Switching to Insulin Pump

I just had a class on insulin pumps and I'm really excited about getting one, but I have a couple of questions that I hope more seasoned T1's could answer.

 

1. Is there any reason NOT to go to a pump?

2. Which pump(s) have you used & what would be your recommendation?

3. If your pump breaks or something happens, do you have to go back to long lasting (Lantus) and fast acting (Humalog)? And are you supposed to take vials/pens with you everywhere you go as a backup? That seems like a big expense b/c of the efficacy of keeping it at room temperature would require you to dispose of every month.

 

I'm interested in the Medtronics or the Pod, but since I really don't know anyone with pumps, I thought I'd get advice on this from the group before deciding which pump to get.

I have been on a pump for about 30 years and so you can tell by that - I love them.  right now I am using a minimed (Medtronic) paradigm revel.  In the 30 years I have only had 3 malfunctions and usually the company sends you one overnight so you need to keep a script or a doc that can call you in an RX for the Lantus in an emergency.  I was traveling one time when I had trouble so I ended up having that done but after I got the insulin, I was able to get my blood sugar down quickly but had to wait to get home to get the pump that the company sent.  From now on, I will get the scripts before I go just in case.  I have been through hurricanes with the pump and although it is sometimes difficult, managed to get through without having to go without using it.  I could not get a POD because my insurance would not cover it but my Dr. loves his and said that he had better control with the POD than any other pump he has used and really liked it but each one has it's advantages-I wish they would come up with one that had all the features I like about each one in one but you have to weigh what features appeal to you and what you think will work best with your lifestyle.  I miss the waterproof feature that I had in my Animas so if you are an avid swimmer, you may want to look at that pump also. Hope this helps and I hope you enjoy the freedom a pump will give you.

Amber, I have bee a Diabetic for nearly 28 years, and I refused to go on the pump for the longest time because I did not want to feel I was connected to anything.  But I finally made the leap about six years ago and it was the best decision I could have made.  I actually feel like I have more freedom.  I use the Medtronic Minimed paradigm model, and I have had virtually no issues with it.  The one time I did, Medtronic replaced the unit overnight without any problems.  I would highly recommend this pump, and pumping in general.

I was on the minimed 522 paradigm when I switched insurance companies, due to insurance. Got a doctor That was supposed to be the diabetes specialist for the HMO (in our area). I had to re-educate him about some very basic stuff on the pump when I first met him. I had tthat insurance for 2 years and in that time I got really complacent with my pump therapy. Really complacent.

My warning is that you need to have a doctor (endo is my preference) that knows what they are talking about, and is involved with your pump thereapy. If you have that, go for it.

The only reason I can see for not wanting to be on the pump, is some people just don't like being connected 24/7. It really doesn't bother me, but I do love my "free shower" days!

I use the Mimimed Paradigm Revel and I'm happy with it, although I have nothing else to compare it to since I haven't used anything else. I use the Silhouette infusion set and am happy with it. My daughter uses the Mio infusion set and she loves that.

I know that Minimed will overnight you a new pump if something goes wrong. Also, they have a loaner program in the event you are travelling where they can't overnight you a new one. I don't ever carry any spare Lantus with me although I do have some unused pens in the fridge. My doctor is part of a large clinic so it would be no big deal to get my hands on a script for some or even a sample or two in the event the pump didn't work properly. Technically, you're supposed to keep a supply syringes - you need to use these if you are treating an extreme high. If you are out, and you need to treat a high AND you don't have your Humalog with you, you can draw your insulin from your pump reservoir. This is why I rarely even carry my vial with me unless I'm going to be away from longer than usual. It's extremely hot where I live, so it's just not a good idea to keep it with me at all times.

Another thing I love about the Revel is that it comes with the Carelink software, so I don't write anything down anymore. My doctor can look online and see all my numbers. It's SO much easier!

--Dani

I did shots for 25 years and have pumped for 9-- I'd never willingly go back to shots.  

The only reason not to go on a pump is lack of money or insurance because pumping is more expensive than shots.  

If you haven't done so, contact OmniPod and Minimed and ask if there are demo sessions in your area.  The Omnipod website will send you a free sample (you wear it without insulin).  I wasn't a fan of the Pod because it was too bulky and adhesive bothered my skin.  But we're all different and I know others who like them.  I happily use a Minimed 522 and though I've had a few pump malfunctions Minimed has always sent a replacement within about a day.  Because it was a short amount of time I just took multiple shots of short acting insulin until new pump arrived.  Frankly, I'd have no idea what my long acting dose would be.  With a pump you use less insulin than with shots.  

I always carry a syringe and extra bottle of insulin with me, in case of pump malfunction and also to supplement if my pump is running low and I'm not able to change the infusion set (I work full-time and go to school part-time, so am often away from home 12-14 hr. days).  Instead of carrying a new bottle of insulin I typically take a bottle with just a little left in it after filling the pump reservoir.  In real life there's no need to throw out insulin after a month.  After opening a bottle I don't refrigerate and it may take 6 mo. to use it up... I've never had a problem with insulin's effectiveness.  

Get the book "Pumping Insulin" by John Walsh.  It's a little older and doesn't have much info on OmniPods, but it is a great resource that helps you understand how to incorporate a pump into your life.  I was so nervous when I first got my pump, but got used to it in less than a day.  Thanks to a pump my blood sugars are better, I rarely have low blood sugars, my hypoglycemia unawareness was reversed, and I had a super healthy pregnancy (5.1 A1c).  Most mornings my blood sugar is within 5 points of what it was when I went to bed!  Pumps are life changing.  

HI! I've been pumping for almost 10 years now, and did shots for 10 years before that. I love pumping, and I always knew I would, because I hate needles. . . and I hated them much more when I was in the 4th grade(when I got my pump). My dad tried to talk me and my mom out of it, saying how are you going to sleep with it? do you really want that connected to you? and all I could think was, one shot every 3 days, I'll do ANYTHING for that. so, anyways my mom pushed for it and I got it =) I love it, I would never want to go back. I have had to be on shots for a couple days at a time on 2 different occasions when my minimed pump broke, and that's only because it happend to break on weekends, and holidays so there aren't delivery services on those days. I don't keep NPH (I never used lantus, so we still go back to NPH) on hand anymore, we just call and get a prescription if it breaks. when I'm out and about I carry syringes with me and if my set kinks off I just draw insulin out of the resevoir, but you wouldn't be able to do that on the pod, i don't think. Also, as of 1:30 today I switched to animas, mostly because it is waterproof. The trainer I had, said nearly 100% of the time IF people switch from minimed to animas it is for the water proof feature. Other than that, the pumps are pretty similar. Just something to think about. Also, if you are concerned about having to go back on injections if it breaks, animas has a loaner pump program for vacations, so at least you can be certain you will have a pump if it breaks when you're not home. I don't really have a recomendation for you, except that you should really start pumping. Minimed is great, and they have good customer service. I'm hoping I like animas as much, or more since I won't have to worry when I'm by the lake anymore. Good luck in your search=)

I just started using my pump two weeks ago.  It is my first one and never did meal time shots.  I'm using the OmniPod and so far so good.  

Just wanted to see if you've noticed any negatives in the Animas compared to the minimed. I think I'm leaning towards it, but I don't know anyone on it. i've asked for a "trial", but we'll see what happens!

Negatives. . . there is a little bit more button pushing than with the minimed pump, but the trainer I had said they are working on updating the meter remote so that there would be less, and the pump itself has a new model coming out that you're able to upgrade to for $100 or something like that, and that has the cgm integrated in it too from what I have read. i guess it needs final fda approval or something, it is already approved in england.