Nervously Thinking About a Pump
Okay, so I am looking into getting a pump soon and my doctors said I could get it next month before I go on a camping trip this summer. My doctor has given us a list of pumps to look into and “research” but I am 15 and with finals and cheer I have been really busy lately so I haven’t gotten around to looking into them.
I am also really nervous and hesitant about getting the pump. A few of my friends at school have a pump and I talked to some of them about it, but I don’t know how I can calm my nerves about this decision.
Does anyone have any, I guess, tips on choosing which pump I think is best for me and on how to decrease the level of hesitation I have about it.
First, I think you and your parents need to look at which pumps will be covered by your insurance. That may or may not narrow down the choices. Pumps are expensive with the initial purchase, but also the supplies needed to change them every 2-3 days. I can’t comment on living with any pump other than a Minimed, as that’s the only brand pump I’ve had since 1998, when I was 18. I can tell you that after I was on the pump and felt comfortable with it, I wished I had started on one earlier than I did. Being able to not live on a schedule with eating and shots was so much better for college life, and would have been so much easier for me in high school while traveling with sports teams (I was a manager and student athletic trainer for many). It just made my life so much more flexible. And being able to eat when I was hungry instead of eating because I had to take my insulin. Oh my gosh! That was so awesome.
Are there specific things about a pump that you are hesitant about? I’m sure I could go on and on about how much I love my pump, but if you know what you are hesitant about, I might be able to address those specifically.
Actually what you’ve already said makes me feel a little more comfortable about getting my pump. And I didn’t even think about the insurance and what they would pay for so I will definitely look at that.
I think I am mainly nervous about starting cheer again this season and having the pump. This year I am strictly competitive so I do a lot more contact than I would just cheering at the games for the school. I was also nervous about the eating schedule but you cleared that up already so thank you lots.
Ashley, I’m so impressed with your maturity and thoughtful questions (I saw your diagnosis post too). First of all, pumping is considered the gold standard of diabetes care, and the flexibility and control it provides are worth any potential drawbacks.
Initially, I was freaked out at the idea of having something attached to me 24/7 but it honestly hasn’t been an issue. My pump fits nicely in a pants pocket, but for the most part I wear it clipped to the center part of my bra. I’m guessing you’re slimmer than I am so that may feel bulky to you, but a pocket would be super easy. Since most people carry a cell phone in their pockets, a pump wouldn’t feel like a big deal.
I love that the pump allows me to be spontaneous. If I haven’t eaten and someone suggests a hike, I can simply reduce the amount of basal insulin I’ll receive and then exercise without going low (of course, I always carry glucose tablets or Smarties just in case).
I’ve been with Animas for about 15 years. I currently wear the Ping because I really like being able to bolus directly from my meter, rather than having to get the pump out. The newer Vibe doesn’t let you bolus from the meter. It’s a bigger deal to me since my pump is usually on my bra. I’ve been wearing my infusion sites in my upper thigh for the past year or so, after mostly using my abdomen or even the backs of my arms. Now, I mostly reserve my stomach area for my CGMS (I hope you get one of those too; the Dexcom G5 is a game changer–directly communicates with iPhones!).
My husband is a Type 2 diabetic but also wears a CGMS and just started pumping in January. He didn’t like the idea of wearing a pump (and he’s a big baby about any kind of medical stuff!), but within two weeks he told me he LOVED the pump in that it made everything so much more convenient and his control immediate improved.
I chose Animas because it only holds 200 units of insulin, and I’m very insulin sensitive, so I use about 28 units per day. The Animas was (is?) the smallest pump on the market and I liked that it was the least bulky.
My husband chose the Tandem Flex because he uses a ton of insulin each day and it holds 400 units. Initially, I was jealous of his pump because it’s got a full color touch screen, and seems lower profile. But now that we’ve changed sites side by side, I know the Tandem pumps wouldn’t work for me.
I can do a full site change in about 45 seconds. The Tandem is SO SLOW! It takes him about five minutes to do a site change. That may not be an issue for you but I’m way too impatient for that. Plus, I’ve found myself changing sites in bathrooms, in my car, at outdoor events, etc over the 15 years I’ve been pumping.
No matter which pump you choose, I always think any pump is better than no pump.
Feel free to contact me at email@example.com if you have any other questions!
hey i am diabetic for last 10 years. i am soon moving to canada for my higher studies. right now iam in india. i am thinking of getting pump there. but since i have never used it, i dont know about its price over there. could you pls tell me about it like price of pump,price of infusion sets and other costs which add up to it. apart from intial price could you also tell me about its monthly price for insulin and infusion sets or other things which adds up to look afer.i want to make my budget before moving thr. i know price varies from pump to pump bt you can tell me roughly. so i get an rough idea of my budget. and yea if you could also tell me the price of dexcom G5 and its sensors. how frequently sensors need to change?. thanks
My daughter is now 17. She had an Animas Ping for 5 years, and while it was great, she switched last summer to Omnipod and LOVES not having tubing to get tangled in any more. You sound very active, so I suggest you also consider Omnipod.
Pump vs. No pump is no competition in my mind. You will have much more control and flexibility with a pump.
My daughter also added a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor last year. Having an alarm buzz when you are heading low or high can really help. The new model syncs with your cell phone, I believe!
Discuss the timing of your switch with your doctor. In the midst of exams, etc. may not be the best time to try to make the change.
Best of luck with your decision.
I was diagnosed with T1D about 2 years ago. My doctor talked me into using the OmniPod and Dexcom CGM. I love the combination because both are wireless so I can live an active live style without worries about wires. I wear my CGM on my abdomen, switching sites weekly. I alternate arms and sites every 3 days for my pump. With the CGM, you can be aggresive with your insulin to avoid spikes plus you can watch your lows closely when you are more active. Jelly Beans and gum drops work (only 3 or 4) the best for me when I start dropping fast. I find that I have to double my insulin during the first four hours after I change my pump and the last 6-8 hours before it expires.
I had a reaction to the adhesive used in the pods, so my doctor prescribed Luxiq (sample size is great for travel). It comes in an affordable generic version too. The pump supplies and CGM supplies are covered 100% after I meet my deductible but insulin is only covered at 60% after deductible. My doctor gives me samples regularly, so I rarely purchase any. Novo-Nordisk has a great discount plan for insulin, too.
I am in high school and would 100% recommend the Omnipod. It gives me incredible flexibility and I do not have to worry about accidentally pulling the tubing out. I first started wearing it when I was in 1st grade and I can’t imagine my life without it. It really helped my diabetes management and made it easier. It is the perfect size and can’t be seen under clothes, if you are worried about that. I would also recommend it for cheer because when you jump and run around it will not move. I play tennis and it works perfectly.
I hope this helps!
Just weighing in–I got my first pump when I was 16 (I’m now 33). I did competitive cheer in high school while wearing my Minimed pump with no issues–just make sure to keep your tubing tucked into your uniform so it doesn’t get caught on anyone else! I’ve only ever worn Minimed pumps (currently on the 530G), so I can’t comment on other brands, but the fact that I’ve stuck with Minimed for 17 years tells you they are pretty good!
In addition to everyone else’s suggestions, you should be able to do a trial with any pump company you choose. They can fill it with saline instead of insulin and then let you wear the pump for a week or so just to get a feel for it. With the saline, you can even practice giving yourself boluses and anything else you might do with a pump.
I feel for you also. I have had TOD for 53 years, I’m now 67, and I have seen a lot come and go. I have been a pumper for about 20 years. I have had Minimed, Cosmo, Accu-chek and currently I use T-slim G4. They have all done their jobs. I now use the T-Slim because it has a color touch screen that is very user friendly. The main reason I went with it was the 300 unit reservoir it has. This keeps me from refilling so much, I use 55 U a day, and thus saves me money and time. I am also very active and can sweat a lot. I use a product called Mastisol to secure my site and I have never had a site come out from sweat or getting wet. A pump will give you all of the freedom you can miss when taking multiple injections. The T-Slim figures my correction bolus and will warn me if I try to take too much. I agree that you should let your educator demonstrate all the pumps so you can make an informed decision. The small differences will make a big deal to you when living with the device. The large reservoir will help extend change intervals thus saving time and money. The rechargeable battery in the T-Slim gets a charge while I’m showering but I can go days without having to do it. It is water resistant in case you are cheering in a rain. It doesn’t look like a medical device either. My T-Slim came with a CGM but I opted not to wear it and therefore I check my sugar multiple times a day. Over time wearing too many sites wears on your body. Don’t let anyone make the decision for you because you will have to live with your pump and you will grow to feel naked without it. Good luck to you.