are often spontaneous. A day of hiking can be ruined by an unexpected storm. A quiet day can quickly become anything but. Now that I’m pumping I appreciate having more flexibility for unplanned activities. By setting a Temp Basal rate, I can turn my basal up or down by a certain percentage in half hour increments for as little as thirty minutes or for as long as 24 hours. Why might I do this?

I might set a higher temp basal when:
  • I’m sick and it’s causing my blood sugar to soar.
  • Hormonal changes are making my blood sugar high.
  • I’m at a party and grazing on snacks throughout the evening.
  • I’ve eaten a meal that makes me spike long after my Dual Wave finishes (Mexican food does this to me every time).
  • I just have a very high sugar that won’t budge down.
There are also times setting a lower Temp Basal helps me avoid hypoglycemic episodes, such as:
  • When I’m doing aerobic exercise.
  • When hormonal changes are making my blood sugar low. (Yup, depending on the time of month, hormones may spike me or make me drop.)
  • When it’s time for bed and I’m not quite low enough to need a snack, but I can see my blood sugar is trending down.
  • When I’m going out shopping. Trips to the grocery store or to Target tend to bring on lows every time.

Of course, as with my Dual Wave Boluses, the Temp Basal settings took several discussions with my doctor and some trial and error. And there are times when I still end up too high or too low. But usually they help me stay closer to the range I’m aiming for, and that lets me enjoy my day even more!


– Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.
– Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.

Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps

– Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
– Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.

Please visit for complete safety information.

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