First Time Pumper

If I could go back I would want to have known that it was going to take a LOT longer to get everything dialed in on the pump than anyone led me to expect. In my case my control was actually quite good with MDI, which I’d been doing for ten years, and getting the pump adjusted is a cautious, incremental process*, so I was seeing much higher numbers than I had for years and it was pretty frustrating. I’d also echo that it is more complicated, or maybe a more useful way to put it is that there are a lot more failure points than with a simple pen injector or vial-and-syringe. This caused me a lot of grief, not just because of the usual things like bubbles in the tubing and the occasional yanked-off infusion set, but also because–as it turned out–my first batch of reservoirs were faulty (eventually I got a notice that they were being recalled by the factory), something I had no way of noticing and no point of comparison to go on since it was all new to me.

All that said, the pump does give you many more ways to adjust your treatment to fit your life, rather than the other way around, and that is a very good thing. I just think I would have had a lower level of aggravation if I’d had more realistic expectations about the transition.

*The nature of the device is that it is continuously administering small doses, so there’s danger of piling up too much insulin while you’re still getting all your levels figured out. That’s why DBE’s tend to start out very conservatively and only increase gradually. I did much better when I had the confidence to make my own adjustments, but there are good reasons to be cautious. Also, I was surprised to find that my total daily basal dose amounted to quite a bit less insulin compared to what I was using with Lantus. I think that’s pretty common as well.


I’d do this now. Why wait???

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@Bridget6 – I couldn’t agree more with @rgcainmd. A well-calibrated continuous glucose monitor (CGM) not only illuminates blood glucose numbers but also enables an incredible customized education on how your body deals with food, exercise, and insulin. The education piece alone is worth the price of admission!

Dexcom is definitely the most helpful tool I’ve experienced in my 19 years of betes. I can’t imagine how helpful Dexcom would have been when staring pumping. If I ever had to choose, Dexcom would win. Most any regimen can be tweaked so long as you are able to see the patterns. I wish all humans diagnosed with any type of diabetes could have the opportunity to use cgm as a tool if they chose. Even if just for a short time to dial things in. [quote=“rgcainmd, post:3, topic:57488”]
Get a Dexcom CGM before getting a pump. (But it’s never too late to get a Dexcom.)

I have been pumping for 26 years. I was on MDI for my first 20 years and we felt the pump would give me better control with the overnight blood sugars. We just couldn’t get them right with the ultralente we were using at the time.
So I went on a pump and was very unhappy because I thought it was going to fix everything. It didn’t and it doesn’t. It was a lot of work, a lot more variables, a lot more changes for problems especially with infusion sets. But all that being said, I LOVE being on a pump. It has given me so much flexibility. I can sleep in and not worry about having to take an injection. I can skip a meal and not worry about crashing. And when I first started on a pump, I felt my first growling stomach pains. I didn’t know what that was, as before I ate on a schedule. I ate because the insulin demanded I eat not because I was hungry.
Pumps are a lot of work and you have to put a lot of time into it. The programming, the infusion set changes, the emergency supplies you need to have with you or near by in case something goes wrong. It is not the cure all answer. But it has made my life so much easier. I can exercise and turn it down or off, can’t with injections. I had two beautiful children due to a lot of hard work and the ease of basal adjustments.
I also highly recommend a CGM. While I think the best technology we have had over my life time, I think it was blood testing meters, CGM’s with the help of my blood testing meter have really made me so aware of everything. You can see what you are doing and how it affects your blood sugar. I can see that while I love nachos, I need to adjust bolus delivery. I can see walking on the beach, much easier on blood sugar than walking the streets in my neighborhood. It’s a game changer.
So long winded here both are great, but both need the attention that diabetes always requires. No easy fix, but they sure help make things a little easier. Good luck with whatever pumpCGM you go with. No perfect pump for everyone, so find what will work for you. Let us know how it goes for you!

MM1 is right there is an update for the pump. They are sending the CGM download that I will put in my pump to make it both a CGM and a pump. I’m not completely educated about what the transmitter and sensors will be like but it sounds right to me! This technology is awesome! I will be able to get any update in the future by simply downloading it onto my pump/CGM.

What a wonderful response! Thank you so much!

Thank you Sally7! Such an insightful answer. I will definitely let you know.

As many have mentioned, having CGMS while you start up on insulin pump would be a great help. You may want to check into getting the G5 from Dexcom now, rather than waiting until next year, since you plan on getting it anyway.
I found on Dexcom website a possible ‘rebate’ of $200 for purchase before year-end.
Dexcom G5

You can learn more about the transmitter and sensors on dexcom website. Prior to your T-slim upgrade, you could use the G5 system (receiver+transmitter+sensors), that would show your BG on receiver , instead of the T-slim pump. Once your T-slim is upgraded, you would no longer need the G5 receiver, as the same information would display on your T-slim. It would mean carrying an extra device for a short while, but give you the advantage of having CGMS while you are figuring out your pump settings.

(Or if you have iphone, you don’t even need the G5 receiver.)

But the update will do nothing until you get the actual CGM. Which you can do now; it will work without this update. Whether you purchase the actual CGM now or wait for the update, the price will be the same. So I’ll repeat my question: Why wait?

When I get trained I will ask about it! Thanks for clarifying!

Thank you so much for your help! I will have to look into it.