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[IP] Re: convince me

part of original post:
<I'm very overwhelmed again.  The first time I was overwhelmed was about
months ago when I was in the hospital upon my first diagnosis. I guess I
need convincing that the pump is the best thing for me.>

Hi Michelle,

I'm 48 years old, have had diabetes 35 years, and have been on the pump
for a year.

I see two main reasons for going on the pump, and only one not to.
1) tighter control. You are fortunate that the pump is available and
folks are encouraging you to go on it BEFORE major diabetic
complications set in. I had poor control for around 20 years through no
fault of my own but rather because we had no blood sugar meters
available, and urine testing was horribly inadequate. Two benefits to
tighter control: a) you feel better and have more energy a larger % of
the day; and b) you reduce the odds of complications. In other words,
there is both an immediate and a long-term payoff. I have had eye
retinopathy complications (almost went blind), foot complications, hand
complications, etc., etc. These don't usually show up right away, but
the breakdown of your body occurs over time. There is NO GUARANTEE of
fewer complications with tighter control, but significantly reduced

The tighter control comes about because of a) a small amount of insulin
coming into your body at all hours of the day, thus coming closer to
mimicking a healthy person's pancreas--and avoiding the peaks and
valleys of longer-acting insulin and b) the precision and ease in giving
doses of insulin when you need it--up to tenths of a unit. Even if you
don't use tenths of a unit, say you are giving yourself 4.5 units--with
a syringe you might not measure exactly 4.5, but with the pump you will.

Here are my results from 1999 (no pump, tight MDI control) and 2000
(first year with pump):
1999 avg 162 standard deviation 72
2000 avg 136 standard deviation 56

Maybe even more significant:
1999 within normal range (for me 70-180) 56%  too high (over 180) 37%
too low 8%
2000 within normal range (for me 70-180) 73%  too high (over 180) 19%
too low 8%
so, I nearly reduced my high readings by 50% while not increasing my low

2) greater lifestyle freedom and ease in achieving #1. I just went out
to dinner tonight, bolused separately for the things I ate, and so could
decide to eat some extra carbohydrates "on the spur of the moment." Even
with MDI that was much harder.

Against the pump:
1) cost. The initial pump and the ongoing supplies are expensive. But if
insurance picks up much of the cost, this may not be an issue. It is the
ONLY reason I can see for not going on the pump, and even then I'd make
do with less eating out, etc., etc. in order to afford it.

Yes, it is kind of annoying to have something attached to you at all
times. But diabetes and feeling crummy much of the time is FAR MORE
ANNOYING! And you get used to it. Site changes are a hassle at first, as
are setting the correct basal rates. But after the first month it is
much easier. In terms of intimacy, showering, etc., I disconnect while
showering--easy to do--then put it back on when done. Same for sex (some
don't disconnect, but I do)--my wife doesn't mind at all--and anyone
really supportive of YOU won't mind at all either, because the pump
helps you feel better a greater percentage of the time.

My only regret? You will hear this from many on the pump: I wish I had
gone on it sooner. Originally there were reports of pump malfunction
(years ago) and that deterred me for a long time. But there are all
kinds of safeguards now, and that aspect really isn't an issue.

Please, if you have any other questions feel free to email me or this
list. We're here to help. I do think most of us know what you're going
through. But if you decide to get the pump, I'm sure you won't regret

Take care.

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