Bolus Wizards are specific to insulin pumps to which they're in-built. By inputting your information the bolus wizard recommends your insulin dose.
Anyone who's used a computer will be familiar with a Setup Wizard - a little software programme that helps you to do certain tasks, usually but taking you through a short series of screens where you choose from a few options.
A bolus wizard is essentially identical, but for your insulin dosage.
The standard system is that you go to your insulin pump controls and select the bolus wizard, input your blood sugar reading, input your estimated carbohydrate intake and it will suggest a bolus (or dose) based on that information but also taking into account your background (or basal) insulin.
Setting up your Bolus Wizard
There is a bit of setting up that you need to do to get the bolus wizard so that it’s right for you.
It already knows your basal rates - you do not need to plug these in as it can read them from the pump, but you need to input your carbs:insulin ratios.
If you’re lucky, then you might have an easy ratio, like 10g of carb:1 unit of insulin.
Your diabetes nurse should be able to help you with this if it proves a stumbling block, but most diabetics have an idea of how many units they need to set as a dose with regards to how many carbs they are about to eat.
A sandwich worth 40g of carb might require 4 units, or 6 units or more (we’re all different).
Your bolus wizard needs to have that kind of inside knowledge of your diabetes to help make its bolus calculations.
Trusting a machine for your insulin calculations
Using a bolus wizard is quite a big step for many people with diabetes as you might feel unsure about trusting a machine to make the calculations that have become a part of your everyday life.
But you get to trust the bolus wizard through use, and at any point you can override it’s advice, or go in and reset some of the settings - maybe you gain greater insulin sensitivity as your over control improves and your ratio of carbs:insulin might change, which would need to be reflected in the settings or else the bolus calculations will be out of whack with your needs.
Bolus wizards: for pumpers
If you’re a pumper and have not yet ventured into bolus wizard territory, maybe it’s time to give it a whirl.
You can rely on plugging in manual calculations but if you can get the bolus wizard working in sync with your body then it’s a little faster to use, making overall pump operation even less fuss.
You might even find yourself thinking about it as a companion and advisor as it’s probably the only thing on the planet that knows as much about your diabetes control as you do.