My name is Irada and I’m new to this community. I’m 23 years old and diabetes
Type 1 since 2006. During all my diabetes life I have used manual injections. But
now I want to switch to insulin pumps as i'm planning pregnancy and researching on this myself as I’m not
very satisfied with my endocrinologist. I asked him couple times on this issue
but he didn’t gave me satisfactory feedback (either he tried to recommend me
his “partner” brand or tried to “rent” me some kind of pump which is very
I kindly ask you to give me your reviews about insulin pumps that you are using
or any good one that you know. Its advantages and disadvantages. Could I adjust
it myself or I strong need endocrinologist help for it? What about the costs of
insulin pumps? I searched about the brand called omnipod. Did anyone use it?
What about its advantages, disadvantages, costs and usability?
in advance for your detailed answers& feedback.
First of all, welcome to the type one community! I'm sorry to hear about your endocrinologist...it's extremely difficult to get control of your disease when you don't have the proper team helping you. My first recommendation would be to find a doctor that you click with and is able to effectively help you manage your type 1 diabetes. I have a family doctor who I see for my diabetes, but he is type 1 himself, and I couldn't imagine going through things without him!
Secondly, way to take matters into your own hands! If your doctor isn't going to help you, I'm glad that you've taken the initiative to help yourself! I was diagnosed with type 1 in 2002 and got on an insulin pump in 2003 and never looked back. I absolutely LOVE my pump! Not only for the fact that I have much better control with my pump, but because it also gives me a great deal of flexibility as well. Ever since I started wearing my pump I have been on a Minimed Paradigm. It's worked beautifully! My doctor is also on a Minimed Paradigm as well. It's wonderful! It gives me a constant basal rate throughout the day and then I bolus for the foods I eat. It has my insulin to carb ratio programmed in, so all I have to do is enter in how many carbs I eat and it calculates how much insulin I'll need all on its own. The same goes for correction boluses, with my correction calculation programmed in, so all I have to do is enter my blood sugar and it will calculate the correction itself. There is also a "Bolus Wizard" feature, which is awesome. You hit one button, a screen pops up for you to enter your blood sugar, the amount of carbs you're eating, and then it calculates exactly how much insulin you'll need and you can review it and then deliver it. It also has a great option for a reminder to check your blood sugar after you bolus, in intervals of 30 minutes. For instance, I always set a reminder to check my blood sugar 2 hours after I bolus, just to make sure I haven't spiked or given myself too much insulin and am dropping out. As far as disadvantages, there aren't many! Sometimes it does get old to be hooked up to a device 24/7, but I like that option far more than shots and I love the flexibility of eating. With my pump, I can eat whatever I want whenever I want, or not eat as well. Such as if I'm sick and not feeling well, I don't necessarily have to have a typical meal. I love that my pump offers me so much freedom.
I will say that getting started on a pump and maintaining it will probably require the assistance of a doctor who is experienced with them. As far as cost goes, that will depend heavily on your insurance. I believe before insurance my pump was around $8,000 but I have wonderful insurance so I believe I only paid around $1,800 out of pocket. Those numbers aren't exact, but I believe that's a good ballpark range. I have Humana, I don't know what you have, but if it's any good it should cover a good portion of your pump. You will obviously need your doctor to write a prescription for one in order for your insurance to cover it though.
I think that covers your questions, but if you have any more or want clarification on something I've said, please let me know! Good luck with everything!
Thanks you Leah for your detailed answer.
Firstly, i'd liek to say that you are so lucky for having such kind of team helping you with your T1 and luckier with having T1 doctor,cuz am sure his own experience helps you in your questions and directions, as well.
Unfortunately, i never had proper doctor who could help me in a proper way.Tired of this situation 3 years ago i decided to be "a personal" doctor for myslef thou my specialty is not connected with medicine. I searched lots of internet portals, found lots of diabetes thorough internet and by keeping regularly touch they helped me with their own experience and instructions.Now we are "diabetes friends" and tehy help me in every question that i have.
2 years ago i changed my insulins to Lantus and novorapid which i use manually. But i do know that during pregnancy it will be too hard for me to control my blood sugar with manual injections,that's why i'm looking for some kind of insulin pump which i could use in a best way taht i can in order to control my diabetes,highs and lows.
beinh honest, i don't have any detailed information on insulin pumps types,usage as i never used them.That's why i do need some relevant instructions and information about their types,costs,usage,benefits for pregnancy etc.
Already a month i'm searching o internet for omnipod but i have lotsa questions about it and i guess i should import it on my behalf as i live in Baku,Azerbaijan.As far as i know my country don't import this insulin pump and i should order it via internet. But i'm worried about its pods etc. as i don't have enough information about this pump and don't know anyone who uses it.
The 3 primary pumps in the US are OmniPod, Medtronic Minimed, and Animas One Touch Ping. I'm not sure what is available in Azerbaijan.
The price will vary depending on where you live.
You will need a medical expert (either a doctor or diabetes educator) to help you set up the pump. Pumps use only short actiing insulin so you have to translate your current dose of Lantus into short acting. Plus the daily amount of insulin you use will decrease with a pump.
There is a good book called "Pumping Insulin" by John Wash that is a good resource. There are other books at sites like amazon. Look around and see what you can find.
My pump helped me have a healthier pregnancy. Hope it will help you too.
Irada, my name is Rachel and I have been wearing the OmniPod for almost 3 yrs! I WILL NEVER GO BACK TO INJECTIONS! I love being on a pump! My A1c was a 9.7 I had recently gotten married and we wanted to try for a baby. I got on the OmniPod and within 3 MONTHS my A1c had dropped down to a 6.7! I maintained an A1c of 6.5 throughout my entire pregnancy.
With my insurance I paid about $600 for my PDM (personal diabetes manager). This is like the remote that controls the pods and delivers insulin. The pods are unfortunately the more expensive part... I pay about $230 every 3 months for pods. I will say though that OmniPod (or Insulet) is great at working with you. There have been times in the past that I could not come up with $230 so they will allow you to do a payment plan of $50 per month. I would just pay $50 per month until I could come up with the lump sum that I owe them. I have almost never had any major issues with the PDM or with the pods. If something ever happens like you get a faulty pod or something, just call them and they will send you a free one.
The main disadvantage I hear people complain about is size. It's never been a real problem with me. They are still small and discreet. I wear them under my shirt or under my pants. I know some people say they are bulky, but like I said it's never bothered me. I have a 15 month old toddler, I work around animals, AND I'm also a coach. I was also told by an OmniPod rep that they are coming out with smaller pods this yr, not sure when, but I hope that is true!
If you are curious about Omnipod we have an entire group dedicated to that specific insulin pump t1n-migration.10uplabs.com/.../default.aspx
Also, I would just contact Omnipod directly to ask them about the questions you have regarding pricing...
Irada I am so sorry it has been such a struggle with you to find appropriate healthcare in your country! Again, I just want to encourage you to keep fighting to get the best care you possibly can, even if you have to do it yourself! There are a couple good books about insulin pumps if you'd like to read up on them, the first is "Insulin Pump Therapy Demystified: An Essential Guide for Everyone Pumping Insulin" by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer and "Pumping Insulin: Everything You Need for Success on a Smart Insulin Pump" by John Walsh and Ruth Robert. There is also a great website, www.insulin-pumpers.org which is all about pumping and insulin-pump related topics.
Good luck, I hope you can find something that works for you and you're happy with!
I completely empathize with your problem of not being able to find a good endocrinologist as I faced the same problem here in India, where Type 1 diabetic patients who use insulin pumps are very very less. But I completely agree with Leah on the fact that you need a good endocrinologist before getting into pregnancy or starting a pump, otherwise there is a great chance you will find it difficult.
I was diagonised as diabetic at age 10 and I am 26 years old now, also wishing for pregnancy and a healthy baby.
I started with the minimed paradigm pump 3 years ago, just before I got married and I conceived with great difficulty last year in June through an IUI. I got through to my 34th week, handling my pump, bloodsugars and diet all by myself with a HbA1c of 5.8. Everything looked good. My gynecologist and endocrinologist had no complaint and never looked at the diary I maintained about my diet and bloodsugars because they were also fooled by the 5.8. My baby's heart beat suddenly stopped on Jan 20. The doctor took me for a scan and were shocked to see that at 34 weeks, the baby weighed only 1.1 Kilograms. They prescribed termination and no one couldn't give me a valid reason except 'Oh it's just fate!!!" or 'Oh, not everything is in the hands of the doctor!!!"
I went to another gynocologist, a week after the termination because I had to know where I had gone wrong. The doctor looked at my readings which had too many hypoglycemias and too many 200's and gave me a justified answer that the baby was unable to keep up with all the blood sugar fluctuation, especially the regular hypoglycemias which is why it hadn't developed, got tired and gave up.
She directed me to an endocrinologist and dietician who have now turned out to be my inspiration. Thankfully, they are aware of how to work with pumps and have set me up with a perfect basal regime. (my horribly set 12 basal rates have been reduced to 3). They taught me about carbohydrate counting, which I was unaware about and how my bolus could not be adjusted just randomly but only after I counted my carbohydrates and judged my bolus accordingly. She checks my daily diary and gives me time for my questions unlike my previous doctor who used to snub me.
I really believe the pump can do wonders and is the best thing for a pregnancy, but guidance is just as important so you don't feel lost and your doubts, fears and several misconceptions are answered properly.