My first time pump shopping: Animas & OmniPod

Current insulin: 1U of Humalog for every 20gr of carbs (No Lantus) via pen

My endocrinologist said I won’t have much use for a pump right now because I’m not on any long-lasting insulin. However, I’ve been slowly trying to wrap my brain around the world of insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring devices (CGM’s).

It was a very overwhelming morning. I was in the hospital from 9-11:30 a.m. and by the time I got out, I was toast. I love my endocrinologist as well as my diabetes team, so I do count myself lucky, however sometimes the process is draining (another post soon on what happened at the endo yesterday).

So first thought: don’t cram a whole bunch of diabetes-related events into one day. I had my hospital visit all morning and then booked my pump meeting in the afternoon. Spread it out.

Background: I have researched pumps online for the past half year or so. If you’re interested in pumps, call/e-mail the various companies (even if you don’t feel you like a particular type of pump) and set up a meeting. Write down every question ahead of time. Ask for demo ones to try out. Then ask for more.

It’s a big commitment. For me in Ontario, it’s 5 years (through government funding). So I better choose wisely.

The companies I have and will set up meetings with here in Ontario are: OmniPod, Animas, Metronic &  Accuchek. Am I missing any?

In August I met a rep from OmniPod and yesterday, I met up with the folks at Animas.

I don’t know when the time will come when I will be eligible for a pump, but I’m pretty sure that I will probably get one to try it out either way. That being said I don’t take issue with the multiple injections. In 95% of instances, I inject with my pen in public without even thinking about it.

It took me a while to get to this point mind you, but now I am pretty comfortable with it.

So if that’s not a problem, why even think about a pump? Why have something attached to you?

I’m all about experimentation. I think when it comes to my diabetes care, I want to try out all the technology that’s available to me. If it gives me better control, I am all for it. I also really respect those who choose not to pump. To each their own! Whatever works for you and you are most comfortable I say.

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Here’s what I learned (and please feel free to correct me if I’ve got it wrong):

  • the pump slowly gives out insulin through the tubing (or pod) every few minutes (I thought it was every hour)
  • you can suspend the dosage at any time
  • pumps can calculate insulin stacking (measuring all the insulin in your body)

Thoughts on wireless vs. tubing: 

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The picture above is of the old Omnipod. Apparently the new ones are 30 per cent smaller. I asked for 10 demo pods after my meeting with Lucy in August. Since I’m highly active, I wanted to bang them up as much as possible. I took baths, I ran, swam, rode. They felt fine, but I have nothing to compare it to.

In my pump shopping venture I have learned the following and hope this helps you when you decide to pump shop:

  • learning about pumps can be overwhelming. Give yourself ample time. Start early. Yes, by the time you get a pump the technology may be different, but it’s best to start now and slowly build your knowledge base
  • don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and follow up with reps with more questions after your meeting
  • demo demo demo
  • take reviews with a grain of salt. People are quick to complain and as we all know, being online is where people come to vent. Look at who is writing the review. Do they have any credibility?

Do you have any cool links about pumps in Canada or in general? I’m looking to build a resource page and if you see something good out there in the online universe, send it my way!

Jessica