Insulin pump?

So im coming up to my 1year aneversary with type 1 and a couple other things. i was told i could think about getting a pump now and i realy want to get one i hate the pens with a passion and am haveing issues controling my sugars with them. I am looking for the ups and downs of the diffrent pumps and if anyone knows the prices for them in Canada. Ive been doing reserch but i find the charts and write ups a little confusing and ide rather hear from users.

I was also REALLY confused by the charts and stuff I found online when I started looking to the pump, so you're not alone there haha.

In Canada, we really only have two choices (from what I found when doing my own research in 2009..god that seems so long ago): Animas (Ping) or Medtronic (MiniMed Paradigm Revel System).

I tried the Ping because I really liked the features and Animas was a GREAT help every single step of the way. From getting a hold of them, getting a quick booking to have the sales rep to my house and explain how it all works to me (and my mom), to setting me up with a saline trial a week later for two weeks and advice about what my insurance would likely do and need, and then helping me deal with my insurance by talking to them directly at some points. They even lowered the price I had to pay out of pocket for the device, which was SOOOO awesome because I couldn't have afforded my full share.

Animas was a great experience.

I didn't enjoy the pumping though, found it made my control worse, and my control isn't that bad with syringes after 16years so I went back --- it is just not the method for me right now.

The pump itself was great and I really liked the wireless controller using the One Touch Ping Meter, since I have been using the One Touch UltraSmart for years and it's the same meter, only with an extra chip! In the future (hopefully 2011!) the Dexcom CGM will be integrated with the ping, so it will be even better!

The Animas comes with a 3month money-back guarantee which is really nice. It takes a bit longer than that to get your basal rates perfect sometimes, but it gives you an idea of what life with the pump will be like which is nice. They don't try to trap you into keeping this experience device and were EXTREMELY understanding when I told them why my endo and I decided I shouldn't continue pumping. They had a fedEX driver come on CHRISTMAS EVE to pick up the device from me, two days after I called my customer service rep and told her I wanted to send it back.

I really liked the features and will definitely look to Animas again in the future if I decide to try pumping again.

The BONUS with Animas (at least I thought it was a bonus) is that Nurse Jim from our local D adult clinic is the Trainer for the pump and is with you every fucking step of the way! He gave me his home number and his cell number incase I had any problems and needed help. He trained me at lunch and then called me after dinner to check in and make sure I was doing okay and to see if I had any questions pop up. I talked to him MANY times in those three months, he was a great support. When I gave up the pump, we donated all of the supplies I had already purchased (about $1000 worth) to the clinic, which was kinda my way of thanking him because they really need supplies of any kind for training and helping people out. =)


As for Medtronic Canada, I've been trying to get information on the CGM since last August. I FINALLY this past week got to talk to my local sales rep about my options for the CGM, NOT the pump..but found they were too heavy on getting me on the pump anyways (because my insurance would cover the device at that point, but I would use up my ONE lifetime coverage of a pump when I'd only be using the CGM in it). I have found there customer service to be extremely bad up to that point. The local sales rep himself is nice (he's a T1) but he was really pushy about selling me the pump when I didn't want or need that device.

From parents of T1's I know who have the Medtronic pump, they like the built in CGM, but also said they have had similar problems with getting a hold of customer service and in the beginning with trying to get the pump.

I'm not sure what the money back guarentee is on the Medtronic, but if it's anything like the CGM device (the Guardian) it sucks. With the CGM you only have one month from the training date to return it and get your $2,000 back!

If you choose to talk to them about their pump, let me know and I'll give you Andrew's phone number so you don't have to spend months like I did trying to get a hold of someone. (according to the e-mail i got in January, there are apparently only TWO customer service reps who handle phonecalls during the week...yeaaaaaaaah).


In the end, it's your personal choice which one will work for you. Just because I liked Animas and hate Medtronic, doesn't mean the Animas Ping is the best option for you or that Medtronic will be a dick to you as well!

I would suggest trying a saline trial of each (usually last a week, but with Animas since they had some time before the next trial, I was able to keep it for two weeks!) so you can get a feel of what it's like on the pump and get to play around with the features without actually getting insulin from it.


Re: Prices

The prices are pretty much the same between the two pumps.

Animas Ping is $7,700 (if I remember correctly) and the Medtronic is $7,700. I don't know what type of insurance you have, but my Blue Cross was willing to pay $6,600 of my Ping. I should've had to pay $1100 in out of pocket costs for the Ping, but the customer service rep got it dropped to $100 for me!
For Medtronic, your insurance will likely pay the same share as they will for the Ping, and  you'll have to cover the $1100 out of pocket costs.

The supplies are pretty expensive compared to pens and syringes because there's a lot more you need, but if you have insurance it probably wouldn't be long until they are covering them 100% which is AWESOME. I went with a whole month of sites in 2weeks at one point because I kept having site failures or ripping them out in my sleep!

One of the worst things I found about having the pump, besides the up and down BG levels and being attached to it 24/7 (after 16years i found that to be one of the hardest adjustments and caused the most problems, as well as made my self-esteem drop drastically)...was all the supplies I had to carry around. I remember being told you carry around a lot less, but I had the complete opposite experience...but that could've been because i was having site problems.

With my shots, I carry a bag of needles and two vials in a small make-up bag, and then my meter kit. With the pump, because I was having problems with my sites and at the time was spending up my whole weekend away from the house (I moved back to my moms for the three months while working and adjusting to the pump I wasn't worrying about rent and other bills) I ended up carrying about 2 changes worth of supplies with me at all times in case anything happened (so 2 sites, 2 reservoirs, insulin vial, alcohol swaps and adhesive swaps) which made my bag a lot bigger.

When I went away on over night trips to the mainland, instead of having 2 extra bags of needles (as I could go to any drug store to get more, and if needed re-use them) and an extra vial of each insulin, I was carrying at least 10 site change supplies for a 2 night trip out of fear because I would be screwed if anything happened (like getting stuck on the mainland or having a bunch of sites fail) since you have to order supplies in, you can't just go to the drug store and get them!

Even to work, I always carried an set of site change supplies because I had to change my site half-way through work a few times (before i got the adhesive swap, I had a hard time keeping my sites in)

I can't be much help to you if Batts is correct that there are only 2 pumps available in Canada. I'm on the OmniPod. I paid about $560 for my PDM and the first 3 months supply of pods. I pay about $168 or so every 3 months for my pods. Without insurance, I think the total price of the PDM and the first 3 months supplies was around $1,600. I'm pretty sure that's what our bill said before insurance. But again, that information won't really help you if the OmniPod isn't available where you live. All I can tell you is that it would be worth your time to just try out a pump and see if you like it. If you don't like it, go back on shots. Not a big deal. For me though, I am happy with my choice to go on a pump. I don't feel nearly as stressed about my diabetes any more. All I have to do is change my pod every 3 days and I'm good to go. I know that I have a lifelong disease, but I don't feel the weight of it as much anymore. Also, my A1C went from like a 9.7 to a 6.5 after just 3 months on the pump. My numbers stay in great control. I hardly ever have a high, but if I occassionaly do, it's easy to correct. Best of luck! Let us all know how things work out for you!


I've been on insulin pump for 3 years, it is AMAZING, it really helped me get my blood sugar under control. In fact, My last Hc1 was 5.0! Im currently off the pump because i couldn't afford the supplies due to medicare, I have to pay 20% co pay which sucks, but I plan on getting back on it next month. I've had diabetes for 18 years, shots are a pain in the butt. I think you should give it a try. Try Medtronic, but I don't know if Canada has Medtronic, but Go to I have Medtronic Paragdriam (?). 

[quote user="RachelEmily25"]

But again, that information won't really help you if the OmniPod isn't available where you live.


sadly, the OmniPod isn't available in Canada yet. No word on when that may happen, if ever.

Thank you Batts. Im actualy already in love with the Ping. so you just made my decision a little easier to get one.


If anyone else has info on the ping please share.

I;ve been a T1 for 46 years now and pumping for 7-1/2 years but wish I'd started much, much sooner! One of the best decisions I've ever made was to going on an insulin pump. My suggestion would be to go to the major pump company websites (Animas, Medtronic, Insulet, Roche) and start there. Then I'd contact the pump rep of each company and make an appointment to touch and feel the pump. I've used Medtronic, Animas and Insulet/Omnipod pumps. I only used an Omnipod for about a month but long enough for me to make a decision that I much preferred pumps w/tubing (just my preference). In my opinion, I think Omnipod would be excellent for children and teenage girls/young women who may be more self-conscious about wearing a traditional pump. I went back to Medtronic last July primarily because I wanted a pump with an integrated CGMS and MM was the only company that had it. I also like Medtronic because they've developed their own CGMS and CareLink software instead of relying on 3 parties to develop it for them. I also like Animas pumps but the reason I switched to Medtronic was because of the CGMS integration and the CareLink software. It's really what you prefer and I'd recommend that you try to get as many opinions from other pumpers, go to the website for information, and research the pros/cons of each pump. You'll be stuck with the pump for 4 years so it's best to make the right decision the first time. We all have different features we like about a particular pump, so try to get the pump that you prefer and not what someone wants you to get. THere's a lot of help out there for you and most pumpers will be glad to help you. It's a big decision and I wish you much success in making the decision that's best for you.