My advice to you is have a really good grasp on carb counting and correction factors. Other than that, the transition was fairly simple I thought. There is some learning curve as its a new method of giving yourself insulin, but if you can operate an iPhone, you can operate a pump. Big things is have your carb counting down, and how to correct. There can be some trial and error time as they adjust your basal rates, just realize at first it might be a little difficult, but the benefits FAR ourweight any difficulties you might have at first.
It took about a month. The hardest part was that my insurance company wanted a log of a month. My first inclination was "%$#! that, I'll just make it up..." but thinking about faking it was more involved than writing it down. The log was an utter mess of little scribbles but it worked and I was pumping withing 4-6 weeks?
I didn't know ANYTHING about carb counting but was sort of carb guessing and had a very liberal attitude about medication? Things fell into place for me very nicely. It's not always that easy but it works?
Agree with everything christy said, but I'd add that patience and willingness to experiment/tweak are essential too.
I wouldn't say the transition was hard, life for me is SO much easier with a pump
1. Read Pumping Insulin (get the newest edition)
2. Do as much research as you can to figure out which pump is best for you. The choices in the U.S. at the moment are the Animas Ping, the Minimed Revel, the Omnipod, and the new t:slim.
3. Make sure you understand carb counting and how I:C ratios work.
4. Make sure you have at least three months' worth of good, clean logs. If you switch to the pump, you and your endo will need those logs to determine your basal rates.
5. Watch videos on Youtube of folks operating their pumps and changing infusion sets. This will help you understand what all is involved.
6. Make sure you have all the financial and insurance stuff figured out. If you're fortunate enough to have decent insurance and you're a T1, you shouldn't have any trouble getting approval for a pump. Your endo will just need to submit some labwork and a certificate of medical necessity. But you need to also get a firm answer from your insurance company on what you'll be paying per month for supplies. The supplies (infusion sets, reservoirs, etc) can run up some serious bills. Just know what you're getting into financially.
7. Decide what time is best for you to make the switch. The initial switch can be difficult. As you figure out basal rates and I:C ratios, you may experience more highs and lows than normal at the beginning. So don't do the switch during a time when you know you have a lot going on personally or at work.
8. Be prepared to be patient. The initial switch can sometimes be difficult. Reserve judgment for how you feel about the pump until you've had it for about 4-6 months. At month 2 I was pretty annoyed with my pump, but at month 4 I was head-over-heals in love with the thing (and still am a year later). Pumps can be like beer - an acquired taste :-)
I am T1 since 1982 and on Omnipod pump since Dec. 2011. Yes, there is definitely a learning curve and lots of adjustments but I wish I had started the pump a lot sooner!
After 25 years with syringes and vials, I switched to the OmniPod about 4 months ago. I agree with everything that has been said here.
I also think you need to think about your reasons for wanting to switch to a pump and what you hope to gain from it, as well as how much effort you're willing to put into it. There are pros and cons to injections and pumping.
While a pump is a great tool to improve control, it also takes constant attention to basal rates to achieve that control. Whereas with injections you shoot and go because once you inject you're stuck with it, with a pump you can change basal rates mid stream but the tinkering with rates takes time out of your day.
With any pump, whether tubed or tubeless, you will have something attached to your body to deal with. That feeling takes some getting used to. With injections, you don't have that. It's all about tradeoffs and what's most important to you as well as how good your control is on injections. I got decent control for a very long time with injections. When I started struggling, I needed the pump to help me with different basal rates.
My transition to the OmniPod was fairly smooth. I suggest reading all the training materials and watching videos several times prior to going live on a pump. I also second MBP about the timing of making the switch. I wouldn't do it close to the time that you have any travel planned. Plan for a time when you can give as much attention as it takes until you get used to it.
One thing that was new to me to have to deal with was site absorption. With pumps, if the site you choose where the insulin enters your body becomes clogged or doesn't absorb properly, your bg will rise and there's a process of elimination in trying to figure out what's going on. That's something I never dealt with on injections.
Good luck to you in your journey to figure out what works best for you. :)
thanks for all the great responses. very helpful. i'm leaning toward the pump but have to
sorry, hit enter by mistake.
only have to figure out the financial part of it
One tip - if money is an issue, contact the pump manufacturer and see if they have any assistance. Some folks are able to get into assistance programs (I know Minimed offers one) to help get pump supplies and the pump itself. The financial piece is not insignificant - even with GREAT health insurance, I still had to pay more than $900 out-of-pocket for my pump, and the supplies aren't cheap either.
I just started pumping a week ago. I actually had the pump longer, but had to wait for the trainer's schedule to line up with mine (we had vacations set). At any rate, the switch to the pump has been pretty easy so far. I had a good grasp of my I:C and ISF before starting. I think that was mainly due to using myself as a science project though ("How much will 1u drop my BG?" "How much will 1g of carbs raise it?" etc).
I was worried about the financial part too. I ended up going with the Animas Ping. They have a good financial assistance program which ended up allowing me to get the pump with zero out of pocket cost and a reduced rate on my supplies. Otherwise I would've been paying around $750 after my insurance for the pump.
They, like someone else mentioned, also set you up with a nurse that you have access to who will monitor your progress over the first few weeks and help you adjust basal rates, ISF, I:C etc. They want a lot of information, which sounds like a hassle, but I just upload my pump info to her and they're happy.
The biggest change for me was/is getting used to having something tethered to me at all times. The Ping is a tubed pump so that's new thing to deal with. I'm currently using the meter remote that came with the pump so I don't touch the pump itself a lot since I can get most information off the remote.
So far I like it, we'll see how I feel after a few months of this though! And sorry to be late to the party on this one, but haven't been able to get on TuD a lot for a while.
I would also echo a lot of the comments already made. I was on MDI for several years and just switched to the OmniPod about a month ago. I felt like I had a good handle on my I:C ratios and ISF numbers. It's taken a while to get my basal rates fine tuned now that I'm on a constant drip and have the ability to vary my rates on a constant basis.
I think I'm about 80% of the way there and now I can start fine tuning things and really bringing my numbers down on a consistent basis. I still have the occasional spikes, but I now know that it's usually due to a poor carb estimate. When I eat something familiar or can nail the carb count, I'm doing pretty good.
I think using the Dexcom system has been a huge help and getting a good idea of my numbers and fluctuations throughout the day have made the learning curve less steep. I'm pretty sure I would give up my pump before I would give up the Dexcom.
Best of luck and let us know how things are going!