If I want to pump

Hey guys. I have an appointment with my very strict endo in a few weeks and I want to ask him about possibly starting on a pump.

When I Iasked him last year, he said I had to get my A1C levels down (it was 14 and I have gotten it down to an 8.9 and am shooting for a 7.0 on my next visit.)

I’m wondering what questions I should ask him about using an insulin pump? Also, can anyone tell me what my A1C levels have to do with my using a pump? And - what model/brand would you recommend for a first-timer?

I’ve read some of your comments on pumps on this site and frankly, it’s overwhelming. Or maybe, I’m just used to taking shots.


Hi Katrina,
I’ve been on an insulin pump a little over a year and I love it!

I’ve read that some Endo’s want their patients to lower their A1c before going on a pump to show they’re motivated and focused on getting tight control with their blood glucose. But I think being on a pump will only help to improve your control.

I did a lot of research before choosing the Animas 1250. I went to a local pump support group and talked to other pumpers. I also talked to people on http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/ I read about the different pumps here http://www.diabetesnet.com/diabetes_technology/insulin_pump_models.php and if you contact the different pump companies the local reps will meet with you and show you their products.

If your Endo doesn’t want to help you get a pump, I would find another Dr. There is no reason for you to wait for a lower A1c.

Shirley from Georgia
type 1 since June 2005
using Animas 1250 and Novolog since June 2006

Thanks Shirley. I actually switched to this endo because my previous one was dead - set against even talking to me about it. It made me wonder how close-minded he would be to other treatments that may arise in the next few years.

I will definitely look at those sites. Pumping scares me for some reason - I can’t explain it.

I would look into your insurance and see which pump company is a preferred vendor - most are preferred, but when you start looking at CGM’s my insurace considers DEXCOM to be out of network. So that could impact your decsion on pump brand. From what i can tell, they all have the same general attributes…i doubt you will go wrong.
If you are on a super low amount of insulin and are extremely insulin sensitive, Animas may be better. But if you are on 20 or more units a day - the others will work just fine.

I agree with Shirley - there is no reason to wait for a lower A1C

hi Katrina -

Pumping insulin requires a lot of work for me. A pump works very well for me, but it doesn’t by magic.

Going from an A1C of 14 to an 8.9 probably took some serious work on your part. I hope it demonstrates something good to your endo.

I agree with what Shirley wrote.

I’ve been using Minimed pumps since 2000. I didn’t choose my first one, my endo did. I have no problem with that. I don’t know about the other pump makers, but it’s really nice that Minimed has an 800 number for customer support that always (even in the middle of the night on Sunday) has people to answer question.

Good luck with pumping!

I would make sure to bring good records with you - of your BG results, carb intake & insulin amounts. You have to carb count while on the pump and proving that you can do it on injections will show that you’re willing to do the work and already know the basics.

I think your doctor wanted to make sure that you’re willing to work and don’t think a pump is magic and will give you perfect BGs. So many people (non-pumpers) I’ve talked to think that once you start pumping it means you don’t have to check your BG any more. And that was even before Minimed came out with their CGMS.

I went on the pump to lower my blood sugar levels. But I did have to show my endo 3 months of regular (at least 6 times per day) testing records and I had to show a diabetes educator that I could keep an active food record. I couldn’t get my A1C below 7.0 before the pump. Now I am down to 6.6. It is dropping (seemingly) every time I get another A1C done. But I am testing anywhere from 6 to 10 times per day. So that part is a lot of work. I have a MiniMed, but I recommend calling the companies to meet with a rep from a few different companies before you pick. I didn’t do this, and part of me wishes I had. I LOVE my pump, don’t get me wrong. I just wish I knew a little more about what was out there.

Yeah, the pumps have an almost mystical thing about them to me. I know I’ll have to test, but it just seems like the pump does all the work for me. I know that’s not true though.

I think I can monitor it fine. I’m just worried about feeling chained to something all the time. And if it malfunctions.