Insulin Pump and Meds

By sweetkyfirefly83 Latest Reply 2012-01-13 23:26:03 -0600
Started 2012-01-11 19:53:13 -0600

After talking to my diabetic educator and endocrinologist today, I am very interested in maybe going on an insulin pump rather than the numerous shots I have to give myself per day. I'm not real familiar with the types of pumps and the pros/cons of the pumps.

Also, due to a recent diagnosis of neuropathy, I am on Gabapentin 300mg 3x a day. Is anyone else on this med, or know anything about it??

7 replies

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-01-12 18:16:10 -0600 Report

Hi, I take the brand name Neurontin 800mg 3x a day. I don't have any side effects, but after taking it for awhile I do have to change to Lyrica and then eventually back as my body adjusts to the medicine and doesn't work properly using either one.

Pumps can be great, but check to see what all your insurance covers as well as your copays, and then check with your pharmacy on the prices if you have to pay without insurance. That was the advice I was given by my pharmacist when I told her. She said it was expensive to use a pump and all that goes with it without insurance and could I afford it if I should lose my coverage. I didn't think of that as I just thought dr ordered, all will be covered and that was it. My dr notified Medtronic who called me and went over my insulin usage, etc.. and then they contacted my insurance BCBS and then called to tell me the price and coverage to get the initial set up. Due to the price it was better for me to get it at the begining of the new year as my cost would meet my deductable and out of pocket max for the entire year. That way, I wouldn't have to pay for any meds, test or dr appts, hospital etc.. until the following year:)

Oh, Medtronic has a plan that lets you basically pay a monthly fee of $50.00 over a couple of years without credit checks if anyone should need that option. The above monthly fee is for the pump and CGM for me based on my coverage. I guess they anticipate the cost being to much for most people to pay at once as he told me that before asking how I wanted to pay for it. haha I hope this helps you.

Caroltoo 2012-01-11 20:39:14 -0600 Report

Hi! I don't do pumps, in fact I'm not doing meds, but I did want to say this sounds really encouraging to hear that you are increasing the blood flow in your extremeties.

Matunuckan 2012-01-11 20:34:01 -0600 Report

I am on a Medtronic/Minimed Paradigm 523 pump. I have been on a couple of different Minimed pumps from the beginning (15 years or so).

I became very brittle once I turned 40, having Type 1 since I was 5.
The pump really turned my life around! I used to travel around the country (by myself), doing trade shows & problem solving wherever needed. A couple of times, I woke up in hotels with 5 EMT's working on me. I was lucky to be in a cab from the airport with someone else that was also working the same trade show. I was on 4 shots a day at the time, and with all the travel I was doing, I wasn't eating on time or very healthfully at all.

I started on the pump after getting another (local) job, and it really normalized my life! I recommend the pump highly.

The model of the pump that I have (mentioned above) allows the Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGMS). That model is called "Revel". It works in tandem with the pump, and alarms if your blood sugar goes above or below the settings you put in. I mentioned before that I am very brittle, & the CGMS has probably saved my life many times. I know for a fact that it has allowed my wife to get some restful sleep, having slept with one eye open for many years.

I could go on forever (it seems that I already have), but you should certainly investigate insulin pumps - they can improve your daily life greatly!

sweetkyfirefly83 2012-01-12 11:38:42 -0600 Report

Thank you so much for that information!! It was very helpful. I am speaking with my doctor tomorrow about the pumps and seeing if it is an option for me. Also, I need to see if my insurance will cover it.

I am curious though, I have to take a fast acting insulin, Novolog with meals. And then Lantus at night, can you take two types of insulin with the pump??

Matunuckan 2012-01-12 14:01:23 -0600 Report

Hi - You should talk to your doctor about treatment questions, but you only take the fast acting insulin. Most pumps allow multiple programming options for different times & different amounts. You will work with your doctor to make the adjustments, and it won't take very long. They will start you off with trial settings, & you will be trained completely on pump operations.

You will be receiving insulin all day & all night, and that is why the amount of insulin you receive is programmable by you. You will need to change the infusion set every 3 days, which is a HUGE improvement on multiple injections every day. The only down side to that improvement is that you'll have to start counting the number of carbs that you will be eating, and take the # of units of insulin that is appropriate for those carbs. Your doctor will give you the ratio of insulin to carbs to start with, & adjust with you over time (my raio is 1 unit per 10 carbs or 10%, so it is pretty easy to figure out). You will also need to do finger sticks 4 - 6 times/day so that you can keep better control of spikes in BS. If your BS is too high, then you can deal with it B4 it goes too high, ultimately leading to improved A1C readings.

You should NOT have any problem with insurance as long as your doctor recommends the pump. I think I mentioned the CGMS (Continuous Glucose Monitor System), which is an option on the Medtronic pumps. I would start with the pump first, and get comfortable with it before considering CGMS. I highly recommend CGMS if you are brittle, after you're comfortable with the pump, but you will probably have to fight with insurance to get that covered. I was denied coverage & I appealed their denial twice B4 they covered it. My doctor said that I was the first in my state to get Blue Cross to cover the pump.

This forum is great if you have questions, or even to get tips & tricks on other people's knowlege & experience! Even after 50 years, I have learned a lot. I have been a member for more than a year, and this is the first topic that I have gotten involved in. I am certainly glad I did!

Good luck at your appointment tomorrow.

sweetkyfirefly83 2012-01-13 20:49:17 -0600 Report

My doctor did in fact recommend a Medtronic pump. We discussed all the options and decided that this was the best option for me. The company had a representative call me this afternoon and start the insurance process. My doctor is hopeful that I will have the pump within a few weeks. I am very excited about the change, and am praying all goes well.

My A1C came back at 8.5, which was lower than I anticipated. He did find I have very high cholesterol and started me on Zocor. So now, at 28 years old, Im on a cholesterol med, an anti-epileptic med used for my neuropathy, plus the insulins, and Byetta. It is definitely alot to take in.

Matunuckan 2012-01-13 23:26:03 -0600 Report

Hang in there! I have never had a problem taking pills, but I know it isn 't easy for everyone. I take 20 pills a day, but some of them are vitamins or aspirin, not necessarily medications. I am also on Sertraline (which is generic Zocor, as well as numerous BP medications).

Pink Floyd has always been a huge favorite of mine, & I always say 'just another brick in the wall' when anything else comes up. It is easier said than done, but try to keep a poitive outlook on things. It works for me - I hope it works for you. Exercise helps everything, both mental & physical. Keep in touch - I have a lot of positive experience to share.

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