How much do you really know about your pump?


I read most of my pump manual before I began pumping. I also read the first half of Pumping Insulin by John Walsh, and in the past had read Think Like a Pancreas by Gary Scheiner. So, I had a very good grasp of concepts like basal, bolus, extended bolus, and so on before I began pumping.

Also, for the year before I got a pump I kept a logbook of everything and reviewed it on a daily and weekly basis. Keeping detailed logs is useless if you don’t sit down and review them regularly, looking over what you’ve done in the past and what’s worked and what hasn’t. I review them by comparing day to day and week to week to see whether I’m improving or not and, if not, what areas I need to work on.


Also, most manuals are available in downloadable PDF these days. So no need to buy one, and they can also be enlarged or even read aloud if you can’t read the regular print one (I can’t). It’s always good to have on hand, I think, even if you don’t sit down and read it cover to cover.

I also agree completely with what @Terry4 says. Knowing how your pump works is only part of the battle. Having the confidence, patience, and perseverence to experiment (and keep experimenting) is also really important (and is, I think, something developed over time, especially when emotions like frustration and anxiety get involved at times).


I see your point! That’s what I learned from my CDE, and my first couple of weeks on the pump, I was happy to only drop 30 points after many a long night of low blood sugars! I’ve got my basal rates pretty well set now and don’t swing much more than 10 -15 points over a six hour period. i think 30 was just a starting point.


I’m confused by your response. I was talking about basal testing, which has nothing to do with post meal BG. If you need some clarification on my previous post, let me know.


I had a 3 week training, I read the manual etc. and I read and answered questions in a training book(after which I knew and remembered more than my trainer did, lol, she asked me what page something was on and we both disagreed with what they were suggesting), but there are still things I don’t know and I’ve had multiple problems lately requiring new pumps. I just had a message that insulin had shut off due to 0 insulin in the cartridge not long after I had put on a new one. I was on the phone again and learned that you can just go through the whole load menu again without actually doing the whole new cartridge thing. And I learned not long ago that you can just pop on an old cartridge that is full onto a new pump and it will recognize it.

None of this type of thing is in the manual for my pump. I still haven’t figured out how to stop the huge air bubbles that occur when I syringe insulin out of my penfills… I end up shooting out a lot of insulin to get rid of them. No one has had any solution for that one that actually worked so far.


To avoid air bubbles, I draw up a little more than I want to put in the cartridge and I make sure to hold the syringe upside down while filling. After flicking the syringe a few times, all the air is up by the plunger (if you are holding it upside down). When I fill the cartridge, I don’t push the plunger all the way down, I leave the air bubble behind in the needle, then squirt any leftover insulin back into my insulin vial. It seems to work pretty well for me,


@meee, are you using pen cartridges or disposable pens? I use pen cartridges and keep them at room temperature before filling my pump cartridge (usually they’ve been in my backup insulin pen for a few days prior to me putting it in my pump), and I get very few air bubbles. I can imagine trying to fill from a disposable pen would be a lot harder…


what is your "swing: from pre meal to post?


this was a post about basal testing; i don’t know how we got off the subject. what i was referring to was my other question regarding post-meal BGs. 2 hours after i finish eating, my BGs
will rise by up to 30 points. later it will go down again. is this healthy?


b/c of this, i have run into trouble testing my basal rates.(anxiety, illness, emotions, eta.).
as i have mentioned on previous posts is that i am schizophrenic; i take strong meds for this and they have havoc w/ controlling my BGs. I also have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and this in and of itself can cause (w/ much regularity) terrible bouts of stress, fear, anxiety. it is very difficult to control. i have been living w/ both of these diseases for a long time (before my D dx). all of these factors make me go bonkers sometimes. and then i can become very very frustrated and depressed. UGH :frowning:


i am on the pump. i use vials of Novolog. the only time i would use a pen is if my pump should break, and then i would add Lantus to the mix.


Oh, I see. After meal spiking is pretty standard and 30 points, to me, isn’t bad at all. Putting that into perspective, if you were 100 before a mean, then 130 2 hours post meal and made it back down to 100 or so, sounds like you’ve got your boluses figured out. Of course, these numbers vary from person to person, my goals for my diabetes are not going to be everyone’s goals.My CDE says up to 180 for an after meal spike is perfectly fine as long I’m coming back down (though I prefer to never go above 170).

Medications can make things difficult. I don’t want to pry, but have you discussed alternative meds with your doctor? I went through a very difficult time years back the doctors wanted to put me on a mood stabilizer. All the new ones raise BGs, so I ended up on Lithium with very good results. For any meds that affect your BGs and cannot be changed, do you know exactly how each one effects your numbers? This, I realize is a lot easier said than done, but maybe you can sit down with your pharmacist and discuss what each med does to your BGs


i dont understand your response. i am on the pump. i don’t use syringes. i don’t get air bubbles b/c i draw out more insulin than i need in the pump’s reservoir, and then i press it back into the vile to eliminate any bubbles.


That was in response to mee, sorry.


with regard to your other response about medications, i have been on them all. as a mood stabilizer i take something called Lamictal. (took Lithium long long time ago and had no response) for the OCD i take Klonopin (which is for something called Disassocietive Personality Disorder); I also take something called Brintellix for depressive mood, and as for the anti-psychotic, i have been taking Clozeril, which is specifically for Schizophrenia. i have been on many many diff. anti-psychotics; this has been the most successful one. i have been on it for 14 1/2 years now and have the least side-effects compared to the best symptom relief. its always been a trade off. some don’t effect my BG, but they don’t relieve my symptoms; some cause terrible side effects and i cannot function at all. i have a psychopharmacologist w/whom i work very closely. he is highly aware of my D and how meds react in my system. its a true challenge every day. there is so much more i could tell you about, but i would have to write you a novel, for which i will spare you!!! if i don’t comply w/ my meds, i end up straight into the hospital.


Yes, this is great.


thanks for the response. i “spike” after AM coffee, but w/in 2 - 21/2 hours, i come back down again. is this still considered “spiking?” my am bg might be, for example, 95; then i drink the coffee and my bg can go up as high as 180. but after the 2 + hours, i am back down to about 130 ish.

look fwd to hearing from you,


Well if I was seeing numbers spike as 180 after drinking coffee I would be actively trying to figure out a better method, just like it seems you are. I would consider going from steady at 95 to 180 and then back down again a significant spike that I would endeavor to avoid after just a cup of coffee

To me that is quite different from your first example of being at 95, eating a whole meal, then only rising 30 points at the two hour mark then drifting back down— I’d consider that a very good result.


perhaps i am not taking enough of a bolus for the coffee. when i eat my breakfast w/out the coffee i don’t spike at all. i currently cover 20gms of carbs for the coffee. maybe i should experiment w/ 21gms???


Hm… I just turned down a training session from a CDE sent by Animas – though I haven’t officially done so… She didn’t mention how extensive a program it would be. As it happens, it was the same CDE that trained me on my lamented Asante Snap, so, after the discussion, we decided that I probably didn’t need training. From the sounds of your experience, maybe I was too hasty!