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Re: [IPk] Re: ip-uk-digest V2 #519

In message <email @ redacted>, sezgin
kaya <email @ redacted> writes
>She is 13 and a bit scared of using it since her blood
>sugar was fluctuating for a year (she is type 1 for 8
>years), and so she thinks that a constant pump of
>insulin would put her into hypo.

I can understand her being scared!  What she has not understood is that
the pump does not give 'constant' insulin, but that she must programme
the computer in it, telling the pump how much insulin to give herself,
and when.

I, for example, do not need much insulin late in the afternoon.  So
then, my pump is programmed to give me 0.1 units per hour.  But I need a
lot of insulin first thing in the morning, so then my pump is programmed
to give me 0.9 units per hour.

When she first starts using the pump, she will probably go a little hypo
sometimes, but she will be able to reduce the insulin for those times,
so it won't be a problem.
>Has anybody used Minimed 508 and can give me some
>feedback about the ease of use, and the dis/advantages
>over using insulin pens?

Could you ask her what it is about diabetes that she hates most?  We
could then say whether a pump might make a difference to that.

I am not sure how to describe how easy it is to use. Far easier than any
microsoft product, but more difficult than switching on a light?  The
dis/advantages over the pen, for me (others have other dis/advantages).
a) it is much better if one eats lots of small meals or snacks during
the day, because each small meal or snack means an injection.
b) it is much better if one does not know how hungry one is, or what
will appeal in the meal - so sometimes one sits down to dinner and eats
just a few vegetables, at other times, one decides that another large
slice of cake is wanted
c) I think it is more discrete to deliver a bolus in public (most people
think I am sending a text message!) than an injection with a pen.
d) If one goes hypo, or has exercise or stress which alters insulin
needs, one can stop or reduce the insulin - with injections, it takes 24
hours or more to stop insulin.
e) If one needs very different amounts of insulin at different times,
then this is easy to do with a pump.  There are only a few basal
insulins for pens/syringes, and  if the pattern of one of those does not
meet your needs, a pump is better.

a) you have something attached to you, 24/7.  She can find out very
cheaply if this is a problem, for her: buy a yoyo, and tape the string
to her stomach (the yo-yo is put in a pocket).
b) you _have_ to very regularly measure your blood glucose (at least 4
times a day).
c) some people (including me) are allergic to the glue and antibacterial
agents - so the place where the cannula goes in become inflamed.
d) the process of inserting the cannula is sometimes uncomfortable -
more uncomfortable than injections
e) sometimes I roll on the pump in bed and it's uncomfortable (but no
more uncomfortable than rolling on the books, cats, and husband who also
share the bed with me).

Best wishes,


Pat Reynolds
email @ redacted
   "It might look a bit messy now, 
                    but just you come back in 500 years time" 
   (T. Pratchett)
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