What is the pump?

I know this sounds silly, but what exactly is the pump?? The doctor that diagnosed me suggested I get one, but I know nothing about them. As far as I know the only difference between having a pump and not is far fewer injections. Is that true??

A pump provides you with insulin 24/7 removing the need for multiple injections through out the day. With the pump you are on 1 insulin humalog or novalog and some are even using apidira now. You no longer need a long acting insulin like lantus since the pump delivers insulin a certian basal dose an hr 24/7. You change the site every three days and still count carbs so you can bolus a dose with meals but it takes away the whole needle and vial thing. with pumps you put in your BG and then the amount of carbs you have eaten and it calculates the dose based off of the settings in your pump that are tailored to your body. I have found the pump gives you more freedom to do the things you want when you want but I do believe you have to pay more attention to detail with it. The pump has revolutionized diabetes care it is not a cure by any means but until there is one this works well.

A big advantage is that if say it’s 10:30 and lunch is coming up and your BG is 75, instead of eating early, you can turn your basal rate down and your BG will flatten out, if there’s no other inputs? I’m sort of a bad example since I went from R/N, which are both peaky and irregular to a pump but to me, the improvemen in how it worked and how I felt was pretty perceptible right away. And I loathed the idea of a pump, getting a pump, “I’m FINE”, etc. for years. A close friend of mine sold pumps for a while and I spurned him. Now he sells heart surgery equipment but he’s happy I have a pump and I’m very happy with it too.

A pump is an insulin delivery device. It is external to the body and mine is worn my belt. It provides a constant supply of micro doses of insulin and better mimics a pancreas. Pumps are about the size of pages, and sites are changed every 3-5 days depending on manufacturer.

Look up medtronic (they are one the providers) diabetic and you can see pictures of them.

rick phillips

Here are some pump links. Many disussions here you can search to see the pros & cons of different models. Also discussions about pumping v. injections.

You can usually get a loaner to try them out. Your insurance may cover only a specific brand & its supplies. Supplies are expensive.

http://www.animas.com/ (click on “Learn” tab at the top)

With a pump you can set your basal rates by the hour. If you tend to run higher or lower during certain parts of the day, your health care provider can hep you set your basal rates accordingly. I got my pump a few weeks after diagnosis, and the idea of a continuous infusion of rapid acting insulin initially really intimidated me. The best thing for me has been the fact that I can temporarily turn my basal rate down to prevent hypos on days I find myself more active than usual. For me, that is much better than having to eat more food (or glucose tablets) simply to keep my numbers up.

Though the question you asked is factual, some opinion is sure to make its way in here. I just wanted to add the following:

Those who love the pump will have high praise for it [as will manufacturers]. I found this in the years I resisted going to the pump. It seemed the first thing anyone ever asked me (doctors, other diabetics, people who knew diabetics) is “do you have an insulin pump?” It works really well for some people, however now that I have one I am finding people [like me] who do not ‘love’ the pump.

I think this may be slightly psychological too - when you buy a new car and someone asks you how you like it, rarely will you say “It’s only okay, I regret my decision of purchasing it.” Most people say “I love it,” even though they may not be telling the truth completely. People want to rationalize that their decision was correct - even if they don’t realize they are doing this.

So, I guess my point is that while the overwhelming majority of people’s opinions available will say the pump is great and people love it, there are some of dissenting opinion. I give my pump 2 more months before I’m going back to shots.

Just my two-cents worth, make sure you separate out fact from opinion when you are doing research on them.

Thanks everyone … I understand it a lot more now. I really dont think the pump is for me … at least not now.

Amy, I kind of felt the same way you do about the pump. I thought a pump is not for me because I was on a routine that worked. I went to A diabetes conference and spoke to a rep from Animas about them. He was a type 1 diabetic using a pump and I must have ask him 1000 stupid questions. It was the best decision I have made for my diabetes to get one. Being a guy its hard to carry insulin, syringes, ect. In South Texas you can not leave it (insulin) in the car. The best thing for me is you can eat your meals when ever you want and go from multiple insulin shots a day to 1 poke every 3 days. I put mine in my pocket and for the 11 years I have had I, 3 people ask me what the tubing was that was coming out of my pocket. The best advise I can give is read about them and ask people questions. Good luck.