New...Got some questions!


(Chelcie K) #1

Hi, my name is Chelcie and I have been a diabetic for 10 years now. Im new to this whole thing but am really liking what i'm seeing so far. I was hoping to maybe get some insight? I am on a humalog pen and levemir pen now and have been for a while. I had the pump when it first came out but i didn't really like it, mainly because i have so much scar tissue on my stomach from it. Have the pumps gotten better? 

And whats up with the CGM. Are they really that good?

Please help!! I can not talk to anyone else about it because I am the only diabetic I know.

Thanks!

Chels


(Eric_Carpenter) #2

Hi Chelcie, welcome aboard.  You'll find there are a lot of differing views on this site, some of us like pumps and cgms, some don't.  I'm using a pump that is several years old and while I have a red dot where the catheter was after removing the set, I don't get scar tissue.  Overall I prefer pump to syringes.  My endo does not recommend cgms at this point, and I haven't seen enough info to persuade me to get one yet.  Others on the site love them and have endured insurance battles to get them...there are several technology related groups you can join, or you can search for them in the search bar at the top right of any page on juvenation.


(svc428) #3

i'm also on the pump and definitely like it and haven't experienced any scar tissue yet and it's been to years. as far as cgms go one of my good friends recently got one by animas and it is always within 10 points of her actually blood sugar.


(AuDAlly) #4

Hi Chelcie!

I am also new-ish to Juvenation and am considering a pump. I don't know any other diabetics, so Juvenation has really helped me to learn about "real-life" pump usage. I'd say that the consensus is that pumps have improved. I work with medical devices and know that there is a lot of support for pump development at the time because of the emergence of the CGM. I've seen that pumps are smaller and one (the omnipod) even conceals/doesn't use tubing (I'm not the expert on it, but I'm sure someone on here is!). In terms of scar tissue development, you might just need to rotate more sites or rotate them more often. You could look into which pumps are better or worse for people who are likely to scar (your endo. would likely be able to guide you in that). 

I think that you will find Juvenation to be a really wonderful place. I enjoy the forum topics and meeting new people on here. Good luck with the pump decision :)

Ally


(ScrappyDy) #5

Welcome, Chelcie!

I have been on the Minimed Paradigm Pump 511 since 2003 and then upgraded to the 522 in 2007.  When I upgraded to the 522, I also got the CGM with it.  I have Anthem Blue Cross of California and I haven't had any trouble with my insurance getting the CGM and its supplies, however, they only cover 80% of the supplies, so it's still pricey.  My pump instructor and doctor have suggested that I only refill the CGM sensors when I think I will use them since they told me not to use them all the time.  I mainly use them if I am going to work on an intense film production where my schedule is just too hectic.  Other than that, I do not use them.  They are not very specific.  The CGM basically just gives you a heads up as to if you're having a low or high and then is more of a warning for you to check your sugars at that moment.    I'm sure they will improve soon, but if you are in the good habit of checking your sugars regularly, then you do not need a CGM.  As for scar tissue, I have never had any in the 6 years I've been using my pump.

But, I do believe you are on the right track in asking for others' opinions...While insulin pumps have improved so much since the first ones came out, they still take a lot of time and trial and errors before you find the right settings to managing your diabetes at its most efficiency.

Best of luck!


(MicheleK) #6

Hi Chelcie,

I was diagnosed at age 12 (just had my 29th "anniversary" two weeks ago).  I've been on a pump for almost 14 years and have been on a CGM for a week.  Both are from Medtronic Minimed.  Even on the pump, keeping my bloodsugars under control is a daily challenge.  Not because the pump doesn't work.   My sugars just swing pretty wildly.  I'm hoping the CGM is going to help me gain better control.  I haven't developed any scar tissue from the pump.  I just make sure I rotate my sites.  I only use my abdomen.  I can't imagine not having a pump.  It makes my life so much more flexible.  I can sleep in, skip a meal, travel to different time zones.  It's not perfect - nothing replaces a normal pancreas : )  I am hoping the CGM is going to help me obtain much better control.  It's pretty accurate and I'm learning a lot from seeing real time what happens when I am under stress, eat different types of food, etc. 

The CGM is really small and it's wireless.  You just change the site every three days just like the pump and you attach this little transmitter to it.  The pump is a litttle smaller than a deck of cards and most people think its a cell phone.

Sometimes I get tired of wearing the pump, but then I also get tired of checking my bloodsugar, counting carbs, feeling tired from highs and cranky from lows, etc.  A few times I've taken a short break from wearing the pump and done shots instead, but I always went back to wearing the pump within a week or so because we control and the flexibility was so much better with the pump.   One annoyance with the pump is figuring out where to put it when wearing dresses, bathing suits, etc. 

If you are okay with being attached to something (some people just aren't) and you are committed to checking your bloodsugar at least 4 times a day (I test at least 6 times a day) then I recommend you give the pump another try.  They are way more advanced than they were 10 years ago.  The one I have now actually communicates wirelessly with the CGM and has a lot of other smart features (too many to list).  If I were you I would just get both the pump and the CGM at the same time.  That will maximize the benefits of being on the pump and you'll just have to go through one period of adjustment rather than two. 

A big factor for most people is whether their insurance will cover the pump and the CGM.  Most decent insurance will cover it as long as you have approval from your doctor.  Medtronic makes it really easy.  If you don't have insurance, this stuff costs a fortune - especially the supplies.  For example, the CGM sensors are $35 a piece and they advise you to change it every 3 days!  Between CGM supplies and pump supplies, the cost is over $750 a month.  The pump is over $5,000.  I don't know how much the CGM transmitter costs. 

Good luck with whatever you decide!

Michele


(MicheleK) #7

One more thing...Ally mentioned the Omnipod.  You can go on their website and request a sample to try.  They will send you one (without insulin in or needles) that you can simply try wearing to see if you like it.  I tried it but didn't like it.  It sticks on with adhesive, but I thought it was too big and bulky.  It doesn't have any tubing but you have to stick this thing right on your body and it was visible under my clothing and I found it to be uncomfortable too.  Might work for others, but didn't work for me.  I think it would be easier for men to wear because they could hide it more easily under their clothing. 


(Chelcie K) #8

Thank you everyone so much! It is so nice to come here and people openly help. Thanks guys, your imput has helped sort through some stuff in my mind already. 

Thank you!


(bassoonist1719) #9

Hey Chelcie!

I know what you mean about issues with scar tissue - I have it from my pump sites, too, and it's really annoying because it messes up insulin absorption.  However, I've been on the pump for 5 years and I love it!  I have just learned to rotate my sites more frequently and use different areas.  I wouldn't give up my pump for the world, though!

As for CGMs, I have never tried one but I know that there are multiple brands on the market and they all have their benefits and drawbacks.  I'm interested in trying one but I have heard they can be really painful to insert...

Anyway, nice meeting you!

Katie


(cdavid1) #10

The biggest way to avoid scar tissue is just to rotate sites. I don't know what kind of body type you have, but for me I can only put my sites in my stomach because I don't have enough fat anywhere else to even go into. But you can use your stomach, arm, legs, butt whatever feels comfortable. Pumps are great though!!


(ameenk01) #11

I have been on a pump for 9 years now and have no scar tissue. i also have the CGM and think it is pretty nice. It is not error proof but overall i love having it and being able to be alerted when i am falling low. the pumps have really changed since my first one in 2000 and for the better. they are smaller, smarter and many more insurances are willing to cover them. My 5 year old is also T1 and she has one as well. i would never go back to shots for either one us because the control we get with our pumps is so much better. it is worth looking into i think. good luck!


(AmandaPowell) #12

Hey Chelcie!

Im new to the site too. We have a lot in common. I have been diabetic for 11 years. I had the pump for six years and went back to shots as well. I didnt like the scar tissue either or the issues that happened if there was a problem with the site. I like being on shots because I feel like I pay closer attention to my blood sugars and what im eating when im using shots. but its different for everyone.

Hope we get to talk more. Its nice having an entire group of people online who know exactly how you feel when theres no one at home who does.

-Amanda :)