I have been wondering about the pump and hearing and seeing how much people love it I'm debating. Can it really be that great? I have an A1c of 7 so why bother.
But here are my questions:
1.Sleeping - tied up? seriously?
2.Sex - What do you do with it and doesn't a tube stuck into you get in the way? I'm married and my husband doesn't freak out about any of my diabetic things but this is one I'm not sure he would appreciate as much.
3.Swimming - what about the summer? What about bathing suits and the lake?
4.Dresses - Where do you shove it when you are wearing your fabulous tight fitting party dress? (BTW my boobs aren't big enough to put it between them so please don't suggest that).
Is it really better than injections - now I don't have anything tied to me and can run around everywhere. And the cost? isn't it super expensive?
You pose some interesting questions that I believe most people have when they are considering a pump. For me, the pump is the best thing I have ever done for my diabetes and myself.
Sleeping - I usually clip it to my boxers or lay it next to me in bed. It never bothers, I think my S/O got tangled up in it once, but we had a good laugh and hug over it.
Sex - I usually suspend it and take it off. The pump can be away from a person for up to an hour without effect; or at least that is what the book says. My S/O knows how to run the pump, and usually takes it off from me, right after I have taken off something she is wearing. (It is a good idea to teach your partner the basic operation of your pump, in case something goes wrong and you cannot manipulate it.)
Swimming - I don't swim. I do have an Animas Ping and the pump is warrantied waterproof to 12 feet deep for 24 hours. I am told that many swimmers use an Animas. If you take the pump off for a swim, remember to use a plug in the infusion port to keep it dry. Use the plug when showering, too.
Hiding and placement - I have no idea how to comment here, but there are many places that sell devices that deal with that very issue. There are clips, pouches, holders, etc., that are sold all over the internet to deal with the issue. I like the Animas Ping because it can be controlled by the meter, and the pump seldom needs to be touched.
I was taking seven shots each day before the pump. It was a hassle and I had poor control. I would be hard pressed to go back to MDI. As far as the cost, yes, they can be expensive, but I believe that most insurance companies pick up the bulk of the cost. For me, the results override the out of pocket cost.
Good luck in your choice. I think you will love the pump.
Hi Amy: Why use an insulin pump? Because it makes your life better, much much better. There are so many reasons why! Better control, fewer nighttime hypos, easier to manage exercise, who wouldn't want all that? I believe that we should be using the best available technology for ourselves, and the insulin pump trumps MDI any day.
1) Sleeping. I wear these adorable heart boxer pump shorts from PumpWear Inc. (link)
2) Sex: I use a velcro belt pouch so I don't have to disconnect (but beware because sex can cause lows)
3) Swimming: I have the Animas Ping (waterproof) and I wear a tankini. Just had a fabulous Caribbean vacation with lots of snorkeling.
4) Dresses: Someone else will have to answer that question.
Bottom line for me, yes a pump may have some additional hassles at times, but I want to take the best care of myself possible so I use the pump. Thankfully my insurance is good so cost is not an issue for me (for which I am extremely grateful).
For me, yes, the pump has been that great. But it doesn't meant that it's "that great" for everyone. There are plenty of folks who find it far more beneficial to stick with MDI. I think it depends on what you're looking for, your lifestyle, what you need, etc. Everyone is different and I think it's great that we have options.
Onto your questions.
1. When I sleep, I don't even notice the pump anymore. I did for the first few weeks, but once I got over the fear of ripping it out, it just became a nonissue. I clip it to my shorts or just let it float around in the bed. No pump accidents so far.
2. I disconnect for sex. Like everything else, you (and your partner) get used to it. In fact, asking if I'm disconnected has turned into a kind of, um, pre-sex joke (as in, "So, uh, are you disconnected?") If you have a good relationship, your partner will understand. First and foremost, you need to do what you need to do to keep yourself healthy.
3. Yeah, this part does annoy me a little. I love to swim, and I do disconnect when I want to go in the pool. However, I can really only stay disconnected for about an hour. The Ping is waterproof, but I still would not trust it being submerged in water. Many people find that, if they are careful, they can disconnect for upwards of 2 hours (with some testing inbetween, but you would do that anyway!)
4. My boobs are pretty small too (A-almost-but-not-quite-B cup) and I have no trouble stashing my pump in my bra. I wear those not-really-bras (they kind of look like half t-shirts) and I put my pump between my boobs. The Revel (the pump I use) is small enough that no one notices. There are also leg holsters you can get, but I like between the boobs better (easier access).
Yes, pumps do cost money. They are an immediate expense (for the pump itself; insurance covers most of it, but I had to pay about $900 out of pocket) and then there are the monthly supplies (infusion sets, tegaderm, reservoirs, etc). Again, insurance covers these things, but it all ends up costing quite a bit more than just insulin and syringes.
If you can afford it, I would say give it a try. You can always go back to MDI.
I've been on a pump for 11 years now, here are my thoughts: the fear of being tethered is far greater before you start using one. After a while you mostly forget its there, or feel naked without it.
1. When I first got it, I would only wear sleeping shorts or pants with pockets, and tuck it in the pocket. Now I clip it to my waistband or just leave it next to me. I don't notice much, and sometimes I wake up a little tangled but it's no problem to untangle.
2. Sex- I usually leave it on if the site is in my stomach and the pump sits next to me on the bed. if the site is in a place like my upper butt or thigh, which is more likely to get in the way, i'll disconnect during the activities. The blood sugar lowering effect of the activity usually more than makes up for the short time off the pump.
3. swimming- I wear a tankini so I can clip the pump to the waistband, and the tank covers the sites on my abdomen. I'll usually take it off for the actual swimming, but I have an Animas which is waterproof, so I don't have to. I've worn it white water rafting and snorkeling under my wetsuit.
4. Dresses- I've done the pump in bra thing, but now I have a tummitote belt that works GREAT under dresses. I usually wear empire waist dresses anyways, so it's virtually hidden. wore it like this under my wedding dress too, and just went to the bathroom to bolus for dinner- which I needed to do anyways!
My thoughts on the benefits of the pump are that it is so flexible and portable. if I'm teaching a class during mealtime, it's ok if I'm not eating lunch until 1pm. If I go exercise or go on long bike rides, it's much easier to reduce the amount of insulin I'm getting to balance it out. and I don't have to carry a vial + syringes or a pen with me on the bike, or have to give a shot during a seminar at work if it's over lunch.
Right now I've got the best A1C of my life, 6.3%, and I attribute a lot of that to the flexibility I get from the pump.
i have the tubeless Omnipod so...
1) Can be uncomfortable depending upon the site, but no problems.
2) Can be uncomfortable depending upon the site, but no problems. Definitely had to have a discussion with the GF before deciding to go on a pump in general, but she was oay with it and haven't haven't had a problem since making the switch.
3) Omnipod is waterproof. No problems.