Starting the pump- any advice?


(Grahamkracker) #1

I finally will be starting an insulin pump after being diabetic for 16 years!!!  YEAH!!!!    

I will be on the Minimed paradign pump with the CGMS sensor (RTS?)  hopefully by this weekend..... I would like to know if anyone has any suggestions or advice for me?

 

 


(A-D) #2

Kristy,

Congratulations on getting the pump!!!  It's just another way to give insulin so the first piece of advice I have is don't over think it.  The sensor numbers will get overwhelming at first, relax the numbers were always there anyhow - you just know more now... :)

Basals first, everything else gets easy - take your time and really enjoy that first morning after - it was the coolest thing ever for me... no SHOT! LOL

Cheers,

A-D

P.S.

My final piece of advice is, of course, to find someone more capable to offer advice in the first place… ;)  Good luck and keep us posted!

 


(misstifyde) #3

Congrats!! That's awesome and I am sure a tad bit scary and not just a little overwhelming. BUT, as A-D said, it's great and you should love the freedom it can provide.

Did your Endo suggest starting the pump and the CGMS at the same time? You may consider getting used to the pump first before adding another component.

Good luck, Tam


(Grahamkracker) #4

I started an old pump The MM 515 that I had  ( Long story.....) and did the saline thing for a week until I ran out of saline......  Today  I am seeing a new endocrinologist and hopefully will get orders to start the MM 522 on insulin......     It has taken me a LONG time to even consider the pump and when I finally did, My dr. made me jump through hoops....... so, now with a new team, I am ready to go......    I am very excited!   I fugure that it should not be so hard to transition from the 515 to the 522...

 


(horsegirl505) #5

Congrats! The pump might seem odd and harder at first but to not always have to remember where your shots are and o no if you forgot is amazing. Its always there on your hip for you.

The best part of it, i think was the first few days. Testing your blood and figuring your carbs and the pump does the rest.

As previous posts say, the CGMS will be overwhelming. It gives you so much helpful information and better control. So just ride it out!

Good Luck! If you have any questions let me know.


(dorit tovi) #6

Hello, I am a mother to a seven year old and looking into getting him the pump now, what do you suggest.

Thanks


(Grahamkracker) #7

[quote user="dorit tovi"]

Hello, I am a mother to a seven year old and looking into getting him the pump now, what do you suggest.

Thanks

[/quote]

 

I have sen many endocrinologists in my area since my diagnosis....... I was with one Dr. who was making me jump through hoops to get on the pump, finally after attending the Young Voices event in NYC, I decided to seek out another Dr.    I asked my primary care physician to write a script for the pump and let him know that I had an upcoming appointment with a new endocrinologist........ 

While waiting for my appointment, I began to research different pumps and decided that it was a cross between the Minimed paradigm pump with the CGMS or the Omnipod....... I called Omnipod and spoke with a sales rep who sent me a demo pod.......  I also had an older pump from Mimimed that I never used, so I called and set up a training with a pump educator and she trained me on the older pump, using saline......      I found that using te pump was a lot less difficult and less instrusive as i thought...... 

( In researching pumps, I found that a lot of poeple who use the Omnipod find that it does not stay on your body for the whole 3 days.... This concerend me, as if the Omnipod did not work as well as other pumps, I would be stuck with it for at least 2 years, as my insurance would not cover another pump, unless it was medcially necessary and then my claim would be reviewed by the insurance company and there was no guarantee that I would receive another pump........   Plus the demo also came off in a few hours!)

 

Basically, You need a prescription from your doctor stating what pump you want and with all supplies and a letter of medical necessity completed by the doctor..... The pump company will help you with the letter, as it is a standard form that just needs t be signed, the pump company will send it to the doctor..... I also called my insurance company to verify my coverage and find out what pumps were covered and what their policy was before I could receive an upgrade......

I found that Minimed was great with me..... My insurance rep from Minimed keep in constant contact with me, to let me know where we were in the process and the trainer has made herself avaialble to me for any and all questions that I have, no matter what time, evenings or weekends........

I've had diabetes for close to 16 years, being diagnosed 3 days before my 11th birthday...... when I was presented with the idea of an insulin pump, I was dead against it, for many MANY years....... The only thing I can say is that your child has to want to try the pump, as it will be your child who will be wearing it, not you ..... My mother continued to press me about the pump when I was growing up and I kept telling her (as well as my doctors) that for me to be successful with it, I have to WANT to be on it.........

 

 

 


(Brande) #8

First of all, congratulations!! on choosing to pump.  I didn't start on the pump till I had diabetes for 12 yrs.  It is def a big change from shots.  You can actually eat what you want when you want, as long as you measure all your carbs and pay attention to what you are eating.  You only have to change it every three days, so it is way better than stabbing yourself multiple times a day.  Def work close with your doctor and medtronic minimed instructor on learning all the ins and outs of pump therapy.  It's great once you and your doctor have settled on your basal rates and carb ratios.  It makes things a lot more convenient.  I definently suggest clothing with pockets i.e;  jeans and slacks.  That way you can just slide the pump into your pocket and nobody even has to know it's there.  You can however, where the pump on the outside of your clothing with it in it's holster, I prefer pockets.  Read as much information on your pump and how it works as possible.  I learned from my own experiences, that knowledge is power!  If you ever have any questions, please free to ask me.  I am pretty excited, because I get a new pump in January, I have had this one for 4yrs and the new one will provide me with the sensors, which i desprately need.  Good Luck!

 

 

Brande  :)


(garcia26) #9

I totally agree with you Brande! I would also have to say that I prefer putting the pump in my pocket. It's more discrete, although wearing it in the holster can be too if it doesn't buldge on one side. I have been a diabetic since 2004 and 2 years ago, I had switched over to a Paradigm Pump 522. I can't imagine you guys having diabetes for 15+ years and not having one. That must've been such a struggle! I am somewhat new compared to you guys who have had it for quite awhile. I have friends who still don't know I'm Diabetic. One friend, recently, said ..."How did I not know you were Diabetic? Are you on a pump? Where is it?" I pulled it out of my pocket and she was like .. "I've never noticed that!"

It's true what Brande says, you can, in fact, eat what you want when you want. It is totally unlike the typical scheduled routine of N and R. It's incredibly important to have a good pump trainer. I spent 8 hours with her when I first got started on the pump. My doctor is very strict with it. When he meets with you, he says, "Change your carb ratio to such and such and your basal rate to this ... " If he sees you struggling, he tells the pump nurse you need more training. After what he's called, "the refresher course", you should know what buttons do what. When I first got started, it was overwhelming, but an excited overwhelming if that makes any sense. It wasn't the same dreadful feeling as your diagnosis. In the beginning, there seemed to be so many steps to inserting the tubing. But, with time, (like they tell you) you learn and do it without even thinking.

I have never had any problems with it, but it'll definitely help you that you know how to carb count. I'm sure most, if not all, know how to do it, but it plays such a major role with the pump. Some come with a carb counter built in. Others, like mine, do not. You still have to pay attention to nutritional labels (if you don't have one pre-programmed). It's great because there are glucose reminders. It helps me routinely check my blood sugars.

Also, don't be afraid that rolling on it while you're asleep will make you go crazy. For the first few months, I would lock mine because I'm a violent sleeper haha But after awhile, I realized that even if I woke up and I'm sleeping on top of it(because it's in my pj pocket), it wouldn't do anything. I've dropped it and that hasn't had an effect on it either. It's great! GOOD LUCK with everything! You're going to LOVE the pump!


(Grahamkracker) #10

I tried the Minimed 515 with saline and relaized that it was a lot LESS intrusive than I thought......  I found that the best place to keep it was clipped the the middle of my bra duirng work....... also with sleeping I harley realized it was there.... I actually slept on top of it for a night or so.......

 

I am so excited to get on the 722 Minimed...... My pump educator from Minimed is coming this morning to put me on insulin!  YEAH!!!!  

Then in a few days, I'll be on the CGMS........   Thank you to everyone who responded!   I appreciate it!    

   


(misstifyde) #11

Let us know how it goes!! Good luck!!


(anathia) #12

I love my pump. It has entirely changed my life, after twenty years on the shot.

 

My biggest piece of advice is to avoid over-bolusing, especially if you have the CGM.  My first year with the pump was a huge trial because I kept over bolusing.  But then I got my carb ratio down pat, and it was all fine.


(kneazle_lady) #13

Here's my two cents...I have been on and off of a pump for a while. I love my pump; it's a Cozmo with a blood glucose meter attached, but my essential struggle has been at times, due to hardheadedness, ignoring the alarms. If there's an alarm programmed (and I did it--sheesh), you'd think I would listen when it goes off. I sometimes think I'm like Judy Jetson, whining about how hard it is to mop the floors (after she pushes a button and wipes her brow with exhaustion), but the alarms can be a little overwhelming (is that the word?) unless, well, I listen to them! I'm so completely captivated with the CGM. I am anticipating (ever the optimist...not really...no...yes I am) an opportunity in the future to avail myself of one. I also overbolus. I like the pump I have now because of its resources: it has software which contains carb counts and (with a programmed insulin sensitivity ratio to boot which I could, if I ever had a clue, adjust for time of day) serving sizes which you can also (thank goodness) adjust to get (hopefully) a more accurate dosage. When I do what it (the pump, which I have named Hal--you can type in names of boluses and the pump itself) suggests, I usually get pretty nice results. I wish I could say that I have had the most cautious and reliable relationship with Hal, but, unfortunately, I get into spats with him. He likes to wake me up after I have managed to fall asleep for around an hour to let me know (smugly, I imagine) that my blood sugar was high. I like Hal as pumps go very much; I only wish he weren't so overzealous at times. I think Hal suffers from codependency.

On that note, I should mention that I am being humorous about my insulin pump, and that I am extremely grateful and besotted with its ability to negotiate the lesser regions of my scattered brain and improve my life. The pump sites, I have found, only stay when I use a pump prep wipe. It is better to let it dry (after scrubbing the surface of the skin vigorously where the insertion site will occur). The prep swabs are indispensible for me...and I live in South Carolina, where it is occasionally cool but more often hot. Another thing: the areas I can put the site in with relative assurance of a positive result are never below the belt/naval area of the stomach. I didn't even know that below the navel was a bad idea until I saw some stalwart person's video on You tube.

I know I am typing a great amount here, but there's another thing: write all the boluses down in an easy to access place. Get in touch with your inner scientist, and don't (mind you, don't go crazy, be very careful and follow the dr's advice and I am not a doctor and all that) be afraid to adjust with extreme care (and learn about) your basal rates. Some doctors and diabetes educators are extremely "See me every week for a year while I change your rates for you." I saw a CDE like that for a while, and she always managed to keep my rates far too low (insurance protection?), so that I never actually saw a good blood sugar, one that went anywhere near below 160. It was very discouraging. I didn't even know or have enough confidence in myself to question her decisions. Now I know better. At least from the sense of carefully trying different patterns and checking the daylights out of myself while I do it!

Sorry for the long post, but these are things I wish I had known. There are more, but I fear I have overtyped any welcome which might have been there. Good luck, keep things as simple as humanly possible, treat yourself with respect, and may the outcome for your pump be glorious.


(kneazle_lady) #14

I know, I know...I'm posting a lot, and I apologize, but I have another suggestion. It's an odd one, but here goes: learn to crochet. My awesome mother taught me how to crochet at twelve. You would think it would have occurred to me before this, but oh, well. I crochet little purses (thank goodness I'm not a male--more options, depending on the social circumstances, I guess), bags, etc to carry my pump in, and thanks to my mother, I can change the carriers around. If you use a smaller hook, you can make something with a single stitch which will hold loose lancets, etc as well as change easily. Another route for carrying the pump is finding a camera case or a sports case (they make some wonderful digital camera or cell phone holders which really serve very nicely). I don't carry my pump in my pocket because I feel self conscious doing so...and I'm clumsy, so I fall/knock into things. Also, my pump has a monitor that cannot get water in it, and if the pump is in my pocket, I'm not thinking as much about where it is in relation to things like rain, etc.


(Keely) #15

I have a 522 also Kristy. I love it! In the middle of your bra is a great place to keep it especially because then you don't have to worry about almost dumping it in the toilet when you go to the bathroom. Not that I've ever done that. *ahem*

My only piece of advice- if you ever forget to bring along your inserter for your infusion set when you're traveling, don't panic. It's actually easy and pretty much painless to insert by hand. Not that I've ever done that either. *ahem*


(anathia) #16

Keely, not that you've ever done this, but if it were to happen that a pump fell into the toilet, would you happen to know if it had been recoverable? Not that I've done the cell phone thing in the toilet, but would you have any advice for how to handle that situation, speaking from innate wisdom and not hindsight? ;}


(Keely) #17

Ana- Oh, thank goodness I was only ever an "almost" with dumping the pump in the toilet. Happily, my tubing kept it dangling above danger, like Tom Cruise in Mission:Impossible. ;->


(Anonymous) #18

I already posted this on your other post, but here it goes again:
My doctors told me I would probably want to throw that out the window the first couple of nights, too.
Yeah, no matter how tempting it is, don't. You'll probably regret it in the morning:)

On a semi more serious note: when changing clothes, especially for bed, DON'T take your pump off no matter what you do! Or at least come up with some way to remind yourself that you don't have it on. The other night, I'd taken it off while I put on my pajamas, and climbed into bed without remembering to put it back on! I've done this plenty of times, and I've never forgotten it. However, when I got up at 5am or so to test my blood sugar, I realized it. Yeah, that wasn't too pretty...

Needless to say, I haven't taken it off to chance, since. I just clip it to my waist band...

Hope this helped :)


(Grahamkracker) #19

I have to admit that I love being on the MM pump......... However the CGMS is another issue...... Today, i really felt like ripping it off and driving over it a few times!     


(ndstephanie) #20

I am going on the pump for the first time in 8 1/2 years.  I am very nervous about it, but I am currently on a saline trial with the Omnipod.  Anyone out there have any thoughts on the Omnipod?  I chose it because it seems the most discreet and doesn't have all the tubing.  I am looking forward to a new era in my diabetes care!