Thinking about the Pump

The first of next month will make me 20 years of being diabetic. I have been very fortunate that I haven’t had a bunch of diabetes related health problems. I have a couple of normal things like PCOS and bi-polar disorder. I am very thankful that I have been this lucky.

I have been thinking alot about getting a pump. My blood sugars are pretty well under control. They are no where near the perfect levels that my GP wants to see. But I think going from like a 13 A1C to a 7.2 shows great improvement. And I have had roughly a 7.2 A1C for about two years now.

I am just curios how others manage their diabetes. Both with and without the pump. I am really looking for ease of use and the ability to feel a little more normal.

I still have to do some research. I have lots of ideas of the functionality I would want from a pump but I just want to make sure if those things are possible.

I would appreciate anyones input on this subject matter. Tell me the pro’s and con’s of the way you manage your diabetes. Thanks everyone and goodnight.

Hi,I was a type 1 for 22 years on injections.This way of treating diabetes is no way near what the pump has been for me.Before I had gone into diabetic comas from too low of a bIood sugar.This hasn’t happened since.I have an Animas 2020.In one year I can upgrade to an Animas Ping.I really haven’t noticed anything cons about the pump.It is small and the benefits far outweigh the cons.I liked the Animas pump because it lights up,so during the night it is easy to look at.It also has a database so you can program foods you eat often into the pump.That way you don’t have to remember how many carbs are in say,a Bigmac.As with any other way of treating our Diabetes,it is required to adjust dosages.You have to do basal tests.That is where you test your blood sugar hourly til the next meal to make sure your sugar stays flat.If you are sensitive to insulin ,Animas has the lowest basal rate at .025. I am very sensitive.You have to get John Walsh’s Pumping Insulin.It is a great book that explains everything.My A1C for the last 3 years has been between 6.5 and 7.2.It also helps if you have coverage for pump supplies as they are not cheap.Email me if you want to know more.

I had my 27 year anniversary in Jan and just started using a pump last summer. My A1cs were pretty good on MDI (in the 5s) and hasn’t really changed.

Prior to going on the pump, I was using Levemir and my BS was pretty good with that but Levemir only lasted about 7 hours for me. I had to take it every 8 hours. That was a pain if I wanted to go to bed early or sleep in late. I also have DP and my BS starts going up at 5 AM. With the pump, I have my basals adjusted so they cover the DP. I can actually sleep later and wake up with normal BS.

Prior to getting a pump, I was concerned about having something attached to me but it really hasn’t been a problem.

One bad thing is if you put an infusion set in and have a bad site, your BS goes up. I have had a bunch of bad sites. I just pulled one out last week. With a shot, you know your insulin went in and you don’t have to wonder. I was especially having a lot of problems when I first started with sites going bad after about a day or so and then I started getting hives. I am apparently allergic to Teflon and now use the steel sets.

I pulled the tubing off the pump a couple times while sleeping and my BS shot up. Since your pump is also your basal, if something goes wrong, you can go into DKA a lot easier.

Dee said Animas has the smallest basal rate setting and that is not true anymore. Minimeds Revel now has the same as Animas.

There is also a little more to basal testing than just testing until your next meal. You actually have to start the test after your last meal digested & your fast acting insulin is out of your system. You should do the test for 8 hours. That is also something that you can and really should do on MDI to make sure your Lantus or Levemir is set correctly. I did it while on MDI all the time.

I was on shots for 5 years, and then I got my pump in 1999, and have never looked back. For me, it takes most of the hassle factor out of diabetes. I don’t have to remember to take along my insulin when I go out. I don’t have to remember whether I took a bolus or not – I can just look and see. I don’t have to worry about dawn phenomenon (as Kelly said). I can bolus 2 or 3 or 4 times during a long meal, or when I’m feeling snacky, and not have to fumble around with vials and syringes or pens. I can see what my trends are (because I have a CGM), and know to correct now, instead of waiting for a test before a meal. I almost don’t know the pump is there; and set changes have become routine (they were difficult in the beginning), so I almost don’t think about them. I don’t usually feel the sets, either, unless one is getting infected (which has only happened rarely) or I’m too close to muscle (not common, either). I don’t feel at all hampered by having something attached to me – I usually wear jeans, and just clip the pump to my waistband, and tuck the tubing in my pants. My A1cs haven’t differed by very much, but I’m getting a lot fewer highs and lows, although that takes work and experimentation to achieve. My last A1c was 6.3, but that’s because I’m nowhere near as disciplined as some of the folks around here, LOL!! Although I have to warn you that A1cs can vary because we each glycate differently – some people just naturally have higher A1cs than others who have the same average BG. So don’t compare yourself to anyone else – just concentrate on improving your own A1c.
I will also tell you that some people just don’t like the pump, for whatever reason. So you have to think through the pros and cons for yourself – maybe you could get a loaner and try it for a week with saline – that would give you a good idea of whether you would have trouble with having a little pal attached to you.
Good luck!

I was on shots for 11 years. First the negatives, some people find it expensive. Personally, I think the cost is worth it and the good control you will receive. Second, some people don’t like to change the infusion set or pump. I personally don’t mind, every three days…no biggie. I love my pump. As I said, I was on shots for 11 years, now I’m on the Omni Pod. Boy, what a difference!! Yes, shots did work moderately well but, the pump has many more features the I have grown to love. Such as the discreteness. If your eating lunch at a restaurant, and you have to take insulin, now you have to either get up and give the insulin or give it at the table. NOT COOL…right? The Omni Pod looks just like a PDA and it blends in so well you can openly give yourself insulin, and no leaving the table. Also, the Omni Pod (and other pumps, i’m sure) give a continuous basal dosage of insulin. This helps keep your blood sugars in check. You are receiving insulin 24 hours a day, no matter what. Also, in my case, shots meant mixing insulin. The Omni Pod takes ONE kind of insulin, no mixing. Also, the pump takes out those silly mathematical formulas and equations you need to do when on shots. With the OMNI POD, you can check your bg and bolus for your meal and all the math will be done. Even if your bg is above target, it will incorporate the correction into the meal bolus. GET THE PUMP! It will be the best decision you ever made.