4 years of pumping

Today is a special day for me, it marks 4 years for me on an insulin pump. I can’t believe it has gone by so fast.

Starting out

I really don’t like needles, so I liked the idea of only one needle every 3 days. I was on 70/30 novolog / NPH before the pump, and my A1c was 6.9, but my fasting numbers were really high at 200 to 250 (11.1 to 13.9). I had hopes I could drop my fasting by 40 points.

The first morning after pumping all night, my glucose was 107 (5.9)! Yeah! It was a learning process that never ends, but it does get easier as time goes on.

There are several reasons people give for not using a pump, the cost involved can be one, but please don’t assume - find out what your insurance will pay, you may get a good surprise on that score.

Many reasons amount to wouldn’t it interfere with xxxxxxx ? The thing to remember is, you can disconnect for 15 minutes, or a weekend, or a 2 week vacation, if circumstances dictate. You are not giving up the right to inject. I’ve personally not run into any of these situations, but if given the opportunity to go scuba diving, that day might be one.

If your glucose is high, your body gets rid of some of it by dumping it in your urine, and turning much of the rest into triglycerides - storing it as fat. When your glucose is normalized, this won’t be happening, so you need to eat a bit less. Your body is more efficient at processing food.

One reason given that really bugs me, is "I am afraid of gaining weight on a pump."
If your attitude is “Now I can eat anything I want, as much as I want, any time I want, and just take more insulin”, well - surprise surprise, there may be a weight problem, just like most non-diabetics would have - unless you are young and very active.

Here is what a pump, and 80 grams of carbohydrate a day has done for me.

Today I bought new jeans with a 36 inch waist. They fit just fine! 4 years ago, my jeans had a 42 inch waist. I have not been able to get into 36" jeans since I was in my 30’s, and I am now 60.

My LDL is 52, Triglycerides 112, average glucose 90 (5.0) and A1c 5.0

That is an inspiring story Lloyd. We often hear portrayals that people with T2 are “failures” when they move to insulin and that insulin is a therapy whose side effects are worse than the cure. It is good to hear stories of success, tightly controlled blood sugars, normalized weight and other health markers. Amazingly, insulin can save your life and help you be healthy. Who would have thought?

I think your track record on the pump is also a compelling story. I worry; now being labeled a T2 on insulin that I will be repeatedly denied a pump should I want one. It seems that the guidelines for pumps for T2s focus on those with poor control, rather than diligent patients, like yourself, who can truly achieve great control. Someday, perhaps because of your track record of success, I’ll be able to get a pump. Thanks.

Well, if you’re a Type 2, many insurance companies won’t consider you for a pump at all. Medicare essentially limits pumps to Type 1’s and a few Type 2’s who produce almost no insulin at all, and a lot of insurance companies follow suit. It’s encouraging to hear of Type 2’s getting pumps, because if you’re on insulin, there is no reason you shouldn’t have one.

Lloyd, congratulations on the good numbers – I’m only SLIGHTLY jealous, LOL!

I went from 7.1 to 8.7 in three months, after 12 years on pills, when I got beta cell exhaustion.
For me, the pump is indispensable, because I need 6 x the basal at 3 am as 3 pm. Very difficult to do without a pump.

that’s great!! you are motivation for me being i just got my pump a week ago. there has been frustrations this first week but i’m trying my hardest to work through them. like you my fasting numbers have improved drastically already and i cannot be more happier about that!! i’m however a type one diabetic and i’m really excited to see my first a1c on the pump…hopefully it’s better than my mdi average of 7.2!! :slight_smile: