So I've just come back from the hospital from my clinic appointment and it seems that they want me to go on the pump, or at least explore the possibility.
The thing is, I'm not so sure I want to go on one. I'll be honest and say that I'm not all that clued up on them but I know the basics on how they work, how often to change the cannula etc.
To me though the pump seems as though it may limit my freedom and I can't help but think that multiple daily injections offer me more freedom that a pump ever could. Of course I could be wrong, and that where you lovely people come in..
Can you please tell me of your stories with the pump? Any hang-ups you had about having them and whether they were an issue or not? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Have you been on one and then gone back to daily injections? Any and all information would be greatly appreciated!
I'm in the process of getting data on whether a pump/cgm is right for me. My endo has some deal with medtronic, and I have to admit the idea that the two could be integrated is sweet. I'm not that worried about tubing, although I do have a slight fear of adhesive burn--when I was in ICU, I had serious problems with that.
To tell you the truth, I'm leaning more toward a cgm if there has to be a choice, which there might because I'm desperately poor at the moment. What gets me is the cost--right now my copays for prescriptions are $40/month--$10 each for levemir, novolog, 200 syringes, and 300 test strips. But my insurance only pays 80% for durable medical supplies, which would mean something like $220/three months for sensors for the cgm, $155/three months for infusion sets--and I would still have to have the novolog (and still have to throw out more than half a bottle at the end of the month) and the test strips (less quantity, same copay). And that's not even counting the set up charges--which are high because I've not met my deductible yet this year.
The pump sales people are trying to see whether I'd qualify for assistance, but I don't know whether it will be a cost effective solution when I'm really doing fine on MDI.
When the minimed rep saw my bg charts, he was impressed with how often I test.
I know how you feel; I felt the same way. That was 10 years ago. After going to pump class I decided to give it a try. Scared the daylights out of me & was a huge hassle for about a month...then, love. You may never appreciate it like those of us who were on shots for decades but when I realized I didn't have to be up every morning by 8 to get insulin going and eat within half an hour of when insulins injected hours earlier will peak so dinner can be at 9 or 10 or whenever...freedom! The downside [unfortunately, we still have diabetes] is that pumps are higher maintenance, demand full commitment and sometimes fail, which is a hassle and can become an emergency if you aren't diligent in responding. That said, 10 years, no emergencies & I'm not a highly detailed person. Try it and consider the Omnipod system, you'll forget you even have it on and, as a chick, you won't have to figure out where to hide the tubing & pump.
Since being on my pump, I've had MORE freedom.
In my case, if they want to take it away, they'll have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands. I've been the whole route with 70/30 (an old pre-mixed insulin) NPH and R, and then Humalog before I got my pump, and I could NEVER get the good control that I now have on the pump. Before I got the pump (13 years ago) I was taking about 8 shots a day. Really a nuisance. And because I'm not a stylish dresser, I usually wear jeans, and the pump just goes in my pocket. In the rare instance that I do wear a dress, I either cut a hole in the seam of the pocket to thread the tubing through, or I wear a leg band, which while not my preferred method, is still better than shots. Of course, if you go for the Omnipod, this is not an issue, but for me, the Omnipod is too big and bulky and I would find it more of an interference with my life than just tucking the pump in my pocket.
I HAVE gone back to injections, but just once. I really didn't like it.
The only proviso, which I'm sure others have mentioned, is that there is a steep learning curve if you really want to take advantage of all the pump's features. Terminology differs, but the square wave or dual wave can be very useful after you learn how. And the ability to set different basal rates and carb ratios and correction factors depending on the time of day or changes in schedule is priceless. You just have to endure less than perfect BGs during your learning period.
Yeah, I'm enthusiastic about it, but the bottom line is that you really won't know until you try it. Maybe you can get a loaner, I don't know, but I think it's worth a try!
My lifestyle is ludicrously changeable.
I'm a cook in a very busy and fast paced kitchen for half the week, and a full time parent for all the rest. I go from working PM shifts to really early starts, and I feel that my pump didn't really pay off until I combined it with a continuous glucose monitor.
Don't get me wrong, I still preferred it to injecting, but it was also allowing me to guess and be a little lazy, as I could grab food and just say "hrm, well lets try *this* many units, and away I went again, not always able to test.
While I think it might be overload to start both together, I really REALLY love the glucose monitor.
I know it isn't as much use for some, and once those little insights are gleaned (night time levels, etc) they can be all but done with the thing, but not me.
As flawed and glitchy as it is, in lieu of a stable and flatline daytime schedule, it allows me to micromanage the hell out of my levels while also letting me know which direction levels are going in.
It makes a very large difference, and I find myself able to make tiny incremental changes of .1 or .2 of a unit, keeping things really in check.
Try doing that with syringes and testing sticks.
The precision of the dosing makes a big difference. I sort of quesitoned whether adjusting +/- .1 U bolus ratios or .025 U/ hour basal rates would make a big difference but it's perceptable and real. These numbers can be calculated for with pens/ syringes but I suspect that some of it wil be lost, the remainder will get "dropped" or whatever? After using a MM523 for a while, I have seen that using numbers that fine makes a perceptible difference.