My Endo said my insurance has approved me for a pump! My first ever. I have been on MDI since my diagnosis 4 years ago at age 28. As far as I know I can probably have my pick she said. I don’t know the first thing about them. I’m going to a pump class tomorrow to learn more, but figured I see what the thoughts here were. I have 4 boys and have worked manual labor jobs for years. So I have been a little apprehensive about a pump for awhile. I’m not working at a manual labor type job now so that’s not so much of a concern. But my active 1 1/2 year old and my growing 3 month old are. (Thinking tubes or needle rip out kind of stuff). I was hoping to get thoughts and opinions on models you use, or do or do not like. Any experiences or tips/tricks ect. All help is appreciated. Thanks.
Here’s a good place to start
I don’t have kids, but in over 25 years of pumping, I’ve never had a set rip out. (knock on wood!) . I keep my pump clipped to my pants pocket.
If you are interested in the Accu-chek Combo, it’s the one I have.
Congrats on the approval! I hope you have great luck with whatever pump you choose–just like my awesome experience with mine (I’ve had 5 or 6 models from the same company–Medtronic) since 1996. Changed my life. I suggest reading Walsh’s ‘Pumping Insulin’. Others recommend that as well as ‘Think Like Pancreas’. Good luck!
People will mostly recommend what they use. If at all possible, try to play with different models in person. Because this is an item you’re going to be handling throughout the day, so how you relate to it–what it feels like, what it looks like, how it responds to you–is important. And think hard about the pump vs pod issue. There are reasonable cases on both sides of that debate, but the differences are big there, far more so than between the other pumps.
I’ve always used the Minimed ones. They are kind of the Toyota/Subaru of pumps because they are the most popular, tend to be the most reliable, and by far have the best customer service responsiveness. But they don’t always have the latest bells and whistles. Concerns about the tubing are normal, but honestly it’s quite rare to have an actual instance of it being pulled out. I had two small and very active lap dogs when I first got mine and was really concerned about it, but I always kept the extra tubing tucked in my underwear so it’s not like it’s just hanging out there. With that said, some people like the Omnipod for that reason. I’ve heard dreadful things about Animas customer service, but now that they are owned by Johnson & Johnson, maybe that will get better. Good luck - you will love it once you get everything settled in!
I have been with Diesatronic/Accu-chek for 15 years. Using the Combo pump now. Service has always been good and the pumps have done the job. But definitely shop around. We are all different so different features will appeal to people. I also recommend the “Pumping Insulin” book. It’s a big help.
The Diabetes Mall has a lot of good pump information, it’s John Walsh’s site, he wrote Pumping Insulin, which you should read & treat as your bible.
The site is www.diabetesnet.com, select the Technology tab. There’s a good table comparing all the pumps available in the US. Then get in touch with the local reps for the pump companies & get them to give you a hands on demonstration so you can feel what the different pumps are like.
You can get Pumping Insulin at the diabetes mall or on Amazon.
It is almost impossible to pick the wrong pump. It is true some things are better or worse for some, but all are essentially the same. My advice ask you doctor what they like and go from there. I use medtroinc and think it is wonderful, others think other manufactures are improved.
I wish you the very best, if I can help whit the medronic let me know and I will be thrilled to help out.
I’ve used pumps for a long time. I used many Mini-Med (Medtronic) models, one for ten years. They’re dependable and can survive the rough and tumble of an active life. I’ve also used Animas Ping for over six years and it’s been very dependable and rugged.
I experimented with the OmniPod for five months and didn’t do so well. I had absorption issues along with infusion set occlusions and other alarms. While my experience was not good, there are many happy OmniPod users that love that technology.
If you’re like most of us using insurance to finance the expense, you are basically making a four-year commitment to that product and the stream of supplies it’ll need. I’d highly encourage trying out any system before you have to commit for four years minimum. Test drives are your friend!
Pumps are great, they do the math and they have great memories. Better than mine. Don’t worry about catching pump tubing on doorknobs or other hooking hazards. I’ve used thousands of infusion sets and I’ve only pulled out a few and some of those were due to adhesive failures. It’s also great to only need to use one type of insulin.
Remember, in the end, the pump is just a fancy syringe. It is the human brains, emotions, and motivations that can exploit the potential of the pump. Place a large emphasis on learning as much as you can. Take whatever training is made available. Check out Pumping Insulin by Walsh and Think Like A Pancreas by Scheiner. Your knowledge and motivation dwarfs any technology.
Good luck. Until there’s a better way, I love pumping insulin.
Terry, best and informative post for the OP, ever!!! Well done!
I switched to a pump about 2 1/2 years ago after about 10 years on MDI and about 20 on R/NPH before that. What I want to pass along is more like expectations management than a recommendation for a specific device. My own experience of the transition was that it took a lot longer than I expected to get my numbers back to where they’d been on MDI. This was something of a surprise because I was pretty experienced at carb counting and understood the theory of the whole thing–or thought I did. Maybe it’s just a matter of hearing what we want to hear, but when they told me it would take “several weeks” to get it all dialed in, I was thinking a month at the outside, whereas in reality it was at least three months before I felt like I was getting on top of it and maybe 6 before I felt like it was really working for me the way it was supposed to.
Other people seem to get there more rapidly, but you do have to be patient. One reason it takes a while is that basal on a pump is very different from Lantus or Levemir. The pump is incrementing away all day long, so you need to be very careful about increasing your basal rates or things can spin out of control. I was frustrated by seeing a lot of high numbers and wanted to crank things up to make them go away, but my trainers (at Joslin Center) were being much more cautious and rightly so. There were some other issues that were probably unique to my case (a bad lot of reservoirs in my very first order–sheesh!), and a number of times I came very close to saying “screw this!” and going back to MDI. In the end I stuck with it and am gad I did, but I think my frustration level would have been lower if my initial expectations had been more realistic.
Someone should mention that tubing length and type of infusion set are also important considerations in the non-Pod world. Not all of the manufacturers offer the same options so it’s definitely something you want to check on. One thing I didn’t like about the late and very much lamented Snap when I was using it was that they only offered two tubing lengths: too short and too long. The short ones made it difficult to reach some potential infusion sites and the long ones were always getting in the way of things, wanting to get snagged and more difficult to furl discreetly away somewhere. As for the sets themselves, you want your pump to be able to accommodate different types because even if you’re ok with the standard ones at first, problems can crop up over time. Some people can’t tolerate the material the flexible canulas are made of (nylon?) and prefer stainless steel. I was using angled sets for a while because the Snap pump was more sensitive to occlusions and I have some scarring that, while pretty mild, was sufficient to set off Non-delivery alerts all the time. There are a number of alternatives in this realm, so compatibility with different types can really matter if you start to have problems with the standard ones after a while. I will say in Medtronic’s favor that they’re pretty good on this score, both in tubing lengths and types of sets.
Thanks for all the information! Had a very informative class today and have decided to try out the T:slim. I’m very excited and hope this will improve my life. Thanks again everyone!
Congratulations on your pump approval. I resisted getting a pump for 38 years. I got a Dexcom CGM first and when I realized how really crappy my blood sugar control was on MDI I finally decided on an Omnipod pump. As Phoenixbound said, the transition from MDI to pump isn’t instantaneous no matter how well you prepare beforehand. So be patient and expect your blood sugars to be out of whack for a while. And as Terry said it’s basically a very fancy syringe. The nice part is the pump does the math for you, it keeps track of your blood sugars (well Omnipod does), how much insulin you take etc. I like the flexibility to adjust my basal rate for exercise which has made my workouts a lot more effective and safe. It’s great to be able to go for a long bike ride and not worry about the lantus or levemir lows. Make sure though when you switch you always have at least 1 basal pen and 1 rapid acting pen in your refrigerator for pump emergencies. I have both in my fridge and so far have not needed either one but they’re good in an emergency.
i use the medtroinc pump and have for 23 years. I love my medtroinc pump, it is dependable, easy to use and i think the telephone support is wonderful.
Having said that, the truth is you cannot make a bad decision. Today’s pumps are pretty much the same with some minor variations. Yes i love the medtroinc pump but unless there is just one feature you just have to have I woudl select the one that my endo most often uses in their office. By and large, if your endo is happy with it and has connections whit the company you will likely be happy with it as well.
Congratulations on getting an approval. I, myself was just given approval to get a pump also. Im considering trying out the t:slim since I like the touch-screen interface. I have so many questions and concerns about going from MDI to a pump and having to deal with wardrobe concerns. I love to wear dresses, and skirts and so I was doing a lot of research to determine how i would still be able to still dress nicely yet discreetly hide my pump. Im due to go for pump training in a couple of weeks so perhaps i can address those questions/concerns then. Do any of the ladies have any tips on that subject?
here’s one discussion we had on wearing it w a skirt
there are others on this page