And More Pump Adjustment

I find myself late in the second week of life with my new insulin pump, the Animas OneTouch Ping. As I informed you last week, my plan for the next several blog entries is to write up my reactions to life with this device, touching on differences I observe after having spent four years with the Deltec Cozmo insulin pump.

For those of you who’ve made the switch from one brand of pump to another, you may very well agree with me that for the most part there’s not much difference between pumps — insofar that they’re all insulin-delivery systems. Except… that’d be like saying that all cars aren’t much different because they all have four wheels and are a mode of transportation. So, yes, there are differences to talk about, and this week:

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Reservoir Size
Relative to some other Type 1s I know, and from some of the things I’ve read online, I know that I don’t use that much insulin on a daily basis. Right now I believe my total daily basal is just under 12 units, and my bolus ratio is 1 unit per 9 grams of carbohydrate. Daily I probably bolus between 20 and 30 units. The Animas OneTouch Ping insulin reservoir holds 200 units. That’s at capacity. However, after filling and priming, I usually start a cycle of new insulin with around 170 units in the pump. That’s just around three days of insulin in the reservoir. Sometimes I can go a bit longer, and sometimes — especially after a decadent weekend — that reservoir depletes quickly.

The thing is, as I said, relative to other Type 1s I know, I don’t use all that much insulin. How frustrating this must be for those of you who have to change your reservoir every day or two. Three days seems too frequent to me. Maybe I’ve been spoiled, but an extra 100 units makes a huge difference. The 300-unit Deltec Cozmo reservoir seems a luxury in hindsight. Oh that cavernous plastic space into which I’d dump that lifesaving synthetic substance, all those units I took for granted. I’d go for four, maybe five days at a time without having to stop and unload, refill, reprime, and so on.

The Meter-Remote
I enjoy the Animas’ meter-remote, which, for those of you who don’t know, allows me to check my blood glucose on the meter and then bolus for a meal or issue a correction bolus wirelessly from that selfsame remote. It’s convenient (apart from having to remain within about four feet of it during its bolus time), and I find that I’m testing more frequently because I don’t have to reach down and detach the pump from my hip to check on the attached meter that piggybacked on the Cozmo. I don’t know why, exactly, but the tethering with the tubing always made me feel that getting the pump out to check was a bit of an inconvenience. This led to less-frequent glucose checking than I probably should have done, and may help to explain the slightly higher A1cs. (No, I’m not blaming higher A1cs on this, but there’s some influence in control and frequency in monitoring, but I’m not writing about that this week.)

Next week I have a few things to say about test strips and size of meter-remotes, as well as whatever else comes up in my honeymoon phase with this new Animas insulin pump. Until then, may you enjoy your summer!

  • Gary in Minnesota

    I was told by my endocrinologist, when I finally started using a pump (Medtronic) in 2007, that I should only have enough insulin in the pump for 3 days use. The reason for this was the higher risk of infection at the infusion site. I was also told that the infections were more virulent. Therefore, every three days, give or take a half day, I change the infusion set and reservoir. Did you ever get site infections when you went 5 days between changes?

  • miss kitty 3

    I, too use metronix (mini0med) insulin pump. I was also told to change every three days. I have experienced site infection. I once tapped into a vein; what a gusher. I didn’t know until I prepared to do a set change.
    I color code my set changes-blue highliter. shower is green highliter. Low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) is pink highliterEcervise is green highliter. That way I can see, at a glance, when I should be changing next.If there is a question, I can check my prime history function to see what date I did change.