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The New Pumper On the Block

hi im new to the site. my name is samantha, and i live in south africa, johannesburg. Last year on the 23 february my baby tyler was diagnosed with type 1. she went into a coma because of ketoacidosis…. her doctor is trying to get her on the insulin pump….. can you please give me info on how it works, and if you have any complications…. we was told its very expensive……

  • #122189
  • hello @tyler3,

    pumping can be very expensive, because there are consumables that have to be changed every 2-3 days. These parts can cost 2x to 3x the cost of syringes or pens. I do not know what you get billed for because I have no idea about health care costs in South Africa. IN the States, it all depends very much on individual medical and prescription insurance.

    The pump uses only fast acting insulin, so the costs of insulin should not change.

    the pump is a programmable syringe. that’s the best way to describe it. The pump requires more finger sticks, more button pushing, and more “hands on” interaction than syringes, because there is a higher incidence of site infection and DKA when on the pump compared to most multiple daily injection (MDI) plans.

    that being said, pumping can be better for control because it more closely matches what your body needs than injections.

  • #122192
  • Tyler 3, I’ve been using insulin pumps for 23 years, so I thought I’d try to help you understand better how they work.
    First there is a schedule that needs to be learned first. You will need to program it for a “basal” dose to keep her going in between meals. Even when we haven’t just eaten our body’s cells still need a low level of insulin to keep receiving energy. This will take some time to decide and your doctor needs to be very involved at first to learn it safely. Basic thing is to start with minimal doses with many blood tests to find her pattern, and increase them in stages until you reach the target bg levels.
    Then you will need to test her just before meals to decide how much of a “bolus” she needs to take to cover her meals. Her doctor can recommend how much to bolus for each gram of carbs she’s going to eat, and you need to find out what works for her normally.
    Of course there’s always the normal variations caused by activity (needing less insulin) which will likely be taken care of by using a lower Temporary basal rate for as long as it affects her bg level; anxiety or anger which may need more insulin by using a higher Temporary basal rate and so on.
    It generally takes about 6 months to feel in control using a pump, but it’s well worth the effort. That was my experience in December 1993 after getting my first insulin pump, and I’ve been well served with improved control ever since.
    Good luck and always ask if any questions appear.

  • #122209
  • Congrats on the new pump, @ashleymkuhn! I saw on your blog that you’re looking for suggestions on where to put your pump. I’ve had my pump for almost 2 years now, and when I found Hid-In multi-way body bands designed by a Type 1, it completely changed my life with a pump!

    http://www.hid-in.com/

    I bought two–one in black and one in white so that I could wear them with anything and not be worried about it showing through. I LOVE THEM. I hated having to clip my pump to my jeans/pants or my underwear if I was wearing a dress or leggings! I had also bought a leg band before the body band, but I found it to be uncomfortable and it would show sometimes.

    Good luck with the pump! 🙂

  • #122431
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