Pros & never spoken of cons of pump therapy

I am a 23 year old 14 year veteran of the fight.  I have been on a Medtronic Minimed 512 insulin pump for 8 years now, and not a day goes by that I wish I could be back on injections.  Don't get me wrong, insulin pumps are great for the first year or so, but then they get REALLY expensive, then your medical coverage runs out, and scar tissue starts to build up on your infusion site.  I am really not enjoying pump therapy. 

I almost wish someone could have told me of the pages long list of potential cons while on insulin pump therapy before I started, I would have said, no thanks.

The main problem with the Medtronic Minimed 512 insulin pump is that from time to time, it will just stop giving insulin, without any warning usually for 4 or 5 hours.  When I test my blood sugar, it can be as high as 29mmol/L, which is 522mg/dL.  The other big problem is that I am a student right now, and infusion sets where I live run the cost of about $170 a box.  With the many problems associated with this pump, which is my second replacement one, you can go through an entire box of sets in a single day, due to clogging of the cannula, or muscle tissue plugging the cannula, or many other problems.  sometimes, I get a no delivery warning, and I remove the insfusion set, only to find that, there is no problem with the cannula.  Maybe Medtronic is made of money, but I can't afford $140 a day to live.

At least on injections, my cost of living was less than $10 a day.

 

Anyways, thats my rant for the day

 

Robert

 

I have been on the Minimed 512 almost 6 years.  I haven't had the troubles you mentioned.  My pump broke three weeks ago and Medtronic sent me a loaner until I get a new one. 

Pump therepy is a personal choice.  And with the new insulins the benefit of the pump is not as great as it once was.  I get frustrated having to carry the pump with me all of the time and having to keep close tabs on my glucose readings because I go low without feeling it.  But when I finally get the new pump I will receive the CGM with it. 

Hi Robert,

I'm sorry to hear you're having troubles with the pump.  I've used an Animas Ping for the last 5 months, and before that, used a Deltec Cozmo for four years.  I had a few ideas - maybe they'll help, maybe not.

I think we all respond a bit differently - some of us are faster healers than others - and different infusion sets work for different people.  I am hopeful that you'll continue to contact MM about the pump problems you're having - they do not sound like "normal" problems that anyone should have to deal with.  I wonder if a different brand of pump would work better for you?  Have you ever done a trial of another pump?

I've been a pump user for five years now, and I haven't noticed a lot of scar tissue.  Can I ask what sites you use on your body?  I wonder if you might want to try some new places, to let your "favorites" heal a bit more between times.  Anywhere on your body that fatty tissue exists, you can use as a pump site.  That includes anywhere on your upper or lower abdomen, hips, butt, arms, thighs, and lower back. 

You are right that supplies can get wicked expensive if you don't have insurance helping you out with the cost.  I know in other posts, Gina has suggested different organizations that can help with the cost of supplies (granted, that might be MDI stuff, or test strips, or whatever... not sure if it's pump-related).  She might be able to recommend help for you.  It's worth a shot, at least.  (Ha... D-humor.  Gotta love it.)

Anywho, I hope even some small part of this helps.  We're all always here to listen any time you need to rant - it's one of the reasons this site is so great.  :)

Sorry to hear about the issues you are having.I have had Medtronic Pumps for 11 years now and never had any issues with any of them.  The one thing I noticed is that I get the No Delivery warning if I put the cannula in certain spots. I figure its because I have more fat, or maybe muscle, and it is pushing against it. It hasn't happened often though and now I just avoid those spots.

Some people just don't like pumps or do well with them. I agree, they are very expensive and if it is not working well for you then go back to injections. You have to do what makes you well and happy.

Good luck!

Robert,

You might want to check into the Omnipod.  You don't have the tubing or infustion sets to get clogged.  You can wear it almost anywhere, arm, leg, backside, stomach.  I find that my arm is the most comfortable.  But you can move it around so you won't have the scar tissue issue as much.    I have been on it for almost a year and have no complaints.  Sure beats 5 injections a day!

Just my thoughts............