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Re: [IP] I've heard the good...what about the bad?

> I will be going on the pump sometime in the 
> next few weeks and have heard many, many great 
> things about the freedom associated with the 
> pump (it makes me wonder why I didn't do this 
> years earlier!).  However, I would like to hear 
> some bad things about the pump from some of you.  
> For example, what is the thing that dislike most
> about the pump?   Also, I keep hearing about the
> increased risk of DKA.  How often does this occur?  
> Is it a "once in a lifetime" occurance, or 
> something that may occur as often as once a month?

  I asked the same question when I first started 
looking at pumps becuase, like you, I kept hearing so 
many GOOD things that I got the point of waiting for 
the bubble to burst.  Here's what I came up with on the 
con side:

Awkwardness:  Getting dressed, going potty, etc... take 
some getting used to, but the adjustment curve seems to 
be very slight, to ask folks who've been pumping for 
more than a year, I've had some people tell me they 
have to check to remember if they put it back on after 

Risk of Infection:  The fact is the skin isn't horribly 
pleased with the idea of a plastic tube perforating it 
24/7, though germs and bacteria are quite happy with 
the concept.  This however, seems very avoidable with 
basic cleanliness procedures and doing site changes 
regularly and consistently.

DKA risk: Without NPH or UL or another long acting 
insulin to provide long-term background coverage there 
*IS* the possibility of a malfunction causing insulin 
to not be absorbed properly or not be delivered at all, 
particularly during the night when you go a long period 
without testing.  Hardware issues are MOSTLY covered by 
the fact that the pump can usually tell when no insulin 
is being delivered and sets off an alarm telling you 
so.  Absorbtion problems are a bit more problematic, 
and are more likely to occour early on until you get a 
hang of doing good insertions.  The most common way 
around this problem is to do site changes in the 
morning so that if there *IS* an sbsorbtion related 
problem, it's likely to show up during daylight hours.

Weight Gain:  This one is probably the most anecdotal 
problem, but more than one person has mentioned it.  
The diets that go along with MDI and the regimented 
eating schedule have the added plus of keeping us from 
eating way too much (as most americans are wont to), 
with the added convinience of a much more flexible 
eating schedule and the knowledge that "Oh if I just 
eat this one little extra thing I can push a button and 
cover it with a tiny bolus" (as opposed to having to 
take an extra shot just for that one cupcake)  
Appetites tend to increase (and get satiated), leading 
to suprising weight gain.  This, of course, is a risk 
faced by the millions of non diabetics out there, so 
it's not a minus so much as a supression of a plus.

"Gushers": A "gusher" occasionally occours resulting in 
a messy, bloody situation.  I don't know the medics of 
it, you'll have to ask someone else. As far as 
frequency goes, I've heard some say they've gone ten 
years without one, others say they get them every few 
months.  All you can do is get out the towelettes and a 

That's all I can think of at the moment... Good luck 
with your new shadow.

-Sara G.

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