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Are you thinking about buying an insulin pump? Do you wonder if it is a good fit for you or whether it will help gain tighter control of your blood sugar? Insulin pumps often come with a high initial investment and you still have to pay for the constant supply of reservoirs, quick-sets, and batteries. Is it worth the money?
It was almost 3 years ago that I was considering the same questions. At that time, I was up to 10 injections a day and using 2 different insulin’s. I didn’t have a problem with my fast acting Humalog, but I was having issues with my long acting insulin. I tried many different brands, but the long-acting insulin would just sit under my skin and only dissolved when I would exercise. Then I would find myself bottoming out and eating anything I could get my hands on to keep my glucose up. This was having a major effect on my health and weight.
I went from having a very active lifestyle to constantly checking my sugars and giving myself another injection. I talked to my endocrinologist about it and she recommended the pump. She said that her patients love it and they have more freedom. I wasn't sure if a pump was the right choice, so I decided to give it a try. Here is a little about my experience.
My insurance only paid for half the cost so I had to dip into my savings. I figured if it was half as good as my doctor told me, it would be worth it. I had to take a class with a diabetes educator that works with Medtronic’s before I could start using it. I was very nervous about the class for some reason. I started rethinking whether an insulin pump was a good choice. It turned out fine though. She taught us how to fill, program, and attach our pumps and by the end of the class we were all set.
Within a couple months, my A1c was lower than it had ever been and I was getting back to my normal activities. I love my pump! The only thing that would be better is a cure. I have fewer incidents of low blood sugar because the pump is calibrated to my individual needs. Now let me give you a list of my pros and cons so you can decide if it is a good fit for you.
• Tighter Glucose Controls
• Fewer Needles (I went from 10 injections a day to 1 every 3 days.)
• One kind of insulin (I use Humalog vials.)
• I can do just about any activity (my pump is waterproof.)
• The pump is calibrated to my insulin needs and sensitivities.
• My pump takes care of my bolus and basal insulin needs.
• Initial costs are usually high
• You have to deal with pump supplies (Reservoirs and Quick Sets)
• You pretty much have it attached to you all the time.
• It’s not waterproof
• You still have to test your sugar (even if you use a CGM)
My pump has completely changed the way I control my blood sugar and has given me more freedom to do the things I want. I can go on a hike and not worry about low blood sugar or taking a bunch of food with me. I use Medtronic’s Mini Med because that is the one my doctor is familiar with. I have heard great things about other pumps but my experience is only with the Mini Med. I would think most pumps are comparable as long as they are used correctly.
To get an idea about the different costs involved with insulin pumps click here to go to MedexSupply website, they typeinsulin pumps into their search bar. Once you see the prices you will be able to figure out what you insurance might cover. Cost is probably the biggest factor when thinking about buying a pump.
If you are still on the fence, ask yourself if you are happy with your numbers and your current routine. If you are not happy then you should talk to your doctor to see what they think. My old routine was not working for me.