Thinking about getting a pump, have some questions


(JenK) #1

I count my carbs and inject at every meal already.  I've been told that is about the same as what the pump does, so what is the difference? Maybe I haven't read enough info. 


(A-D) #2

JenK,

I'll give you my nearly-humble opinion as one who only moved to the pump about a year ago... There are three big differences and a myriad of little ones that I found.  The big differences were:

1.    Variable basal rates.  This meant that if I was going to be active, I could lower my basal rather than having to snack through activities and if I got sick or lazy- I could up my basal temporarily without goofing around with a bunch of mini-doses

2.    Programmable basal rates.  I found that my insulin requirements (due to dawn phenomenon) were higher between 3 am-ish and 10ish in the morning.  I have my basal programmed to increase in those time frames.

3.    Dosing accuracy.  I don’t care how good your eyes are, you can’t tell me you can give a third of a unit or less accurately and consistently…

I have fewer lows and I do not miss the  shots… and well – there are a lot of folks with more pump experience who can probably fill in a bunch of things I’ve missed, LOL

Cheers,

A-D

P.S.

You sound like you are where i was - which means a pretty easy transition if/when you decide to make the jump... ;)


(Connersmom) #3

THe pump also gives you more freedom when traveling or going to the mall and other places.  You do not have to carry the shot equipment and all you do is program your pump to what you eat.  Your pump acts like your pancreas so it is normal to the body.  We have many fewer lows and some highs that we have to adjust but we love it.  Conner has only had the pump since September and it has been great.  He has the Minimed from Medtronics.  We love it although keeping teh sit in place can be tricky.  Just make sure to do your homeowork before you choose one.


(Annamaria) #4

Hi everyone

I know this is a little late, but i just wanted to let you know about a helpful tool for anyone looking into getting a pump.

MiniMed/Medtronic will be hosting a free webinar (web-seminar/ teleconference) on wednesday December 11 designed for people who take multiple daily injections.  The session will cover options for treatment (ex. insulin pumps), and the latest therapies available including continuous glucose monitoring for better diabetes management.  The Webinar will be presented by Dr. Abelseth, and you will be able to listen to the presentation over the phone while following along online.

The webinar will be followed by a question and answer session with current pump users (myself included) who can answer any questions you have about pump therapy and what wearing an insulin pump is like.

There will be two sessions: 1. 6pm Eastern Time (5pm Central/ 3pm Pacific)     2. 5pm Pacific Time (7pm Central/ 8pm Easter)

in order to register for this event, please follow this link --> http://www.realdiabetescontrol.com/attend-event.html

i participated in this once before, and found it to be extremely interesting! If you have any questions feel free to contact me (alukes@bu.edu).  I was diagnosed with diabetes 10 years ago and have been on a pump for 8 years.  I am currently a freshman in college and I’m also a runner.


(dvfrfsh) #5

Can you do things like SCUBA or weight lift with a pump?

How does the pump work?  Does it recognize low and high blood sugars, and administers Insulin as needed? In addition to as needed for eating?

Have always been told that a pump requires someone that is not active, or does not engage in sports etc....

Signed,

 

Do not know anything about pumps :(

 

Derek


(A-D) #6

Derek,

Weight lifting is no problem.  I have read but never tried the SCUBA bit (I went twice but never on the pump) - I have seen posts indicating that some folks are doing it but that there is a learning curve (as with any activity) and you should be cautious about lows.  I think I saw at least one person say they keep a glucagon kit in their dive kit.

A pump does not sense sugars.  It gives you the ability to give significantly more accurate doses and to time and change your basals (background insulin) both to match your body’s changes throughout the day and to reduce or raise it based on increased/decreased activity as they happen. 

I am sure a lot of folks will probably weigh in (and disagree with me a bit) but it is one more way to give insulin.  What it buys you:

·         Programmable and “on-the-fly” alterable basals

·         Dosing accuracy – No matter how good your eyes, you can’t consistently dose down to .05/.025 of a unit

·         At a glance dose calculation assistance

·         Ability to give extended bolus (meal-time/correction) doses (give me 80% now and 20% over the next 30-90 minutes) sort of things

·         Only use fast acting (is this a benefit??? LOL *shrug* i think so - but it may just be me)

I hope this information helps.  I recommend talking to several of the pump vendors to get an idea of how different products do things and what the more granular advantages are with each system...

Cheers,

A-D


(Sparrow) #7

You ARE at a great transition point! I was doing the same thing before I went on the pump (20 years ago... back when insulin pumps were the size of small books).

You can do most anything as a "pumper" that any other diabetic can do. In fact, up until a few years ago, you couldn't pilot a plane as a diabetic. But the pump has changed that! You CAN SCUBA, just know that the pumps are not waterproof to that degree (the Medtronic Minimed isn't waterproof at all). You would have to calculate how much basal insulin (the continous insulin the pump administers) that you would miss being off the pump and give yourself a percentage of that before removing the pump. Then bolus (additional insulin above and beyond the continuous basal insulin) the remainder when you reattach the pump. The pump I use (Cozmore) actually calculates that for you. Even though the Cozmore is "waterproof", it's only waterproof for a relatively short time at a shallow depth. I wouldn't SCUBA dive with it. You might check into the "Omnipod" or "Pod" pump. I have read some good things about it and it is supposed to be COMPLETELY waterproof.

There are two GREAT advantages to the pump (as far as I'm concerned): 1. instead of multiple shots per day, you in essence insert one needle ever three days, and 2. MUCH TIGHTER CONTROL OF YOUR BLOOD SUGARS.

I would hate to try and go back to long-acting or multiple shots of insulin. I love my pump (I wouldn't marry it, but almost...)

Hope this helps. If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to try and answer them.


(Sparrow) #8

Here is a good site to compare all the pumps and their features:

http://www.diabetesnet.com/diabetes_technology/insulin_pump_models.php


(Nads) #9

Hi JenK,

I'll give you my answer to your question based on the fact that I just started with a pump a few weeks ago, on Dec. 1st.

Like you, I was counting carbs and injecting before every meal.  Also like you, although peoplle were telling me I should get a pump, I didn't really understand why!  So far, this is what I enjoy most about my pump, the Animas 2020:

  • the accuracy of insulin dosage in relation to the amount of carbs
  • the reassurance of having a continuous supply of insulin, 24 hours a day (basal).  This also helps a lot in preventing lows
  • with my pump (and I assume it's the same with all/most others), I can not only input the amount of carbs, but also input my BG.  The pump will then suggest a dosage befor my meals (bolus) as well as a correction dosage if my BG is high or low.  Again, the word "accuracy" comes to mind

I am still in the discovery stages of insulin pump therapy, but so far, I am loving my pump and the freedom that it gives me!  I do not at all regret having switched!

Final thought:  GO FOR IT!!!


(Christylwf) #10

You can sleep in w/o "feeding your insulin" with a pump.  It is easier to lose weight on it....I lost 15 lbs when I got it.  You can have children more easily with the pump.   You can have the convenience of not having to give a shot every time you need insulin.  It is wonderful.  I have been on it 9 years and wouldn't change it for the world.  I am on a Medtronic Minimed Paradigm 512. 

 


(Christylwf) #11

Can't scuba, but you can lift weights on it.  You can do just about anything but get it soaking wet.  It is great.


(Sparrow) #12

I was on the Medtronic MiniMed for years (over 15). I just recently switched to the "Cozmore" pump because of additional features it has. For instance, there is a list of foods (over 600 that you can change depending on your tastes) in the pump with their respective carbs per portion. You select the food and it adds the carbs/insulin to your premeal dose. It also calculates how much basal insulin you'll miss when removing the pump for a while and allows you to give yourself a percentage of what you'll miss. It also tells you how much insulin you have "on board" (in your body).

Again, there are a few different pumps out there. I would investigate them all and determine which best fits YOUR lifestyle.

I'll relist the site that gives a good run-down on all pumps out there (I'm not advising buying from this site):

http://www.diabetesnet.com/diabetes_technology/insulin_pump_models.php