Work and insulin pumps vs. shots

hey! I was just officially diagnosed with type 1 diabetes the first of the month and at 21 years old I already have a lot of my life planned out... I have two great jobs that I LOVE but now the problem is adding insulin... weather it is through a pump or vials and shots... I have been on Humulin R and lantus for the past couple months (they thought I was only hyperglycemic due to prednisone)  and now they are talking about putting me on a pump. But because of my jobs, I work in an Emergency room and on an ambulance as a paramedic, I am scared that the tubing and things will get caught but at the same time carrying around insulin and syringes isnt the safest thing in the world either. I go back to the diabetes clinic next week and we are going to talk more about it but I was wondering if anyone has any input? I mean at this point Im still in shock that I have the disease and now Im just confused that things are moving so fast... not that Im complaining just overwhelmed I guess

I would consider speaking with Ajax (http://juvenation.org/members/ajax/default.aspx). He also works as an EMT and wears an insulin pump. He was recently diagnosed almost 2 years ago and has been successful on both shots and the pump. He also wears a CGM (continuous glucose monitor). I think he would have a lot of very valuable information to give you and help you decide which may work best for you. 

Plus, he's just a great guy! :o)

Hi Amanda!

I was diagnosed at age 10 (27 now) and have been on a pump since 14.  I would definitely recommend the pump- I've never even considered going back.  I'm guessing your work schedule is more than a little hectic, so a pump would help make your mealtimes more flexible.

And as far as getting the tubing caught, you should be fine.  I usually keep my pump in my pocket and tuck the extra tubing in my pants,  I've had it snag on things from time to time, but I've never ripped my set out or anything.  It might take a while to figure out where to stash it and what works best for you.

I'm sure you feel very overwhelmed, but it will get easier.  I've been at this a long time and I still get overwhelmed.  Not that it doesn't suck less- it always sucks.  But it will become part of your "normal."  YOU CAN DO THIS!

Let me know if you have any more questions.  Good luck!

Jessica

Amanda,

I am a EMT, and am also doing my clinicals for Paramedic. I think having a pump is ALOT easier, but its a matter of your personal thoughts. I have an Omnipod, which is a tubeless insulin pump; so if you are worried about the tubing getting in the way, you should take a look at there website. They can send you a "fake" pod to put on so you can try it out while your at work. Its the same size and weight as the real thing, you just don't put any insulin in it. 

If you have any other questions, let me know! Goodluck!!

I just got diagnosed in February 2008, and made the switch to a pump in August 2009.  Work with a pump has been so much easier!  I work at a petrochemical plant, and being able to change my basal rates anytime is such a blessing.  If I end up out in the field longer than I want I can just kick back my basal.  I find it easier to work around lunch meetings, etc.  I think you might find that having the pump will give you a lot more freedom from a strict schedule, which will be nice in a job like yours that is full of changes and surprises. 

I wish I had switched to the pump sooner.  If you are comfortable making the move, go for it!  As for getting it caught on stuff, I only ever occasionally get it caught on door handles.  And that is usually when I am at home because I don't always wrap my tubing around my pump when I am in my PJ's.  Other wise I haven't had a problem. 

Best of luck!

Hey Amanda!

I was diagnosed at age 26, I am not an EMT, just a science teacher, but I am a pretty active person. I like to run, lift weights, play basketball, racquetball, and anything else to keep myself busy. I was VERY against a pump, because I juat didn't want it to slow me down, and didn't like the thought of all of those tubes. I also didn't want people to see it that I didn't want to see it. This summer my doctor sent  a bunch of books about pumps home with me because, eventhough I didn't want one, deep down I knew that it was what was best for me having the tightest control possible. I have had my omnipod for about a month now, and I absolutely love it! I don't know why I took 5 shots a day for so long. The insulet company really worked with me, too. If you go to www.myomnipod.com, you can learn all about it! They even have a recycling program for the used pods!

I just wanted to add something... and I realize this may be late and you may have already gone for the pump option.

I used Humulin and Lantus for years and it kept getting worse. I kept either crashing or staying high. I switched from night shots of lantus to morning shots and I would crash in the day. Finally, I started taking two shots, once in the morning and once at night, but still I ended up steadily going high or crashing.

Lantus is supposed to be near peakless. But its not guaranteed. For me, lantus was peaking and the activity dropped afterward. Switching to a pump saved me because the pump only uses the unmodified, non-mutant insulin. It truely works 24-7 and is completely adjustable with your life and in my case, the seasons (very different ratios in the summer and winter).

So, for what its worth, I would seriously consider the pump to help level your control.

-Dennis "Scientist"