I Have a New Pump! (Sorta)

I was happier than a snail with the wind to its back to have my insulin pump kick up its little feet, clutch a lily to its chest, and die. Because it was still under warranty, the company sent me a “new” (reconditioned) pump. I was thrilled! It gave me more time to search around for another pump.

You see, I have a Cozmo. I love my Cozmo. Of all the insulin pumps I’ve had (three), it’s my favorite. I’d buy another in a heartbeat.

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Sadly, I can’t. The company got out of the insulin pump business after it lost a patent infringement lawsuit brought by another company. The outcome of the suit was that Cozmo’s company had to shell out several million bucks and would have had to pay a royalty on every pump it sold.

Hence, the end of the Cozmo pump — and the beginning of my dilemma. The only other pump I would consider only holds 200 units of insulin and, as somebody with Type 2 diabetes, I use a lot of insulin. Depending on what else is going on in my life, I can use as much as 150 units per day just for basal insulin. Two hundred units wasn’t gonna cut it. And I didn’t much care for any of the 300-unit pumps available.

Then I attended the American Association of Diabetes Educators Annual Meeting last week and saw what’s coming. Oh, my! None have yet been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, but I can wait thanks to my “new” (reconditioned) Cozmo.

While my warranty expires in December, I’ve never been one to buy a new pump just because I can. Some of that may have to do with the fact that my insurance company sets a $2,500-per-year cap on durable medical equipment, leaving me to pay the rest. Pumps cost around $6,000, although there can be deductions.

If something breaks, or if the pump starts coughing, I’ll get a new one. But I don’t wait until then to choose my next pump. In fact, I’m already beginning to choose my next one, whenever I may end up needing it.

At AADE, I found three pumps I could fancy: One from Roche, one from Tandem Diabetes Care, and one from (as near as I can figure) D. Medical Industries.

Roche currently has the Accu-Chek Spirit, which I don’t care for. Coming, however — as soon as the FDA says it can — is the Accu-Chek Combo, which holds 315 units of insulin. It comes with a wireless Aviva Combo meter that can operate the pump (or the pump can be operated on its own), as well as with an emergency back-up pump. Among the features is one that calculates a bolus based on a number of factors, including insulin on board; carbs to be eaten; current blood glucose level; whether the meal is high-carb, high-protein or whatever; and variables such as exercise levels, stress, and such.

If you buy a Spirit now, or if you bought one after Februrary 15, 2009, you can get a free upgrade to the Combo.

You might get the Tandem Diabetes Care’s t:slim pump confused with your smartphone. It’s about the same thickness, as well as being the same size as a credit card. A rechargeable power source (the once-weekly charge takes about 10 minutes — just plug it into a USB port, take your shower, and it’s done by the time you dry off) and innovative delivery method makes it possible for the color-touch-screen pump to be tiny and still hold 300 units of insulin.

I didn’t find out much about the Spring Patch Pump at its booth. While there was a pump on display, the company was promoting its new Spring Universal Infusion Set. I did find out that it holds 300 units of insulin (which meets my requirements) and later tracked down the information that it can be worn with an infusion set or directly on the skin. Oh — and you can use it with or without a remote unit. It’s one to keep an eye on.

As I said earlier, none have been approved for sale yet, but I can wait. In the meantime, I’m pumped about what’s coming along.

  • anon

    I hated Cozmo’s demise. MM must have had a solid case against it for patent infringement, so I guess I have to accept that. What I can’t accept is MM not customizing its pumps like Cozmo after knocking it out of business.

    I have yet to see a like replacement for Cozmo. Tandem may have that level of customizability. Cell Novo also. Not sure though if Cell Novo will hold more than 200u.

  • Lois La Rose

    Jan:

    You have a real sense of humor when it comes to a really important matter. Personally, I prefer my Medtronix Minimed Paradigm 722. I, too, use a lot of insulin but don’t have to fill the 300 ml reservoir to capacity. My pump also calculates dosage on current BG, carbs to be eaten, and units on board.

    Good luck in your selection!

    Lois

    P.S. You were recommended to me by Aimee on the TUDiabetes site. She thinks we are both very much alike.

  • Lois La Rose

    Jan:

    I apologize for steering you wrong. I was referred by NATALIE, not Aimee. (I’m getting tired!)

    Lois

  • Jan

    Anon, one of the people I talked to at the Tandem booth was a former Deltec employee. I understand that many Tandem workers were formerly with Deltec. Read into that what you want. I will say that it’s a most unique pump.

    Jan

  • Natalie Sera

    Lois, thanks for correcting the information about who referred you! I like my friends to get to know each other! :-)

  • steven

    hi
    The fact that you have a type 2 diabetes doesnt mean you eat more carbs. i am a teenager with type 1 diabetes and i eat alot of carbs each day and my pump holds 300-units and that still lasts me about 4 days. since you are a type 2 diabetic you should really be changing your diet to a low carb diet not just “pumping” your way through it all. this being said alot of type 2 diabetics are not even on insulin pumps and have managed to keep it under control just by simple lifestyle choices

  • Jan Chait

    Steven, did you read the part where I said my basal rate was around 150 units a day? Even if I ate nothing, a 300-unit cartridge wouldn’t last me more than two days. Insulin resistance also affects my insulin-to-carb ratio and my correction factor. The fact is, for the most part I do eat low-carb and my dietitian and endocrinologist approve of the way I eat. Since I am not an expert, I don’t pretend to know how others should be eating and certainly shouldn’t offer any advice. I can only tell people what works (and doesn’t) for me.

    Jan

  • RONALD STEVENS

    I BOUGHT ONE TOUCH PING INSULIN PUMP,OUT OF ST.LOUIS, MO I AM DIABETIC 1, AND BEEN VERY HAPPY WITH IT,IF CLIP ON BREAKS THEY REPLACE,HOWEVER I HAVE CAME TO A SECRET, WHICH WORKS WELL, PAINT SCREW ON CLIP WITH FINGERNAIL POLISH AND RASCAL RARELY COMES APART,WORKS GREAT ON GLASSES TOO,TINY SCREWS.

    ONE GOOD THING ABOUT THIS PUMP I LOVEMIS I CAN EAT ANYTHING ,JUST COUNT CARBS AND PUMP TELLS ME HOW MUCH TO GIVE,HIGHLY RECOMEND ,ONE TOUCH PING.

    MY SUGAR SOARS AT TIMES AND PEOPLE ARE GOOD TO TALK ME THROUGH ON PHONE CHANGING SETTINGS,.

    ONE TOUCH PING PUMP I BOUGHT 5 YRS AGO ALSO CAME WITH REMOTE,I LIKE NOT HAVING TO MOVE PUMP MUCH,USE REMOTE ALOT.

    I CAN EAT,CAKE ,PIES ,CANDY ,LOL ALL THE GOOD STUFF WITH FLAVOR,DONT DRINK OR SMOKE AND SEEMS TO MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE.

    I WORK OUTSIDE ALOT, AS WELL HOUSE WORK JOBS,LOL MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE FOR ME,USING PORTS ON STOMACH,TAKES 2 MINUTES ,REALLY DOESNT HURT,EVERY 3 DAYS I HAVE TO CHANGE STOMACH PORT AGAIN.

    ONE STEEL KNEE,SURGERY IN FEB AND WALKING ON OWN BY APRIL,NOT ONE TO BE DOWN FOR LONG.

    GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR CHOICE OF INSULIN PUMPS,GET ONE THAT WORKS, DONT CHANGE AROUND MUCH,GOD BLESS ,TAKE CARE.

    RS