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Re: [IPk] to pump or not to pump

>I have now been reading the list for a couple of weeks and am thinking about
>asking my consultant to move me from 4 injections a day to a pump.  I met up
>with Di this week and learnt alot about pumps from her, but it also raised
>more questions for me.  I want to go into this with an open and informed
>mind as I see it as quite a big decision to take, especially if I'm going to
>have to spend hard earned cash on a pump.  Can anyone out there provide
>evidence to suggest you don't just swap one set of problems with injecting
>with another set while pumping.  I know pumping won't cure all the problems
>but I suppose I want to know how others have come to their decision to try
>it out.
>Have any of you tried it and then thought about returning to daily
>injections ?
>How did you find the swap over ?

Becky - you are certainly asking good honest questions.

Yes, it was a fairly major life decision for me. After 20 years of doing
things one way, it requires a great deal of courage to change it. Everyone
reaches decisions by their own route. Mine went something like this:

1) Read about pumps on the internet. The impression I got from things like
misc.health.diabetes was that the people who were happy contented and in
control of their lives and their diabetes seemed to be using pumps, and
those who were fed up and just getting by were on injections.

2) Did a bit of background research. Realised I'd be funding it myself.
Found out prices etc. Talked it over at great length with my girlfriend
(now wife). She had a vested interest in how I spent our money, and in how
happy and healthy I was. She gave it the thumbs up. Even if it delivered
only half its promised benefits, it would be money well spent.

3) Saw a private diabetes specialist in London who had been personally
recommended to me. I wanted to extract myself from the cattle-market
six-and-a-half-minute approach of my NHS clinic in Bristol. This was the
main step in my gaining the courage to take my own control over the course
of my diabetes treatment.

4) Private specialist suggested some other changes to my treatment, before
I tried the pump. I went for an enforced one-month with no mild hypos, and
a reduced insulin dose. He fealt I was over-insulinising myself. This
didn't help, and I ended up in a constant moody depression.

5) Ordered the pump on a one-month free trial. If I didn't like it, I could
send it back within 30 days, and get my money back. This was absolutely
crucial, since it removed a certain element of risk. I reckoned that within
30 days I would know for sure if it offered any benefits.

6) Pump arrived. I played with it thoroughly. Rang my specialist in London,
discussed basal rates etc, hooked myself up, and loved it.

This route to the pump was very unorthodox. I was working in Germany on
temporary but well paid contracts at the time, but was covered by the NHS
for my diabetes care. You should typically be assessed and approved by a
clinic with specialist pump knowledge, who can give you the proper training
and back-up support.

If you are financing the whole thing yourself, you must plan how you will
fund the on-going costs. Pay the rent or change the infusion set is a very
dangerous position to be in. The decision to change an infusion set should
be based on medical considerations. But if you also think there goes
another 10 quid, it can adversely affect this decision.

And no, despite my vested interest in administering this mailing list, I
couldn't imagine voluntarily going back to injections. The pump is what
gives me constant control over what I eat, and what my blood sugar level
is. The things we sweat here, should I change my infusion set, should I
raise my basal rate a bit at 6am, where can I wear my pump, are trivial
compared with the MDIers calls of shit, my bg has been over 15 for 5 whole
days, or shit, I had another really bad hypo in the night, or my bg shoots
up/I go hypo if the meeting overruns and lunch is delayed.

Sorry to have gone on rather, but I hope this helps in some way.


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