Calling all Pump Veterans! What's the best way to be ready to Start Pumping Successfully?

Howdy! I just got My pump yesterday, and have just starting reading the (huge) manual that came in the box. I’ll of course watch the video, and read everything, but just wanted to ask the Pump Vetrans here if there was anything else I can, or should do to get myself ready to switching to an Insulin Pump.
I was thinking that going back to a written log for at least the 2 weeks before My appointment, so that the trainer and doctor can see what my doses are like, and how I’m reacting to them, but I don’t know if that is maybe doing too much?

Please let me know what you all think.

Oh by the way, My day long training day is June 23rd, and then I get hooked up June 27th with Insulin. It seems they don’t both with doing the saline that I have read that others have done.

A.K.A. Dude

I’m far from being a veteran, however… Read all the literature that came with the pump. Don’t worry about memorizing it all, that will come with experience - just familiarize yourself with it. Don’t fret if you make mistakes or have any difficulty doing things in the beginning; again, experience. Give it a week and you won’t need the instructions sheet for inserting the sensor and firing up the pump any more.

Most of all, look down the road a few weeks or months to the time when you’ll have much better/tighter control.

What pump did you get?

One thing I learned when I started in 2000, do not let anyone set you up with infusion sets because they prefer them. If you encounter something you dont like about the set, ask the CDE or trainer to get you some samples so you can try other things. Also, you dont need everything in that huge box. If they send adhesive removers, you might want them or you might not. You’ll learn how to meter out your supplies and not over-order.
Also make sure the trainer is available. Mine left town with no cell phone, and I kept having problems and couldnt call anyone.
Needless to say, I dumped her.

They may give you a sheet to keep track of things for a couple weeks. I loved the sheets my Animas trainer gave me (later down the road when I switched to Animas). That helps a lot. Remember, you need to test a lot and you’ll probably be making some changes as you go. I havent met anyone who didnt need to do a whole lot of tweaking of doses and numbers the first few weeks.

Once you have the screens down, and Animas will help you learn those, you;ll be on your way. There are features in there that I must admit, I still have to refresh my memory on. Things I didnt use that I probably ought to have, but they are the non-essential things. You will be fine with the basics from the get-go as long as you test and test again!
Have fun, dont be overwhelmed.
You dont need saline either, it isnt really even necessary.

I got the Animas Ping with the Remote. It seems pretty cool

Love my Ping! I’d hazard a guess that yours isn’t pink like mine? LOL Laura made a really good point about supplies. All I use is skin prep to clean the site and provide extra adhesion, and something antibiotic to put on the site when you remove the set. I love the insets from animas, but have tried others too. Give them all a try, as Laura said ask for samples of everything!

Gotta love our pink…

6 month veteran here :). I wouldn’t be happy if I had to wait three weeks to get started. I thought the Animas rep was pretty useless, I got much tighter control once I didn’t have to deal with them.

Congrats on your Ping, Gerry. I’ve had mine (my first pump) for five months now and I love it. I too went through the manual and did all the settings first. I actually liked being on saline for 5 days because that’s when I did all that programming and learned that aspect of the pump before it being critical with the insulin. But you can do that in the time you have to wait until your training. I also highly recommend Pumping Insulin by John Walsh. I go back to the Manual for this or that technical thing, but I go back to Pumping when I’m trying to think something through and always find new insights there.

The only words of wisdom I want to share is that it is a pretty big learning curve to go from MDI to the pump. If you are used to keeping records, computing corrections, tweaking numbers and counting carbs that is certainly important. But there’s still a lot to learn. It also takes awhile before you get all the numbers right, so for a time you might actually have worse not better blood sugar! I’m also very unmechanical, "hand eye coordination? " Nope, none here! LOL So for me it took awhile before I got the hang of the sets. I would make myself a cappuchino, take deep breaths, and follow the instructions line by line for weeks before it got easy for me. I also had a lot more failed sets in those early weeks, so don’t freak if you have that experience. It just takes awhile to get the feel for it.

I agree that don’t let anyone tell you what choices are right for you. My trainer told me that they only client she had who “needed” the 43 inch tubing was a 6’5" guy. I LOVE 43 inch tubing and it’s all I use. It makes me feel much freer and untethered. I just tuck it into my waistband so it doesn’t bother me to have extra tubing. I also thought I’d love the Tallyband waist pack and I hated it, so it’s all about trial and error and seeing what works for you.

LOL I went with a Blue one :slight_smile:

Congrats Gerry. I have been pumping for 17 years, 6 1/2 years with an Animas pump although not a Ping. I have an IR-1250 and I will until it dies, so I don’t have any Ping-specific advise. When I started on a pump, I had little to go on, but now there are all kinds of resources. Of course you need to know enough about your specific pump to use it, but in addition, you might want to get a book called “Pumping Insulin” by John Walsh and Ruth Roberts. The other thing you need to be sure you do is carb counting. You won’t be able to properly bolus for foods if you really don’t know how many carbs you are covering. Having a pump will become so second nature that you’ll actually forget you have it most of the time, if you’re like me. I was without a pump for a few months between my last MiniMed pump and my Animas because of stupid insurance red tape, and they were the worst 3 months of my life. I was so used to not having to take shots, I would forget. I love the automatic-ness of insulin pumps!

Michelle, you got that many years out of your 1250? Maybe there is hope. I have a 1250 and Ping, and may need to get all I can get out of them.

I followed some recommendations from people here and have bought “Think Like a Pancreas” By Gary Scheiner, which I am really enjoying! Seems like a great book with lots of great information and really well written. Some one here, Zoe, recommended Pumping Insulin by John Walsh. Anyone have thoughts on the 2 books to compare?

I wouldnt pump without owning Walsh’s book.
Gary has a great service, Integrated Diabetes, out of Philly.
He just gave me some advice while I am pump shopping (thank you Gary). I used to use their remote diabetes services, but it got too costly for me. I trust his work, it’s very well done.

Pumping Insulin is a lot more specific to the pump, Dude. My understanding is Think Like a Pancreas is more equivalent to Walsh’s first book, Using Insulin which is more general.

Not entirely though.
The back cover says the book discusses Optimal Management of Diabetes Using an Insulin Pump.
And it does…

Oh, I didn’t know that, Laura, thanks for mentioning it. I’m a Walsh reader myself, and had just assumed from what everyone says that TLAP was equivalent to Using Insulin, because people usually recommend one or the other to people starting on insulin but Pumping to people starting a pump. Good to know!

It’s just dated. 2004.
But it’s hard to buy any diabetes book that stays current for long!

Animas gave me a free copy of Pumping Insulin by John Walsh. I can’t remember now if it was my pump trainer or the nurse that gave it to me. I’d consider Pumping Insulin as a must have book on the shelf to reffer too to help with all manners of troubleshooting.

My training was only 2 hours and then off to saline. After a weekend on saline, it was download and email to Animas trainer every day, for 28 days. Then and only then did I graduate.

BTW, who does a day long training. I am a former college professor and the mind can only absorb that which the tail can endure. GRIN>> Day long, classroom training is TOO LONG for anybody. Your retention will be about 30% or 2.4 of the 8 hours training. Only problem, neither you nor the trainer get to pick which 2.4 hours worth you remember…

My advice, memorize the Animas manual. BEST WISHES. Keep us informed.

Remember to watch out for the OPP on I-75 in the States because of the number of Ontario drivers. <<GRIN>>

LOL!! Thanks Man!