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[IP] Why a pump?

IDDM 17, years, on a pump for about eight years and six months.

1. More even distribution of insulin attuned by the patient for fluctuating
BGs, hormonal activity and such (I inc. my basals by .1 U/h for 5 days
before my 'monthly' and reduce them again at onset of menses).

2. Less rigidity in lifestyle. Not everyone can eat at the same precise time
everyday for the rest of their life, but usage of NPH makes this necessary.

3. Ability to correct high BG as they happen and not wait to adjust
NPH/Lente/UL/Lantus doses and 'maybe a week later' being okay.

4. more flexibility in weight and dietary issues. Having no need to
constantly "feed" long acting insulin, one has greater control over their
own calorie intake, also their ability to take on spontaneous activity is
improved. Not having 9-15 U NPH on board, *I* don't have to 'pig out' on
glucose, I simply suspend or reduce my basal rate for a few hours at and
after exercise, checking BGs often.

5. Greater dietary awareness. The use of 'carb counting' also brings to mind
what I am actually eating. Calculating for my food makes me more conscious
of my dietary needs and caused me to study a bit more on Nutrition Science.

6. Psychological: More 'aware' of BG checking and why the levels may be what
they are, consequently: Less 'guilt tripping'- also a greater ability to
'Fit in' with work and social life. Nothing 'sets you apart' worse than a
stupid hypo disrupting activities you and friends may be doing. On MDI, *I*
would err....'forget' to test. I even forgot a few shots in my days of MDI
(!!) But a pump at your belt and 'always on' (Like the Cable connections) is
a reminder of what I ought to do.

7. One of the best reasons? I went to my eye doc's and all, so far, NO
complications of my eye, my blood work is disgustingly normal and I
generally Feel better than when I was on MDI. On MDI, I had already started
to show elevated microalbumin and 'tingly feet' after only nine years. I
already have Retinopathy of Prematurity and as a result am legally blind. I
refuse to let diabetes 'take' anything else from me, and so I fight hard
against that happening.

Who would benefit? IMHO everyone who needs insulin can benefit. Perhaps the
intellect of some patients would be accounted -Are they able to add/
subtract? Can they grasp basic ideas of 'what does what' re: the pump, food
and activity? (not to mention some Doctors!) Do they have decent
family/friends support? Does the patient realize the pump is NOT a cure and
involves more 'work' by themselves? Usually if a patient is motivated to
learn and can understand how insulin and foods work, they should be allowed
to try the pump if they want to.

--The geek shall inherit the earth!
Jenny Sutherland
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