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[IP] Insuling pumps I have used

I was requested to put the pros and cons of the pumps I have used.  I have only been pumping for about 5 years now but I have used 4 pumps.

H-Tron.  The H-Tron was an excellent pump.  It was easy to bolus and was small and very hi-tech.  I am kind of funny about noise. I did not like to listen to the  beeps.  It did not have a downloadable interface for my doctors and stuff.  The light did not stay on very long and was not very bright. It required two batteries that you had to special order.  I swam and water skied with it and it did not have the waterproof problems that were reported later.  I now disconnect and swim and put it back on when I get in the boat.

D-Tron I upgraded for free to the D-tron.  I like the vibration mode that reports back how much has been bolused.  I don't like the that I have to glue on a little rubber ring around the bolus button but I have only had to replace it a couple of times.  The pump is longer the and H-Tron and a little bit heavier.  I wear my pump under my clothes and the difference was not too noticeable.  The function are easier to access with the menus and it uses pre-filled insulin cartridges, so no filling vials.  I did have problems with the piston not returning all the way and I had to replace one  because of that but they were very quick about replacement I had it within a day or so of calling.  It is waterproof.  The light lasts for a long time and is very bright.  The batteries last for a very long time and you only need one.  They do have to be special ordered.  the tubing and sites all are universal with their pumps. 

Mini-Med 508  When I was having problems with my D-Tron I want to see what Mini-Med had that was making them the number one seller of pumps.  Because my pump was having problems I got my Doctor to sign off on getting the 508.  It took over a year to get the paper work and approval and training.  I should have just stopped right there...  I know my experience is probably isolated but I got the feeling that I was second class with Mini-Med.  When I got the pump and trained on it.  I was not aware that it clicks on every tenth of a unit of insulin and that delivery takes what seems forever.  Can you say Chinese water torture.  Click, Click, Click, Click.  I did not like the accuracy of the amount of insulin that was left in the pump.  One has to fill cartridges and the batteries were a pain to put in.  They also did not last very long at all.  It did have the vibration mode but if you use it the batteries would go out even sooner.  The remote control was a nice feature but it was hard to make it work and the buttons you had to push to make it give a bolus were crazy.  I did not like the button sequence on the 508 to give bolus's and to program it was harder than the H-tron or D-Tron.  I was amazed that so many people I had talked to about this pump were so positive about it.  I guess compared to shots any pump is great.  I started to find out the reasons Mini-Med is the number one seller of pumps.  They make people think that their pump is the best thing since sugar free chocolate.  Without letting them know about other options.  They also pay the trainers more to train MiniMed patients than other companies pay to train.  

Mini-Med Paradigm  So I was about to turn the pump back in and get my insurance's money back but was told the Paradigm was coming out soon and it would be free to upgrade.  So I said what the heck after finding out this pump was more geared toward the H-tron or The pump is a big leap from the 508 the menus were easy to use and it had a light.  It uses a triple AAA battery.  It did not last very long and if you use the remote it went dead real fast as well as the vibration mode.  I asked about this and the response was that not many people use the remote or the vibration mode.......No kidding if the battery would not go dead so fast and if it was not hard to use then more people might use these functions.  This pump does not hold very much insulin.  Not bad for kids of people that don't require very much.  I seemed to go through a vial a day.  Not that fun.  I would pre-fill about 30 when I got new supplies each month.  They had a whole bunch of new programing features that are nice but not used by the average pumper.  It was very small. But not that much smaller than the others.  The tubing was specific to the pump so I could not use the same sites as I was used to.  Overall not a bad pump just the same complaints as the 508.  Slow dosage times and battery going out and refilling cartridges

Deltec Cozmo.  I have not used this one yet but I hope to get one in the next year.  One problem I have is calculating my carbs to insulin ratios very good.  So I never am correcting accurately.  This pump will let you enter your ratios in and then you don't have to calculate them.  Also with the software that comes with a prescription from the doc. you can program in certain items.  They like to use Pizza with a certain amount of insulin assigned to it.  It also will let you enter in your blood sugar values and it will calculate the necessary insulin.  Also it will calculate low blood sugars compared to high intake of carbs.  When I see my blood sugar is at 50 I immediately down a coke and other ready available sugars and then an hour later I am at 350.  With this pump you enter your low blood sugar and then the amount of carbs after you stop shaking and it will tell you how much to bolus.  Very nice features. All the other features are there that other pumps offer. It runs on AAA batteries and they seem to last for at least three weeks.  It is very easy to program it holds a 300 unit vial of insulin.  You do have to fill the vials.  It works with almost all tubing and sets.  It is water proof.  For these reasons I do not see why every doctor would want to prescribe this pump to regulate blood levels.

Well there you have it.  I think pumping is the right thing to do.  Just know your policy very well before you buy a pump.  Also ware and use more than one pump before you buy.  It is very hard to make a decision on a pump without actually using it.  Stay in tunned with someone that is up on new technology and unbiased.  This is very hard to find these days.  You would be amazed at some of the doctors and hospitals that have been bought off by insurance companies.

This is just my experience and I could be very wrong on the whole picture.  My wish would be that I pay my premiums I should get coverage.  It would be nice to have pumps affordable for everyone.  Not just the insured or rich.

James Warden
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