Seriously considering doing the pump

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Jim1969
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 8/26/2009 4:25 AM (GMT -7)   
I ham seriously considering going on the insulin pump. With my overall history of uncontrolled blood sugar I am starting to think it may be a very viable option. I briefly talked it over with the nurse educator I seen a few weeks ago and got a big packet of information about the pump and we went over all the nice little hoops I will have to jump through to get on it.

Anyway, any one here on the insulin pump? What are your thoughts about it? I already know the basics of the "mechanicals" involved, what I am looking for is opinions about how it has changed your life, the good and bad points, etc.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.


Natava
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 8/26/2009 1:24 PM (GMT -7)   
My uncle has it, has been taken to the hospital several times in the last year after having it "installed" becasue it doesn't do a good job regulating for him. That said - he's not having it removed....and I am sure some are better candidates than others.

Phishbowl
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 547
   Posted 8/26/2009 5:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Over the past couple of years, I've been through the whole assessment and education process to go on a pump....twice. I'm still not on one. I'm choosing not to at this time.

It really is an individual thing to decide. For me... 5'3", 112lbs, active, and in "as good control as possible" (they call me a "brittle" diabetic), and my best A1C being 7.9%....I've always been a candidate for one. I even got to try out a CGMS for 5 days, which gave me a really good idea of what being "attached" 24/7 feels like. Long story short... I couldn't imagine it for me. I've heard a lot more good than bad about those who've switched, though. Many like the convenience of not having to carry around needles, pens & such. For me that's not an issue (I'm at home) and a pump doesn't mean you still don't have to carry around your meter, strips, & candy. When I do go out, I find carrying my insulin pen with me not that much of an extra deal. Others differ - I guess it depends on lifestyle.

I MIGHT get better control on a pump, because the insulin enters the system in a more gradual way than shots do but, there's no guarantee. I find if I watch my carb intake, keeping the insulin doses small, I can achieve better control. Pizza and chinese foods for example can have me testing and up & down for hours (haven't figured out the balance for those kind of meals).

I have to admit that the repercussions of something going wrong with a pump are a lot more involved than with injections. That worries me but others seem to deal with it no problem.

Not sure if anyone on here is on a pump?? I know I'm one of the few Type 1's here. At any rate, Jim, it'll come down to you. See if you can't get a loaner from your doc/hospital. They often allow that because it's such a commitment. Worth a try :-)
Cheers,
- Phishbowl (Type 1 since Jan'05 - Levemir, NovoRapid)
"What's Not Measured Is Not Managed"

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows"-Epictetus


ocdgirl2000
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 8/28/2009 2:40 PM (GMT -7)   
My Ex-BF (who is a psych RN) (I'm a Nurse too, by the way) was one of the first to try the first insulin pumps available. Pumps are not "intalled" LOL! They are simply like a teeny weeny IV like in the hospital, that YOU learn to program! Only instead of it being inserted into a VEIN, it gets inserted into sub-cutaneous tissue, just like your insulin needle does!

It's similar to your insulin needle, it goes into a spot where you choose, usually around your midriff area, you clean the area really really well, because the spot has to stay there for a few days! the goal is to try not to keep changing it around and keep poking yourself or it's no use in getting it.

So you prepara your spot (site) and then when you do, you pull the needle back, and it leaves a little tiny plastic sheath in it's place under your skin where the needle once was, very comfortable. You then tape over it with clear occlusive dressing that comes in the kit. Then there is an attachment with very thin tubing, it attached to a vial of insulin. the vial of insulin has to be primed up just like any engine lines do! you clamp off the tubing first, then prime up the insulin tubing, then insert the vial and tubing the way the Nurses and the Pump Sales people teach you!! You learn the most from them! Tons of support they want you to buy their products! Then they teach you how to program the little pump how to deliver droplets of insulin through the tubing to your site that you just inserted into your midriff!


This is not rocket science! You program the thing! You can check into the hospital and get observation while you are on it for a day to make sure you are safe and you won't give yourself too much insulin by programming it to give 100 units for a bolus instead of 10!LOL!

It can give you a baseline all day of 1 unit per hour, or 2 u per hr, and then you can change it, ypu don't have to eat planned meals that way...or...you can slow that down..or ..you can bolus at the last minute if someone offers you a snack..
My ex loved it..he said it regulated hil like a real pancreas. The trouble was, it made him non compliant with his diet.
He would say: oh, we are going to the buffet! I'm going to set my pump on "turbo". Not very funny. The other risk was, he would let the site stay in too long, and it would sometimes get infected, and leak, and then he wasn't getting the insulin! That was his fault for being lazy...
"If you always tell the truth, you won't get caught lying." (pop-pop's proverbs)


ocdgirl2000
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 8/28/2009 2:45 PM (GMT -7)   
He is still wearing an insulin pump to this very day, we are still friendly, he has been through many makes and models. He trades them in, gets upgrades, has large stocks of tubing supplies, and gets in good with the sales reps. He thinks he knows it all, but he is lucky at age 59, that he still has decent health.. he was 20 diagnosed type 1 brittle very atypical.
"If you always tell the truth, you won't get caught lying." (pop-pop's proverbs)


Phishbowl
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 547
   Posted 8/29/2009 8:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Jim,
For a real comprehensive understanding of what's involved with managing Type 1 Diabetes (or more specifically, using insulin), I've found this site to be one of the best out there:

http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/howto.shtml

It's a very popular site with many Type 1's, whether or not they're on a pump. Figuring out basal rates, insulin to carb ratios, carb counting and many tips & tricks about how to best use insulin are why I regularly refer to this site. I would recommend it to anyone using insulin.
Cheers,
- Phishbowl (Type 1 since Jan'05 - Levemir, NovoRapid)
"What's Not Measured Is Not Managed"

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows"-Epictetus

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