Made the call

I've been agonizing for a couple of months over whether I want to go for an insulin pump. Well today I made the call to my endo's office to get the process started. After mulling the idea over for what seems like forever it was a reply that Acidrock made to another member that finally pushed me to make a decision. He said "It's better to regret something you have done than something you haven't!". I knew then that if I didn't at least try then I would always regret it. Thanks AR for that bit of wisdom.

Now folks get ready. Assuming that my insurance approves it, and I think they will, there are going to be questions, maybe a lot of question. I'm going to apologize in advance in case I become a nuisance.

Here's my first question. What do I need to do to prepare myself?


LOL, I was quoting the Butthole Surfers!!

If you already know about counting carbs and all that stuff, you should be fine. I'd suggest being open-minded about using the pump data "harvester" to get info and, if you can get it close, keep working to get it closer? I've been amazed to see how very small, like .025U/hour, variations will make a perceptable difference in my overall BG picture. Maybe read "Think Like a Pancreas" or "Your Diabetes Science Experiment" as they are the most fun books I've read about messing around with doses and setting goals.

Hi Gary and congrats ahead of time! Don't hesitate to ask questions, we've all been there! What I would do to get ready is get the book Pumping Insulin by John Walsh. It's a bible for the pump the way Using Insulin is for insulin in general! Then do your homework and decide which pump you want. They all have different features and it's really a matter of seeing which is right for you. Once you make your choice then hook up with a trainer and access their manual online so you can skim it a bit before you get the pump. It's definitely a learning curve, but well worth it. Like many people, I'd never go back!

I agree with Zoe about getting the book "Pumping Insulin" by John Walsh. I enjoyed reading the book, but found it a bit technical and I needed my pump trainer and CDE to explain much of the details to me. Still, it is a good read, and I think it is well worth the investment.

I think the best thing that you can do is to be very sure that you are able to count carbs. Most of us now are taught to do that, whether we are using a pump or on MDI. Carb counting is, at least to me, the difference of whether or not the pump will be effective on a given bolus.

The second thing you need to do is to decide on which pump you want. When I got mine a little over a year ago, the Animas, the MiniMed and the OmniPod were the choices. I did a lot of research on pumps and decided that the Animas was best for me. I haven't been sorry about mu choice. Now AcuCheck and the T-Slim are added to the market, making the decision a little more difficult. If you are using a CGM, that may influence your decision as well. There are all kinds of threads of information around for all the pumps. Personally, I think I would still choose the Animas, but that is just me. Good luck with your decision. Please take a good amount of time to study each one. It will be worth your effort, and remember that you will have to be comfortable with the one you choose for four to five years.

Good luck. I think you will love the pump and never want to return to MDI. I know that is how I feel.

Be well.

Brian Wittman

Step 1: Read "Pumping Insulin." Make sure to get the newest edition.

Step 2: Repeat step 1.

Step 3: Make sure to log everything for a 2-3 week period (insulin, carbs, BGs, etc). This is critical because this information will be used to set your initial basal rates and I:C ratios.

Step 4: Watch videos on YouTube that show people changing their sites. There are tons. You can also find videos of people operating their pumps (i.e., going through menus, etc)

Step 5: When you get your pump, don't be afraid to play around with it! You can read the manual too, but it's far more efficient to load it up with some saline and give it a go. You're not going to hurt anything, even if you connect it to you (with saline) and try it out.

Step 6: Get a clear understanding of what your monthly charges will be for pump supplies and how much you will need to pay out-of-pocket for your pump. This was harder than I anticipated.

Step 7: Make sure you get everything you need in your initial order. Reservoirs and infusion sets are obvious, but you can also get skintac and IV3000.

Which pumps are you getting? If you haven't selected a pump yet, do your research and pick the pump that is right for YOU (not just what your endo recommends).

Thanks AR, Zoe, Brian and MBP, I see a consensus in your replies “Read Pumping Insulin” so I have already been checking it out on Amazon, ordering it will be the first thing I will do if my insurance approves my request.

I have sort of been preparing myself for quite some time. I have been learning carb counting and logging my results not only because I wanted to some day pump but also because I needed those skills with MDI. I’m not an expert but I manage.

As far as what pump I might choose I’m leaning toward the Minimed. Not because of any special feature but because of the reservoir size. Because I’m T2 and have some insulin resistance going on I think I will need the 300 unit size, I might almost make it 3 days with the 200 unit Ping but not quite. Also I’m not brave enough to try the new T-Slim at least not as a first pump, I want tried and true.

Thanks again for your replies.

I have the Minimed Revel (the smaller size) and have been very happy with it. I'm a total "techie" but when it comes to my pump, I wand something reliable that I know is going to work. I think your choice is wise. It is very easy to use and I can attest to its durability! I think the only reason you'd want the Ping over the Revel is if you either spend a lot of time around water or have trouble seeing (the screen on the Ping is larger, the Revel has a very basic screen that would pose difficulties for people with vision issues).

Make sure to ask for several different infusion set samples when you get your pump. Try a few to find which sets work best for you.

I think there are a lot of companies out there to be really looked at. I am right now looking for a new insulin pump myself. I love what I have but I am out of warranty. I have gone over and over with what is good. A lot of it comes from just being able to try them out yourself. Most of the companies do let you try them out for a 30day run. One thing I like with the infusion sets is being able to use universal ones from many different vendors. I believe medtronics you need to buy from them and only them. A lot of the feedback that I have read most people are not the happiest with medtronics for the aggressive sales and changes that they have not made in a long time. I believe they are a good company. I just find better alternatives out there. Right now I am looking at the T Slim and the accu chek . If your doctors office has a good well informed nutritionist they are a great help. Also, the Internet can help as well as this site. Good luck

I hope it works out for you. I have been pumping and on CGM for a little over a year now and can't imagine ever going back to injections. The learning curve was a bit challenging but once you understand your body and can think like the pump you will love it. Actually the pum part was easy, especially if you can count carbs. The CGM took a little while to master.
Use the forums, read, and use the Medtronic nurse alot! There pump is very durable, very reliable & supported with great service. It isn't as pretty but it's in a case or your pocket anyway. They have been great to me. I can't explain it but besides the reservoir being to small, i just had an uncomfortable feeling about animas.

Hi Gary: Congratulations! I think it is a great decision. I have been pumping for about 15 years now and would never go back (I also had the first edition of Pumping Insulin, and I can vouch for it). Listen carefully to all that your pump trainer says, ask questions here, and one thing others haven't mentioned is that most people require less insulin on a pump versus MDI. My insulin usage went down by 20-25%, so just test a lot and be alert to hypos. Good luck!

Update, I received a call from the Medtronic rep this afternoon and she tells me that my insurance has approved my request. Thank You BCBS.

I'm so excited I feel like a kid at Christmas as a matter of fact I told Mrs. Stemwinder that the co-pay will be my Christmas present this year. Hopefully I can be hooked up and pumping before Christmas. Rep says the pump will be here in a few days and that the pump educator will be the hold up to starting.

Wish me luck and please be ready because like I said earlier, I will have questions

Congrats...Medtronic is wonderful to work with in getting pumps approved. Play with it a lot when you get it, you can't hurt it. I agree the pump training is the biggest hold up, but even if you have to wait longer than you want to, take that time to get to know your new pump. I think you will be very satisfied with Minimed. It's pretty darn user friendly.