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What Do You Wish You'd Known Before Starting The Pump?

Discussion in 'Insulin Pump Forum' started by Annamay, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. Annamay

    Annamay Type 1 · Member

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    Hi,

    I've been on MDI for over 11 years and am about to switch onto the pump. I've chosen the Medtronic 640G and am starting it in three weeks.

    Ahead of then I'd be really grateful to hear from others whether there was anything they wished they'd known before starting the pump.

    I've done a bit of reading on here and I understand it will probably be more work, that I'll have more supplies, and that I'll need to be careful about carb counting (I've done DAFNE).

    Would welcome recommendations of helpful books to read, websites to look at or general tips!

    Thanks v much in advance,
    Anna
     
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  2. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    Pumping Insulin is a great book : )

    My tips are -

    read the pump manual and familiarise yourself with how it works and how to change things.

    Understand that you can have different basals every hour if you want

    Understand that the pump is basically a simple insulin delivery system and all the things like insulin on board, bolus calculators, etc are just dressing

    Make sure you choose a cannula and set that suits YOU not the ones pushed by the pump companies

    And know it's nothing to worry about : )
     
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  3. Annamay

    Annamay Type 1 · Member

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    Thanks @azure that's really helpful!
     
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  4. CarbsRok

    CarbsRok Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Nothing really because I made sure I did my research before I started on the pump. :)
     
  5. catapillar

    catapillar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I've been on the pump for 6 weeks - like you, I wanted to prepare so it could all go as smoothly as possible (I think it's worked, touch wood!). I would recommend:

    - read pumping insulin
    - read the pump manual
    - get your repeat prescription sorted and updated for pump stuff now - remember you need your pens and needles left on as back up, but you need whatever vials of insulin you will be using, whatever test strips the pump uses, probably a blood ketone metre and strips - get your DSN to do you a letter telling your GP to update with whatever you need
    - you tubing for videos of your pump set up and cannula insertion
    - if you can get a cgm or libre for the first couple of weeks on a pump it will make your basal testing and adjustments approximately 300 times easier (I don't have a libre but I think the cost would be £160 for the start up which covers the first month, then it would be £60 for each next sensor, each sensor lasting a fortnight)
     
  6. catapillar

    catapillar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but I think what OP is asking for is any top tips on what you would recommend to follow your excellent example?
     
  7. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

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    The book Pumping Insulin is a great read and very informative, some of it may not make sense pre-pump but you'll be glad you purchased it @Annamay

    I wouldn't worry too much about pumps being more work, maybe in the beginning they are when your trying to get your basal rates right and adjust to life using a pump but other than they are not (well in my opinion anyway), if anything I find I'm much more relaxed using a pump than I ever was on MDI.

    Good luck and hope all goes well :)
     
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  8. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

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    Hi @Annamay I looked up youtube videos before I got mine 640g, so I could see what others made of it, how they fitted their infusion sets and just for a general get to know the pump, they were very useful, so I would recommend looking at some online ;)
     
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  9. rockape37

    rockape37 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The answer to your question is No. I think you have and are doing what everyone here has done.

    As you know its the way forward. If you would like to read another book try "Think Like a Pancreas"
    Regards

    Martin
     
  10. paulliljeros

    paulliljeros Other · Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the majority of the comments, and would say I stumbled on an approach that worked perfectly for me.
    I read Sugar Surfing, Think Like a Pancreas and the first first half of Pumping Insulin and I bought a CGM (Dexcom). By pairing the CGM, with the information in the books, I then started micro dosing insulin.
    This is by no means a one-cap fits all solution, but for me, it meant I understood what I wanted to achieve from the pump, and meant that the pump was then a tool that simplified what I was doing. When I walked into the pump induction, it was more like a refresher course, than an overload of brand new information
     
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  11. clarehayward

    clarehayward Type 1 · Member

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    Good luck Anna. I've been on my pump 3 years. I do agree with the posts above. Those 2 books really helpful, esp the Gary Scheiner one.

    some things I didn't know/realise - I was told I could sleep with it "next to me" or under the pillow BUT it didn't move freely when I turned over (which i do a lot and move around) so top tip I was told, was to buy a Spibelt and pop it in there at night and the belt sits comfortably and unnoticed around your stomach! This really does work and is secure. Also helps if you go into the shower and put a dressing gown on or walk around the house without many clothes on! it's a handy place to keep it. As a girl and as a newbie to pumping, this was something I hadn't thought about. it means it's always secure. The belt goes with you when you go away as well.

    Definitely buy a clip for it. this is ideal for clipping on to you bra (in the middle). Have you had a trial one for a bit to practise with? I found it very uncomfortable on the side of my bra but I know other ladies find this fine.

    Baby scratch mitts are great for putting it in (exactly the right size) when you're doing exercise or on hot sweaty holidays or activities. Keeps the pump sweat free. Again, a tip I was told. If you do clip it on to your trousers, you will need to remember when going to the toilet as I pulled my trousers down quickly and the pump hit the harsh tiles and I cracked it! just forgot it was on trousers. that'll take a little time to get used to. These are not as trivial as they may sound. They really do help.

    I wish you all the best of luck and success on this amazing machine. Life with a pump really is great.

    Clare, Type 1 36 years, pumping 3 years
     
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  12. dancer

    dancer Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    One thing I'm glad I'd read about, here and on another forum, is "gushers", "bleeders", or whatever you'd like to call them, when there's a LOT more bleeding than usual when removing an infusion set. This doesn't happen very often, but when it does it's messy, so be prepared.

    The mistake I made was not telling my husband about this possibility. When it happened the first time, I saw what was happening and asked my hubby to bring some kitchen roll, as the wee bit of cotton wool I was pressing against the "wound" was hopeless. Hubby came in with a sheet of paper towel, and was absolutely shocked when he saw the blood. He rushed back into the kitchen and brought in the whole roll of towel, asking if he should call my DSN. He couldn't understand why I was so calm. (I did only need one sheet of kitchen towel to clean up.)

    So, if you have a hubby, partner, family member(s) or flatmate living with you, tell them of the possibility of this happening. As I said, it doesn't happen often, and it's not a problem, but be prepared.
     
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  13. iHs

    iHs · Well-Known Member

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    I wish that I had known a bit more about basal rate adjusting and that I would need to adjust the basal rates on a pump a lot more than using an insulin pen, so for me, a pump has been life changing and has made me realise how dependent I am on relying a pump to work ok.
     
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  14. AmandaD

    AmandaD Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I've been on a pump the last ten years and love it. I also have the 640g with a cgm. wish I'd been told to go on one sooner than I did!! Little pockets sewn into dresses are great (my wedding dress had a special pocket for my pump and baby socks and mitts are perfect for keeping it in. I wear it now clipped to the front of my bra (upside down is better than right way up). Good luck!!
     
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  15. endocrinegremlin

    endocrinegremlin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Be patient. The pump is often described as the cure. Hook up and everything is ok. It is not like that. It relies on info just as mdi does and sometimes it needs more info and closer watch. You might have more ups and downs. A pump failure of any sort can put you in DKA status within hours. Anything can fail at any time. You will not take less diabetic stuff around with you but more. To get to the bones of it 'it is not easier but harder'.
     
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