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Re: [IP] First time Pump Questions


I'll start my (lengthy) response by saying that things will probably be a
bit different for you ;-) Health care teams differ in how they handle pump
starts, but this might give you some general ideas:

You asked:

>What procedure do you go through when you first get your pump?  

I did my pump start on an out patient basis at a diabetes clinic close to
home. My wife accompanied me, we spent the entire day doing BG tests (me,
not her) and being bored silly ;-) I dis continued my NPH the day
(evening?) prior, to get it all out of my system. I was already familiar
with the pump by then, so a quick review was all that was needed. Other
pumpers have started with a hospital stay of 2 to 3 days. It varies.

>How do they regulate you?

I started with estimated basal and bolus rates. The rates were based on my
weight and previous total insulin dosage. These were just estimates, so
close contact with my health care team was necessary for the following
several days. We worked by phone, adjusted when necessary, no real
emergencies. You will likely see higher blood sugars than you'd like, but
most pump starts are based on conservative estimates. Hypos may also occur,
but you'll likely be instructed exactly how to deal with them. Fine tuning
occurs over time.

>How long does it take to get (probably MiniMed 507c) once the Dr has
>prescribed the pump? (My insurance company will pay for it if Dr
>prescribes it and says that it is medically necessary) What supplies
>come with the kit and what do you need to purchase separately? Does
>the insurance pay for all supplies?

The big variable here is the insurance company. Each plan is different, and
there may be additional things you need to go through, depending on your
insurer. One of the best things you can do to prepare is gather as many of
your records as possible. BG results, prior A1c test results, all
documentation of Diabetes related problems, etc. You can never have *too
much* documentation. When my wife's insurance provider started to drag
their feet somewhat, I threatened to FAX 15 years' worth of blood sugar
records to them. They approved my pump within hours of that phone call <vbg>

My insurer covers the pump and all supplies 100%, as they did with both my
pumps. I'm fortunate, other plans are not so generous. The average seems to
be a split of about 80 / 20, with you picking up the 20 %. There may be
differences in co pay amounts, also.

The supplies you get when you receive your pump will vary, depending on who
supplies the pump. Generally, you'll get the pump, batteries, a sampling of
the various infusion sets, some tape, a video, owner's manuals, and a
"Howdy - welcome to the first day of the rest of your life" type of letter ;-)

One general piece of advice is *don't* get  a whole year's worth of
supplies when you get the pump. You'll probably change your mind about the
type of infusion sets you like, you might decide you like a different brand
of tape, etc. The suppliers would just love to send you a full year of
supplies, but try to work out something else.

Oh, yeah - the other thing you get when you receive your pump: A wonderful
new tool that will surely open some doors for you, probably grant you some
added peace of mind, a bunch of new friends with all sorts of crazy stories
and advice (that's us), and a different outlook on diabetes ;-)

Bob Burnett

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Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.bizsystems.com/Diabetes/
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