1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2021 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Insulin pump

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Jubblyjo1601, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. Jubblyjo1601

    Jubblyjo1601 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    58
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Hello all!

    Been a T1 diabetic for about 19 years and having never had great control (not for want of trying) I have been pondering the thought of going on a pump? Especially knowing that in the future I am going to want to try for a baby. My most recent HBA1C was 9.6 so I think it's unlikely I would be allowed one until I get this down, which I will! Just wanted to know the pros and cons of the pump regime? The only thing I'm quite wary about it that its always going to be attached to me....

    Any advice great,y appreciated!

    Jo


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  2. Fi2508

    Fi2508 Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Re: Insulin pump

    Hi Jo

    I started on the pump a year past christmas. At the time my hba1c was 10+. I'm now sitting at 7.0! It's the best thing I've done. I've been diabetic since I was 4, I'm now 37. It was wanting to start a family that prompted me to go for it and with a lot if hard work I've got the go ahead to start actively trying to get pregnant. Yes you need to be quite strict and test your blood frequently and be aware of how much carbs your eating. I hardly notice I'm wearing my pump, some colleagues think its my pager! I'm in the routine of doing a full set change with new vial every 3 days. I find it a lot easier and better than the insulin pens. I've even been on a month long trip to Australia were I had no problems with security or customs until I arrived back at Heathrow and my pump set of the alarm at security! I explained to the officer I had a pump and she was fine, I wasn't her first that day and wouldn't be her last she said! If you have a good supportive diabetic team like I have, speak to them as I highly recommend the pump.

    Good luck

    Fiona


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  3. Mireille

    Mireille · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    Re: Insulin pump

    So, irrespective of the manufacturer of the pump, it has helped?
     
  4. Fi2508

    Fi2508 Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Re: Insulin pump

    It has definately improved my control. I am a lot more hypo aware and can sense if my bloods are running high. When on pens I had to eat at regular intervals and eat a certain amount of carbs, with the pump I can eat less or more if I wish and have fasting periods which help my DSN check that my ratios are at the right settings for me without me feeling hypo if I've not eaten.

    Fiona


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  5. Jubblyjo1601

    Jubblyjo1601 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    58
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Hi Fiona,

    Thank you so much for your response :) I don't think I have seen any negative points about the pump at all yet.

    So having a pump means you can still be quite flexible with eating/drinking etc?


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  6. adrianjdowns

    adrianjdowns · Newbie

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Re: Insulin pump

    Hi
    I have been on an insulin pump since Jan this year and it makes life so much easier as your doses are accurate, and you have more flexibility. I would highly recommend going for one and with your hba being above 9 makes you more eligible. It will take you 2 years of hoop jumping before you can get one but its worth it. I have the Medtronic Paradigm and its very good. The only thing I find is that when I roll over in bed sometimes i feel the pump but you soon get used to it. With regards to family creation, you can take the pump off as it simply unclips from the canula so you should have no worries there if you know what I mean ;-)

    The pump can give you a lot more flexibility so go for it.
     
  7. Delphinum

    Delphinum Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Re: Insulin pump

    Hi Jo,

    I've also been diabetic 19 years and I love my pump. The pump and DAFNE are the best things I've done for myself with regard to my diabetes I think. I started on mine in February this year.

    I was really scared of having something in me all the time because I'm a bit squeamish, but I got used to it in no time at all. Our nurses were really good and let us have a go over a weekend with just saline (doing our normal pen injections) and I almost never noticed it. Even when sleeping, it just rolls about with me.

    I had a few issues with cannulas that shot my blood sugars up (once to 32!!) but I've now got one that suits me a lot better and my HbA1c has come down to 7.9 from 8.9 (I was having hypos constantly on insulin pens but if I lowered my insulin, I had highs instead so I used to run high on purpose to stop myself collapsing at work as I had a very unsympathetic employer at the time). I think I can still tweak it a little to bring it down as my insulin requirements changed with this hot weather but I'm going to see how I go in the autumn.

    It's really easy to adjust and my medtronic pump links wirelessly to my blood testing meter so I just tell it how much I've eaten and it works out the insulin for me. You can also program how fast the insulin goes in (say if you're having a slow release carb so you don't want the insulin peaking too early) and it just makes life easier when you're having a three course meal at a restaurant to dose for every course than get out all the needles and pen, etc. I have a remote on my pump so I don't even have to dig it out my cleavage to do it. :p You can also lower your bolus if you're doing exercise, suspend it if you're hypo and so many other things!

    Can you tell I like it? :D The only thing I would change is that I chose a purple one and under white clothing, you can see it, so next time I'm going for a white or silver I think.

    NICE guidelines tell you about blood sugar levels, but I think it's over 8.6 that you're eligible for it.

    Good luck with applying for one if you decide to go for it!

    Angela
     
  8. micksmixxx

    micksmixxx Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Re: Insulin pump

    Dear Jubblyjo1601,

    I'm afraid your understanding of who can get an insulin pump is somewhat adrift of the facts, my friend.

    You are more likely to be considered for CSII (Continuous Subcutaenous Insulin Infusion) ... pump therapy ... if you have poor control of your diabetes and your consultant/doctor feels that pump therapy would improve matters for you.

    There are guidelines set out by NICE (National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence) as to what criteria must be met.

    The criteria MAY have changed since I started using a pump, in 1998, but take a look at what you can find out on the following webpage:

    http://www.nice.org.uk/usingguidance/co ... npumps.jsp

    It used to be that your HbA1c level was high ... and yours is ... and/or you have frequent hypoglycaemic events.

    There are different pump manufacturers' appliances that are available. See the following webpage from the Diabetes UK website:

    http://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-dia ... lin_pumps/

    You MAY also like to take a look at the following webpage:

    http://www.inputdiabetes.org.uk/

    The following webpage offers advice, from Diabetes UK, on Position Statements:

    http://www.diabetes.org.uk/pumps

    As for personal experience about using a pump, do please feel free to contact me and I'll do my best to explain my thoughts and feelings about them. To put it bluntly, the only way they're going to get my pump back from me is by prising it from my dead or dying hands. I absolutely love mine ... and the freedom it offers me.

    Lots of Love and Light.

    Mick
    x x x x
    x x x

    P.S. Please don't be offended or alarmed at the "x's". It's simply a logo, of sorts, that I've used for some 30-odd years now.
     
  9. hale710

    hale710 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,903
    Likes Received:
    1,082
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Re: Insulin pump

    Interesting info there Mick, but I have something to add too :) I'm not on a pump (only 6 months diagnosed) but my consultant has said I can have one if I want, but I will only be eligible when trying to get pregnant. Or at least thinking about it. It's recommended for pregnant women. I don't know the ins and outs of it, other than increased control is much better for both mum and baby :)

    I'm 23 so not going down the baby route yet! But it will be in the next few years. My consultant wants to discuss it at the clinic tomorrow
     
  10. SallyO

    SallyO · Newbie

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Re: Insulin pump

    Hi Jubblyjo1601,

    Sorry for the essay but here is my story...I have been T1 for 18 years and my last HbA1c was 9.6 also. Like you I would like to start a family soon. I too was worried about the practicalities of wearing a pump (especially for a female wearing many different types of clothing to men who always have pockets or waistband) and going shopping, changing clothes, going swimming. I always thought the pen was better for those reasons.

    However due to some minor changes noticed at the back of my eyes, I decided to apply for the pump to improve my control and reverse any fledging complications. I finally concluded that the downside of wearing a pump 24/7 would be totally outweighed by the benefits I would get from it. They are trying to increase the T1 pump usage in UK as the take up here is trending much lower than other European countries. All professionals and users with whom I have spoken have only positive things to say about it...I enquired in May and went on pump program in August.

    ...So now I am 2 .5 weeks on the Medtronic Minimed Paradigm Pump. It's daunting at first because it's new and strange but just recall how you got used to injecting yourself. I am really getting used to it now and liking it. The first week is a big adjustment of course and I was very paranoid of banging it, sleeping with it etc. I initially clipped it onto my nightie/PJ's and was very aware of it whilst asleep but now I just leave it loose in the bed and it follows me if I turn. I sleep much better as a result. I am still learning the additional settings and I am currently introducing exercise etc. and it's still a learning curve but I am already getting confident with it. I have listed the pro's and cons below:

    Pro's

    • 1. no more injections - just change cannula and insulin reservoir every 3 days.
      2. no more long acting insulin, drip fed quick acting insulin only. The pump is closer to the way the pancreas works than the pen.
      3. minimised lumps n bumps.
      4. eventually improved HbA1C.
      5. makes you more disciplined and aware of your diet because you have to enter carb amount for each meal, which contributes to eventual weight loss.
      6. uses 25% less insulin than pen treatment again contributing to eventual weight loss.
      7. new glucometer wirelessly sends reading to pump and you just press buttons to give correction dose if above target range.
      8. data: can download all your pump data into several reports which enable you and care team to view trends and make changes.
      9. excellent support: In-person classroom trainings with diabetes professionals, detailed online tutorials and direct contact with care team.
      10. shower/swim: just unplug, leave on kitchen paper towel in tubaware container and plug plastic cap into cannula. Shower or swim!

    Cons

    • 1. wearing it - can feel awkward. Soln for women: I find it perfect clipped onto bra centre. Its protected from knocks and don't need to move it when using the loo (unlike if it's clipped to your waistband/belt). It's also a good idea to get a pump sock (or baby sock) to prevent sweating esp. in hot weather.
      2. still need insulin pen as backup and to carry with you if out for long periods. I thought I could throw them away but you still need them in the event of pump malfunction or emergency correction if you have ketones. But I don't find this a problem.
      3. air bubbles in line - If there are a lot, they may prevent insulin going in. Soln: just check line frequently for air bubbles. Just unplug and fill line to expel or change line.

    In 3 words...GO FOR IT!
    Good luck :thumbup:
    SallyO
     
  11. micksmixxx

    micksmixxx Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Re: Insulin pump

    Dear hale710,

    Thank you for your comments, my young friend. You MAY need to do some further reading as although NICE is supposed to cover the whole of the UK, there MAY be some differences for those who live north of the border.

    It's good, my friend, that your consultant has already brought up the fact that you could have a pump if you meet the criteria ... pregnancy in this case, in his/her estimation. (I'd been diabetic for more than 20 years before pumps became available in this country, so it's reassuring that more doctors/consultants are appreciating the value of them in blood glucose control. Even now, there are still only 38 of us in the area where I live that have pumps. Initially, this was due to cost, and the reluctance of Primary Care organisations wanting to fund the ongoing cost of replacement set changes (reservoirs and cannula sets). I can say, with my hand on my heart, that pump use has kept me out of hospital much more than MDI ever did.)

    Discuss it, my friend, but don't let on that you're not planning on getting pregnant just yet. That would give him/her the opportunity to say that you can't have one yet, until you're reading to become pregnant.

    I'm reasonably sure that you understand that good blood glucose control is imperative during pregnancy, and pump use offers this. In fact, pump use offers greater, more accurate blood glucose control for every diabetic. You can make tiny adjustments to the amount of insulin that you infuse, and you can control when you want to eat, and the amount you eat to suit your needs. This is where it differs greatly from MDI (Multiple Daily Injections).

    You do, of course, need to have your pump connected to you 24 hours a day as pumps only use fast-acting insulins, which gets 'trickled' in at a very slow rate 24 hours a day. i.e. you don't use a long-acting insulin, such as Levemir, Insulatard, or Lantus. Without being connected to your pump your blood glucose levels would very soon rapidly rise, which can be extremely dangerous. (I'm sure you probably already know about Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), which often leads to the sufferer being admitted to hospital as an emergency patient for urgent medical attention. This occurs when insufficient insulin is available. i.e. if you miss injections or don't take a sufficient dose of insulin to cover the amount of carbohydrates that you imbibe ... either eat or drink.)

    Strictly speaking, there are times when you can remove the pump, such as when taking a bath or shower, when going swimming, when having sex, etc. but you need to be aware that you've been without insulin for a while so you definitely need to check your blood glucose levels. Remember? You have no long-acting insulin acting in the background. (There are a few pumps that are water resistant, but there are also ones that are not.)

    It MAY seem strange that you need to be connected to a machine all the time, and you MAY wonder where to put it, either during the day or when you sleep. To be honest, this is not a major concern. There are several ways you can wear your pump ... and hide it away from display if you're worried what others might think. There are straps, pouches, clips, etc. that enable you to wear the pump around your body. As for sleeping, pop it under your pillow, or do the same as me and let it 'float around' the bed. If you wear pyjamas or a nightie, clip it to your nightwear. (Give me a shout if you'd like to discuss it more.)

    I wish you well, my young friend.

    Lots of Love and Light.

    Mick
    x x x x
    x x x

    P.S. Please don't be offended or alarmed at the "x's". It's simply a logo, of sorts, that I've used for some 30-odd years now.
     
  12. bluntneedle

    bluntneedle Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Re: Insulin pump

    Hi Jo,

    I have been diabetic for 20 yrs, with Dawn Syndrom and evening Syndrom. With three Injections of Protophan plus at least 4 times with Nova Rapid a day. I had put off getting a pump for years , for the usaul vain reasons.Then I found the Omnipod No Cables No taking it off to shower or to swim No sticking the needle in the pod does that, small as a mouse and user freindly unlike some pumps where you need a degree in plumbing and have to hang it somewhere.

    My Hba1 for three months was 8.9. My Hba1 yesterday after three months of pumping 6.5 :lol: But do not think it is easy though, you must do you homework and be strict with yourself until you have a good profile in the software. I do not know how the support is in England nowdays. I have been living in Germany for a while now. I have a good Diabeties Doc. Even so he just gave me a start I did the rest myself.
    Let us know how it goes


    If your going to do it why not with the newest Tech. http://www.mylife-diabetescare.co.uk/my ... rview.html
     
  13. Jubblyjo1601

    Jubblyjo1601 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    58
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Wow thanks so much everyone! I am seeing my DSN tomorrow and I will definitely speak with her about it. I am feeling quite excited you have all been so helpful! This was the best kind of research hearing real people's stories and I'm glad that they are all positive xxx


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook