Questions for those using a pump

  1. What kind do you have and how do you like it?
    What are the advantages & disadvantages?

    My endo is trying to convince me of getting one. I'm not sure I'm ready. I am still trying to get used to the idea of having the disease and taking insulin for the rest of my life and right now, I just don't want to have some device connected to my body as a constant reminder. I know they say you can get better control of your BG with them and lots of people love them. I'd just like to hear what people who have them have to say about them.

    Thanks in advance.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   bsugaRN2b
    Quote from SCRN1
    What kind do you have and how do you like it?
    What are the advantages & disadvantages?

    My endo is trying to convince me of getting one. I'm not sure I'm ready. I am still trying to get used to the idea of having the disease and taking insulin for the rest of my life and right now, I just don't want to have some device connected to my body as a constant reminder. I know they say you can get better control of your BG with them and lots of people love them. I'd just like to hear what people who have them have to say about them.

    Thanks in advance.
    Personally, I LOVE mine, haha!!

    Let me see if I can get all your questions...

    I'm type 1, by the way (I know several type 2's that use them too, so I always specify...) - I have a Minimed Paradigm 7xx - love it...

    (Minimed currently makes a Paradigm 522 and a 722 - the only difference b/t the two is the reservoir size - the 5 holds 180 units, and the 7 holds 300 - I have the 7 because when I initially bought it 7 years ago, I was really using a LOT of insulin - 80-90 units/day - and I'm tiny - 5'1" - so that's a LOT - but now, I'm not nearly as insulin resistant as I used to be - now I'm at 40-50 units/day - so definite improvement...)

    Advantages: There are so, so many - I can eat pretty much what I want (within reason, of course! ), the flexibility is amazing, good control, always having insulin on you (can't tell you how many times I'd forgotten insulin at home when on shots...oops!...had to get someone to bring it to me - with a pump, I just make sure I have at least 50 units loaded before I leave home, and I'm set for the entire day!), hmmm, what else...very user-friendly (you don't have to be a genius to operate 'em), less stuff to carry around (all I keep on me is basically something to treat a low, a meter - mine is little, and an insulin pen should something go wrong with the pump - granted, if something DOES go wrong, which is not often at ALL - it's usually not the pump, it's usually the infusion set going bad - which can happen if you leave the set in too long, or if the cannula gets blocked - again, doesn't happen often...I may seriously have had 2 sets get blocked in the last 7 years I've been on a pump...) Oh, yes, and being able to adjust doses on the fly is AWESOME - totally can't do that with shots - helps me SO MUCH in 12-hr clinicals, because if I'm running low one day, I can just dial it into the pump to give a smidge less, and I'm set - if I were on Lantus, I'd have to snack all day, which isn't necessarily convienient, hehe...if you're insulin sensitive, pumps can deliver MUCH smaller doses (small as in 0.05 unit) so that is definitely a plus... short acting insulin only, so more reliable (though I find Lantus to be pretty reliable, but I had SO many issues with Lente/NPH/Ultralente...Humalog is my friend, haha!!)

    Disadvantages: to be truly honest, I'll put it this way - if I went back on shots, I'd be truly and completely lost...it won't happen...

    Now, disadvantages to the Paradigm specifically, there's only one that I can think of - the infusion sets have a connector on them that makes it so you can only use sets that come from Minimed...which means that if you can't work with the ones that Minimed offers, you might be out of luck (supposedly - there is a way to get around this by purchasing a different type of reservoir - PM me if you want me to explain further)

    The main thing is to get a pump that works for you - there are several, so do your research - some endos prefer to get one brand over another - forget that - get whatever brand works for YOU!! And get whatever infusion set that works for you, too, that is key - a lot of the time, when you get a lot of blocked cannulas, that may mean that you need to go set shopping, 'cause it might not be the right one for you. And make sure you have a supportive endo/CDE who will take the time to work with you, it's not a task that you want to take on by yourself!

    As for being connected to something all the time - I felt the same way initially - but I forgot the thing existed after about 2 weeks of wearing it, now it's like a teddy bear, haha!!! Now, I feel weird whenever it's MISSING, haha!! Which is good, because the "missing" feeling has saved me from leaving the house and forgetting my insulin pump in the bathroom when I took it off to take a shower, haha - the weird feeling walking out of the door: "My waist feels so lonely, something's missing...oh, my gosh, MY PUMP!!!" Haha!!

    But, yeah, I give mine two thumbs up, for sure!! Won't go back!

    Feel free to PM me if you want to chat!!

    ~A
  4. by   SCRN1
    Thank you for the info.

    Since starting this post, I have gotten a pump. I've had it sitting, still in the box, on my kitchen floor. It's not just the pump alone, but also came with everything but the insulin that I'll need for 3 months or more. I have had one horrible time with getting an appointment with the CDE at my Endo's office. The Endo has pressed me about the importance of my needing a pump, especially with working nights 3 nights a week, then switching to sleeping at nights. But now that I have one, I can't seem to get in to get started. It's a long story, but put it this way...the pump company has referred me to an independant nurse to get my training for it and then I'll get the insulin script from the Endo.

    My Endo had said he didn't want to recommend any one particular one. Instead, he gave me several different packets on some and told me to read through, look at their DVDs and decide for myself which one I'd be most comfortable with. After looking at it all, I called my insurance company to ask if there were any particular ones they pay for or if they pay different amounts for different ones. Luckily I did this before ordering a pump first because they only pay towards the Minimed. So I have the same 722 as you. Mine is purple. The insurance company covers all but $750 of it.
  5. by   AdelaideChic
    I wish i had seen this post earlier!!!!
    I love my pump. I have days where i hate diabetes, but not as many now with the pump than before.
    Hope it si going well, and if you ever want to chat, vent, or anything, fell free to msg me!
    I also know of a few online resources if your interested. Mine is the minimed too, i got the blue though (i had blue hair at the time, hahahaha!!!).
  6. by   aloha551
    Hi....... I'm a pump user for 15 years..I'm also an RN . I knew the advantages when they were in the trial phase. I started by checking my sugar with the old wash bottle system and was trained in school to boil syringes. When the pump was finally available I got one.So far I've gone through about 8 or 10 pumps. I would never-never go back to injections. This is far superior.Blood sugars are much more stable and once you get used to wearing it you often forget that it's there. Type of pump is an individual choice. Each one has different advantages. Talk to your Doc,call the ADA or a Diabetic supply company. You'll find one that works for you and believe me, after the initial psychological break-in period you'll be fine with it. Good Luck
  7. by   bookworm1
    My son has the minimed 722. I can say that I love the convenience and control. It is so much easier to dial in a correction-especially since we now have the continuous monitoring device that is an adjunct to the Minimed pump. I hope that it works out for you!
  8. by   dansingrn
    I don't personally have a pump but....I am a pump trainer and I've done a couple hundred pump starts. I'm so happy that you have the pump! If you don't get off to a smooth start, don't be discouraged, it will get better, I promise! I hope you get set up with an experienced pump trainer - the CDE at your endo's office should be a rich source of "tricks" and suggestions to help get your settings tweaked just right. You can surely start out with just the basics, but as you get used to your pump, there are so many ways to use the advanced features to help you have tons of flexibility and control!

    I love the MiniMed 722/522, it is so user friendly, the "button-pushing" is very easy to learn. Good luck to you, you will soon wonder how you got along without your pump!
  9. by   classicdame
    as for not wanting to have it with you all the time-----do you carry a cell phone?
  10. by   SCRN1
    I've been using my pump for over a year now. I do like it much better than having to take injections and I love having more freedom with when, where & what I can eat again.

    Yes, I have a cell phone. But I don't wear it.
  11. by   egv08
    I wore the insulin pump for a year but ultimately I decided to return to injections.

    I was so excited to go on the Medtronic MiniMed pump...but I became very disenchanted with the technology after a period of time. Often I would run out of insulin at inconvenient times (during a romantic dinner with my boyfriend...fun!) or I would accidentally rip out my pump site.

    However, I was most disappointed that it did not improve my hemoglobin a1c. In all, I contribute most of these problems to my own poor management. I have a friend who has been doing extremely well on the insulin pump -- and I'm so so happy for him.

    But I did not belive that the pump gave me any more freedom in my diabetes managment. Rather it seemed to be suffocating me. I feel so free with my injections -- they're not perfect, but they work best for me.

    I'm looking forward to going back to insulin pump therapy once the continuous glucose monitoring system is perfected and it is so tiny that no one can see it! That will be awesome
  12. by   blondy2061h
    Egv, it sounds like some of your expectations for using a pump were unrealistic.

    I don't get the running out of insulin at an inconvenient time thing. You only need to change the insulin supply every 3 days (versus 6 shots a day I was using before pumping). Isn't it easier to time that at a convenient time than all those shots? Further, it's not like you need to change the reservoir the second it says the reservoir is low. I've gone hours before changing it. Most pumps hide about 10 units so when it says it's empty it still has about that much insulin left in it.

    Further, how much of a chance did you give it to see a change in your a1c? It's not going to change it automatically. You need to test your basal rates (by skipping meals and seeing how your blood sugar handles it), make sure your carb ratios and carb counting is accurate, and test a lot.

    I can totally understand it if you just prefer injections. I sorta get the freer thing. I took a brief (2 days!) pump break recently and felt naked without my pump. I definitely felt freer when I had to use the restroom or change my clothes, but I ended up not bolusing for little snacks like I would with my pump, and my basal rates are just too variable to get good control on shots. I also hated injecting so often and not being able to get a fine-tuned dose. I ended up going back to my pump after just 2 days and immediately my control went back to the level it was at before.

    I used to use a CGMS and absolutely hated that

    To answer the original question-
    Pros:
    *Small bolus doses (down to 1/20th of a unit)
    *No shots- just a site change q3d
    *Adjusting basal to needs (versus trying to make long acting insulin work)
    *Shaping insulin needs on the fly with temp basals (for exercise, sickness, sleeping after having a few drinks), and dual/square wave boluses (for greasy meals)
    *Having a history to look at how much insulin you took when (did I bolus for dinner? How much insulin am I using a day?)
    *Able to suspend insulin delivery if low
    *Able to use alarms to remember testing
    *Uploadable to computer for data analysis

    Cons-
    *site changes hurt more than an insulin shot
    *connected to something all the time
    *harder to be discreet about diabetes
    *very costly
    *still frustrating- but that's just diabetes
    *more variables to consider (Should I change my basal rate? At what time? Did I bolus too much? Should I have tried a temp rate? Square wave bolus?)

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