Pump or no Pump?

I have been a Diabetic for 9 years now, but I havent actually taken it seriously. I dont check my sugar and I sometimes forget to take my insulin. I went to my family doctor and then he sent me to an Diabetes Specialist. I have always wanted a pump but didnt know if it was affordable or even the right thing for me. I asked him if I could get one and he told me it would be pointless for me to have it. My A1C is 12 and I really do want to lower it. Im newly married and want to start a family but not till im healthy. I figure if I cant take care of this for myself i'll do it for my husband. Im looking into the Minimed Pump, but right about now anyone with suggestions about which Pump would be the best or just even if its good for me would be helpful.

Thanks :)

I applaud you for facing the issue. With an A1C of 12 you have lots of room for improvement. That is high enough that you can look forward to feeling noticeably better with every drop in A1C. It is tedious but I fingerstick before every meal and I write down what I eat and place a check mark next to the insulin dose, so I know I took it. It is so worth the effort! I would set myself an A1C goal to stay motivated. If your Diabetes Specialist could see a solid record of fingersticking and never skipping a shot, it will be a snap to convince him you are ready for a pump!

A lot of insurance companies will demand a log, mine was 30 days, to approve funding a pump? My first thought was "#$%& that! I'll make it up" but, once I sat down to do that, it seemed harder than just writing the IRL numbers down. The pump has been very useful for me but it doesn't relieve you of the duty/ responsibility/ challenge of keeping track of things. If you aren't doing it now, the hardest thing about a pump may be to change "the nut behind the wheel" to conceive of it as something you can tame, rather than pulling the lever on the slot machine every time you test.

Kaytea,My doctor (endo) only precribes pumps to diabetics who have a 3-month log of blood glucoses, daily food journal, and basal/ bolus adjusments( for kids, their parents are responsible). I think most endos do this... The pump requires a lot of concurrent learning of multiple skills sets, but is well- worth it. Read the books Think like a Pancreas and Using Insulin and start with Small steps. :If you skip shots for lunch , say "I will bolus for lunch 5/7 days" then move up. I am assuming you kknow how to count carbs, and adjust your dosages. the books I mentioned will rereally help. The doctor just wants to see if you have the motivation and skills needed to pump Before he prescribees one If you wanT to start a family, you HAVE to do a lot to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Kudos to you for working towards better health: FOr your husband, your future child.. and ,especially, FOR YOU!!
God bless,

Hi Kaytea, good for you for wanting to put more effort into managing your diabetes. I went through a period of time where I tried to ignore my diabetes and all it did was eat away at my body and peace of mind. The ever-wise AcidRock has said on multiple occasions that it takes as much work to ignore diabetes as it does to take care of it and I agree.

When I decided to finally turn things around, I found the whole task overwhelming. What helped was picking one time of day to master at a time. I started with getting up in the morning. I decided that I would not put my feet on the ground before I tested. I then realized that I couldn't do that well unless I had tested (and corrected, if need be) the night before. It created a chain reaction of better management.

I agree with Don that showing the specialist that you are willing to put in the effort to make the necessary life changes should help him open up to the idea of you and a pump. I got my pump about a year ago and I love it! I could not imagine going through my pregnancy without it. However, pumps are hard work. They require more management than shots. It is really easy to think that the pump will automatically take care of all the issues, but can lead to big problems if not taken seriously.

Whatever you and your medical team decide, I hope that you find the desire and means to improve your control! Good luck!!!

I'm not sure how in the hell anyone with type 1 can forget to take their insulin. I feel death coming on real quick just from a high sugar, Not taking a shot for one day the way I eat and I'd imagine my brother would be making funeral arrangements. Not testing is one thing but skipping insulin is essentially asking for death. FWIW the pump is just a tool. It has no idea how to regulate your sugar. You still need to do the same things with a pump as opposed to injections. That being said many feel its an improvement over shots. I'm diabetic nearly four decades and will continue with shots until a cure is commercialized.

Good for you for taking the first step towards improving your care! With an A1C of 12 you probably don't feel so good, and I can assure you that you'll end up feeling a lot better with BGs that are in more of a normal range.

First and foremost, you HAVE TO start checking your BG on a regular basis. You cannot get a pump unless you have about 3 months' worth of logs. The primary reason for this is that the doctor cannot help you even figure out what your basal rates are on the pump if you don't have this information. Before going back on the pump last year, I had to improve my logging so that my endocrinologist could have enough data to establish my basal rates. So start there.

A pump alone is not going to improve your A1C. It does not make everything with diabetes magically better. However, if you're dedicated to your care and put in the effort, it can make living with diabetes easier and a bit more normal. It can give you tighter control, but only if you're checking your BGs, reviewing all your data, and making adjustments. It can make things like exercise and eating different foods easier, but only if you pay attention and make the necessary changes with your pump.

If I were you, I would start by doing 3 things:

1. Get on a regular schedule of checking your BG before and after each meal. So, at least 6 times per day. Record this information in a log book. If that doesn't work for you and you have a smartphone, try using an app for recording BG levels (I found this easier personally).

2. Take your insulin as prescribed. If you forget, set an alarm on your cell phone to remind you.

3. Read, "Think Like a Pancreas" and "Pumping Insulin."

The bottom line is that only you can improve your care. The doctor cannot do it for you and your husband can't do it for you. These people can support you, but at the end of the day, you're the one who has to do it. It's up to you.

As your A1C comes down, you're going to probably feel low quite often even when you're not. That's normal, and its just your body adjusting. You will have to get through that part, but if you bring your sugars down gradually, this won't be too bad.

Do this for at least 3 months and then talk with your doctor again about the pump. The most important thing about using a pump is that you HAVE TO CHECK YOUR BGs frequently. Because you don't have any long-acting insulin in your system, it's very easy to slip into DKA if you experience some sort of pump failure. Only people who regularly check their BGs are candidates for a pump. In addition, pumping takes A LOT of work. Initially, you will be spending way more time testing in an effort to figure out your basal rates.

Well said Brunetta!! My insurance also wanted a 30 day log like AR's. U just said what I would have said. YOU GO GIRL!!!

I understand, Gary. But when I was in college, I was trying to be so like all my peers that I would delay giving insulin in order to "keep having fun" with my peers or to not have to stop and think about it. It lead to bad habits and honest forgetfulness to test and cover food with insulin.

I didn't say it is right or that it leads to any sort of well being. It just is what it is. I just wanted to OP to know that she is not the only one who has struggled with letting bad habits creep into daily routine.

If it's any consolation, I used to do exactly the same thing. After so many years, most folks don't even develop symptoms at higher BG levels, especially if they are running high for quite some time. There was a point when a BG of 300 wouldn't elicit a single symptom in me. Once I got my control tighter, I would have symptoms with anything over 200.

When you're young, you just want to be normal. Living with diabetes can make you feel so abnormal at times that it's easy to let your care slip.

I think anyone who has lived with this disease through childhood or adolescence has experienced periods where habits like this developed. I actually have realized that it's a very normal thing to go through.

amnen!!! I think alot of us from "The Dark Ages" have done very much the samethings.

Thanks, ladies! I know that the OP and I are not the only ones :)

And the good news is that tighter control is achievable with hard work. It just takes a lot to break old, bad habits.

I'm not sure I'd say that having looser control isn't a lot of hard work too? I think that it's more about focusing one's work to make it more productive? Just a theory?

why would you NOT take your diabetes seriously? I do not understand this and then we wonder why Endos, CDEs, etc...get frustrated. No one can manage this but YOU. Seriously, how could anyone 'forget' to take their insulin. I mean, i've started eating and went..oopsss, forgot to take my insulin, but took it right away when I realized it. If we, as type 1's, don't take this seriously, how can we expect our health care providers to be supportive and care for us. I don't care what your age is, we ALL KNOW the complications of this disease. I can't understand not taking one's insulin...yeah, maybe you get used to high blood sugars, but we all know what that is doing to our bodies and don't tell me you don't feel like crap. I've had very, very high blood sugars too, we all have, DKA levels, and it felt horrible! And you're probably throwing ketones all day long too. If you eat, you take insulin, period. You take your basal insulins as instructed, period!

Get yourself in check and take care of your disease. No, not for your husband, for yourself and your quality of life and longevity.

i agree with you, gary. Call it tough love or whatever..but this is simply ridiculous. this diesase is NOT going away, it does NOT get better. I can't imagine not taking my insulin, eating a meal without taking my insulin..why, because I can't stand feeling sick and knowing every time my sugars spike 'high' it probably is killing off another cell, nerve, blood vessel, etc..

This disease sucks, yes indeed it does. however, as much as we all hate it, we do have a way to manage it, however difficult and challenging it is. I noted a story I saw on ALS, this man has nothing, he can do nothing but sit by and watch the destruction of his body. We can do something. So, do it!

For me anyway I went through a far rougher period with it then people even know here. My problem more then anything was I had no idea that basically everything but water can and will raise your glucose. I used to eat sugar free stuff all the time thinking it was no different then diet coke. One day in my early 30's I was on vacation and loaded myself up with all kinds of junk before we left and was literally ■■■■■■■ every hour for two days straight. I can't even imagine how high my sugars were. I called my mom and told her I noticed tingling in my feet. She called the Dr.s office and they knew it was high sugar but didn't tell me what I needed to do. So I basically starved myself and did extra exercise for two days. I knew it was the carbs. I finally started feeling better but knew my diabetes was overall way out of control. At the time I was on two fixed dosages of NPH only. I was a walking zombie feeling like hell every day. I finally went back to an endo to get me back on track. These day's my tolerence for even slightly elevated sugar is lower then anyone could imagine. I think the only people that can somewhat live in peace with diabetes are those who do not experience the nasty side effects of elevated sugar being the reality is most people more of the time are walking around with elevated levels. There seem to be quite a few of them but if you were sensitive like me there would be no way in hell you'd ever be able to skip a shot or you'd be beyond miserable. I'd love to even be able to have a random 150 sugar and feel fine but I don't. This is mainly why I don't test often. I pretty much know whats going on much of the time. Sometimes I screw up but I refuse to check my sugar all day long.

Kaytea, I like you didn't really take care of myself for me, I had to do it for my husband. In order for my doctor to sign off for a pump on me, I had to take my blood sugars faithfully 3 to 4 times a day for 3 months. And come to think of it, I think it was partly the insurance company that I have that required me to do this also. And they told me that they make you "prove" that you can take care of yourself, and that you will use the pump since it's so darn expensive. My insurance however, paid 100% of the pump. I ended getting the One Touch Ping. And I love it!! The best part of it that I like is that you don't have to take the pump out of your clothes to give yourself the insulin, you just use your meter, and it works like a remote. It is actually pretty cool. I wouldn't go back to giving myself shots, unless I absolutely have to. But everyone is different. I was able, when I went to a "training" on pumps, to actually hold each pump, and look at it, and decide which pump that I wanted. I was at a toss up between the Minimed and the Ping. And I think the remote was the deal breaker for me on the pump choice. I know for a fact that my doctor personally uses the Minimed tho. So it must be a good option too.
I hope you get some other input from others about what they use also. And I pray for you that you will have the inspiration to take your blood sugars, and take your insulin as prescribed. It took alot for me before I realized what I had actually done to my body, by abusing it and not taking my blood sugars, and insulin. I am now on dialysis, and neuropathy in my legs and feet. Let me tell you, it"s not fun. But you have to be the one to make the decision to start taking care of yourself. No body else can do it for you. Diabetes is not FUN, however, we have it, so we now have to live with it, and look at diabetes in the eyes EVERY single day, so, we might as well get used to it!! If you would like to friend me, we can chat on a more regular basis, and check in on each other to see how we are doing, I think that would be GREAT!! I hope this has helped you some what, I feel like I have just been rambling!!
Best of luck to you!!!
Lori Marie

How can one have fun with skyrocketing sugars? This is the thing about diabetes I'll never understand. How is it possible some people are able to walk around with such elevated levels and feel absolutely fine and I feel so horrible? I'm to the point where anything over 100 unless I have insulin on board to get me down lower and I feel freakin horrible in every way possible.I just now checked my levels because I feel elevated and I am at 116 aprox 1 and a half after food and shot. I was expecting to be more around 150 but yup I feel high.


Not following how this relates to Kaytea's topic.

3 to 4 times a day...???? How about waking up, before meals, after meals (each meal) before a work out, before driving, correcting a high, correcting a low, before bed. Anyone on a pump needs to be testing more then 3 - 4 times per day.