By melissa1987 Latest Reply 2012-06-21 10:20:01 -0500
Started 2012-06-10 00:52:38 -0500

I am thinking about asking my doctor if I can get the insulin pump but I was wordering do u need to have a reason? Like work or do u have to be a child? I hate taking my insulin so much with the pen… Can anyone that's on the pump explain to me how it works and is it better then the own? Thanks :)

15 replies

margokittycat 2012-06-11 23:05:06 -0500 Report

I hav been diabetic for over 32 years and have been on 4 shots a day for 25 of those 32 years. My endo said he was changeing my insulin and that a pump was a possibility but we would have to wait and see until the new insulins are controlling the diabetes the way the should and things are controlled correctly. Some insurance company require you to have to have brittle diabetes were control is hard to obtain but the doctors recomment=d the pump to control the diabetes for you. I think they are wonderful even though I personally have never had one my best friend of 20 years has been on one for 13 years and loves hers. I was always leary about them until it was suggested to me on here to talk to the doctor about being put on one and then I started checking in to them and think it would be great to have one. Now I just have to give all the new stuff time to work and keep asking my endo at every appointment.

Debbiejf 2012-06-21 01:02:08 -0500 Report

oh before I forget my pcp recently put me on b12 shots, since i'm on insulin I do my own b12 shots.

Debbiejf 2012-06-21 01:00:37 -0500 Report

Hi margokittycat :)!, I have been having the worst time with my memory, trying to remember to come back here, seriously, I have had dr.s appts up the wazoo for the last 3 months for a whole s-load of issues BUT now that Im here ;D, I have something I would like to bring up,…I have been working like a beaten dog trying to get my glucose levels under strict control and I have found that all is well as long as I eat only salads, seriously, the minute any thing carbohydrate crosses my lips my blood sugar shoots through the roof! the give away is that I feel feverish, a new symptom for me. So I have to be extremely careful of not eating obvious carbohydrates at all. Have you ever had any symptom changes over the years?

margokittycat 2012-06-21 10:20:01 -0500 Report

I have had all kinds of symptom changes. I lost many years ago the symptom I would get when my BG was low. I have issues ith insulins in certain types and all other kinds of things. Try the high protien products, chicken, pork, turkey, ham and beef and see if that helps without protien you will always feel sluggish. Cheese and eggs are good to. I do not eat a lot of carbs, I don't eat bread,pasta, crackers, chips, ect. I just avoid all of them all together to make sure I am good.

Type1Lou 2012-06-11 13:12:53 -0500 Report

You've already received lots of good info. I started using a pump last August after 35+ years as a Type 1. I LOVE my Medtronic Minimed pump but here are some observations based on my experience. You still have to test your Blood Sugar (the pump doesn't do it for you). In fact, I am now testing more since going on the pump…initially to help my endo obtain the proper basal and bolus settings for my pump and, currently for my own info. The pump settings are customized for YOU.

My Metronic pump cost about $7500. My out-of-pocket was around $1400 for the pump and 3 months worth of supplies (infusion sets and reservoirs). You must change the infusion set/reservoir at least every 3 days. As long as I've satisfied my annual insurance deductible, the out-of-pocket cost for 3 months of infusion set/reservoirs are around $100. But, if I haven't satisfied my deductible, (like this past February), I paid $456 for the 3 month supply. (That was a bit of a shocker!) Pumping for me is still worth it though.

In case of pump malfunction, you should always have access to your old insulin regimen (in my case, pens of Lantus and Novolog). My pump has functioned beautifully but, I had 2 occurrences (my fault) where I wasn't receiving the insulin from the pump and my condition seriously deteriorated within 4 hours. It was SCARY! I also initially had a battle with my RX insurer, Medco, about how they shorted me on the needed 90-day insulin supply (See my discussion "Medco makes my blood boil" if you want the gory details).

Gather your data about features and cost, go into pumping with your eyes wide open and be prepared to truly master counting the carbs you eat so you can input the correct data into your pump for your meal-time boluses. I love it and hope you will too!

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-06-12 20:50:17 -0500 Report

Great info, people often think going on the pump is easier and less expensive then doing shots. It is so important to do research first, talk with dr and decide if you can make the commitment needed to be a pumper.

Type1Lou 2012-06-13 17:07:42 -0500 Report

I would not recommend a pump to anyone who is not truly committed to managing their diabetes. I feel you really have to want to put in the effort to make it work…but, when you do, I've found it works beautifully.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-06-13 17:49:50 -0500 Report

Couldn't agree with you more. I also think it is great to introduce the pump to those of us who got it at young age. Make sure the education and support is there and maybe better control will be gained at the early age and instill the life change that is needed instead of way down the road trying to change old habbits.

KellyJo76 2012-06-11 13:03:02 -0500 Report

Hey Melissa, If you can get your pump and supplies covered, then do it!! If your last A1C was above a normal range, that would indicate a NEED for one. I am type 1 as well and my A1C went from 7 something into the 5.6 range after getting on my pump. Its still a pain, I mean you have something attached to your body all the time, but it is way better than injections - not that you will never have to inject because sometimes with a high reading - I still give myself a shot because it works faster. It takes awhile to get used to and to get basal rates set correctly but its worth it. I had several lows in the beginning but it was manageable. I do not have the CGMS because my insurance doesn't cover it, but if you test on a regular basis, I don't think its a necessity. I have the Medtronic Paradigm 720, its not the latest model but the one before.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-06-12 20:46:16 -0500 Report

My insurance covered the CGM as I needed it. I'm a type 1 as well and you can get control with doing shots only, if you put the work into it. Not all insurance will cover a pump with just a slightly higher A1c. But you are right as it can be great, but not issue free:)

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-06-10 23:38:08 -0500 Report

kdroberts has given you alot of good info to think about, also you need to find out what it will cost you monthly to maintain it, kits, insulin, things to keep the site steril, etc, this can be more then you want to spend? Make sure your insurance covers the insulin needed for the pump they may cover, or the one you want as some insurance have this problem. With my insurance, I have to pay the $1000.00 out of pocket maxium as well as the $100.00 deductible. But, if you can't afford it the company does have a program to let you pay monthly payments with no credit checks, etc and can be paid off without penalty. I didn't ask anything about that, it was just part of the info given. My dr contacted the pump co and they called me to ask questions on type of insurance, how much insulin I take a day as well as how many times I have to do bg checks, etc. Then they contacted my insurance to get approval as well as the cost that would be covered. I figured out it would be better to wait until the first of the year at the time because then I would not have to pay for any meds, tests, surgeries, etc as I would have met my out of pocket obligation for the year by paying the $1,100.00.

The pump has great results, but you do still have some issues, it's not like it is a cure all, just depends on lifestyle as well as your bg numbers if it is right for you. My pump company requires you to have good eyesight as well as good use of your hands so as to be able to work it. You also need to know how to count carbs, portion control, etc, but can go to classes for that.

I think you should take Harlen's suggestion and watch the video and do some research on pumps as well as the above and then make your decision. The most important thing to remember is getting control of the diabetes no matter which way you go.

Good luck, and I hope we all have been of some help.

Harlen 2012-06-10 14:39:07 -0500 Report

First I would go to Medtronic.com and do the pump school so you know what your getting into ,theres a lot of work that gose with the pump.
After that and you still wish to use a pump and can get your ins to cover for it I would go for it the pump has saved me a lot of pain and helps me a lot in keeping my BS good .
Do you know how to count carbs ?
Do you keep a log of you BS and what food your eating ?
best wishes

melissa1987 2012-06-10 13:10:55 -0500 Report

Thanks I think I would be covered because my insulin and everything else is covered… I will check out the links thanks again rob :)

kdroberts 2012-06-10 12:23:01 -0500 Report

Anyone can get the pump, you just have to want one so no problems there. Paying for it is a different story. Obviously you can pay the whole cost yourself, which (depending on the pump) will be about $8000 up front for the pump kit and a few months of supplies and then around $150 a month after that, plus insulin. If you want your insurance to cover it then you have to talk to them about any requirements they have. Since a pump is considered durable medical equipment it gets covered by your health insurance, not your prescription and you may be limited in your choice of pump or supplier and you may or may not have a small to significant amount of money to pay depending on your benefits. Some insurance companies offer wellness programs where you get free supplies if you talk to a nurse every 90 days. Worth it in my opinion but some people don't think so.

I like my pump, I chose the Animas Ping because it best matched the features I was looking for. It's annoying at times but overall I find it easier than shots. The best thing to do is request info from the manufacturers and make a list of features you must have and ones you'd like to have and then see what pump fits that best. There are more coming out in the not too distant future but right now you basically have the choice of 5.

http://www.animas.com (Ping and soon to be Vibe)
http://www.minimed.com (Revel and maybe Veo if it passes FDA clearance)
http://www.myomnipod.com (Omnipod)
http://www.accu-chekinsulinpumps.com (Spirit and maybe Combo if it passes FDA clearance. I think the Combo looks the one of the best new pumps currently being tested)
http://www.tandemdiabetes.com (t:slim. Just released and looks cool but I don't think it's actually a great pump, more show than substance. Does the basic stuff but not a lot else. Step in the right direction though)

roshy 2012-06-11 17:54:00 -0500 Report

im on the combo and the device is amazing. id recommend it to anyone. The bluetooth makes pumping so convienent. love the pump and i think if you are sick of needles and have poor control you should defo consider it.

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