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I am envious of anyone living in Chicago; I spent 6 yrs there in grad
school and loved it.
I, like most others on this list, think that pumping is the way to go.
Personally, I started pumping with a Disetronic HTron Plus in Nov. '96. I
chose that pump on several points: I swim as my primary exercise, I felt
that the Disetronic pump looked more rugged, and I liked the back-up pump
(my endo said that "..having to switch from a pump to shots at 2:00 am is
not a good thing.")
I believe that although both products are good, there are differences that
will favor one over the other. Specifically, your lifestyle should dictate
a better product. The Disetronic pushes every 3 minutes, irrespective of
your basal setting. The MiniMed pushes every time you need a 0.1 U dose.
If you are on low doses, this could mean that a MiniMed will be more
inclided to clog; the insulin moves less often. The waterproofness of the
Disetronic may be significant to you. You should contact both companies
and they will have their reps get in touch with you. If you can, you
should schedule a time when you can see/feel/touch both pumps before you
make your decision.
I guess that the other half of your decision is whether to pursue a pump or
not. It is definitly different from shots. You are always tethered. I
did not find this to be a problem, but is did take some getting used to;
there have been several times when I place the pump on my dresser, and walk
away forgetting it there until I reach the end of my tubing. There is also
the issue of how and where you carry this thing. If you are wearing a
pager, this is something similar in size and shape. Again there are times
when I have to think where to put this and I can say that my supply of
pocketed shirts (with close-able pockets) has increased markedly. On the
brighter side, the pump has freed me considerably. I have frequent travel
and often am running plant-experiments at all hours of the day and night.
Having a pump allows me to not worry about what my unused or residual
insulin levels are. This makes things much easier. All of the "how do I
do that ..." questions are answerable; they may take some thought, but they
are not insurmountable.
On the other side, I have still more variability in my day to day sugar
levels. More than I would like and I had hopes that the pump would
resolve. The variability is still there, but the pump is a MUCH better
tool to deal with that variation. It allows "shot-free" adjustments.
Good luck with your decision. Feel free to email me directly if you would
like more thoughts and/or experiences.
Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.bizsystems.com/Diabetes/