Diabetes Self-Management Blog

It’s getting to be new insulin pump time. My current pump, a Deltec Cozmo, has been out of warranty since early December, but that’s not the problem. The problem is, the company stopped selling the Deltec Cozmo about three years ago. Since it still has some pumps under warranty, it continues to support them, but that won’t last much longer.

While on my cruise, I managed to chip a piece off the cap that holds the insulin reservoir in, which made me a bit concerned. Luckily, the company sent me a new cap — one that was even the same color as my pump — even though it had no obligation to do so.

Last August, while at the annual meeting of the American Association of Diabetes Educators, I played with all of the insulin pumps there that fit my needs and settled on Tandem Diabetes Care’s t:slim. At the time, it had not yet been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, but that approval came shortly after.

Finally, after months of waiting, it began taking orders yesterday and will being shipping in August. You betcha I got my order in yesterday! Now I wait. Again. And treat my Deltec Cozmo very, very carefully.

Back in 1998, when I began pumping, it was generally agreed that Type 2s just didn’t do that. Then I ran into a Type 2 online whose doctor was unaware that pumping was only for people with Type 1 diabetes. She prescribed a pump for him…and he was approved.

That gave me the courage to ask my doctor for one for myself. He balked. I was in good control. I’d give myself extra insulin so I could eat more. Etc. Etc. Finally, he agreed to write a prescription. I figure it was so my insurance company would deny me a pump and I’d get off HIS back.

I had approval within one week. I became the clinic’s first Type 2 pumper — and the pump trainer didn’t have a clue as to what to do with me. “We usually…but you’re a Type 2…”

Finally, I said, “just treat me like a Type 1.”

That worked.

At that time, the clinic required a saline trial. That is, you ran saline in your pump and worked the buttons while still giving yourself injections. My batteries ran low during that time and I ran out to the pharmacy in a panic to look for replacements. “I have to have batteries! My pump won’t work without them!” I’m thinking. Then correcting myself: “Wait a minute. I’m still on injections.”

The day I went “live” on insulin, I had pasta for lunch. And I skipped dinner. I was tired. I wasn’t hungry. Why eat? I checked my glucose every half hour and it was holding steady. On injections, I would have been crashing. What a magical tool the pump was! My trainer probably turned white when I told her I skipped dinner — the first meal I’d been able to skip in the three years since I’d started taking insulin — but I was OK.

Waiting for my next pump is both exciting and daunting. I’ll have to relearn how to operate a pump, which can take me some time. I’m not the greatest techie in the world. It has a touch screen, but so does my cell phone, so I think I can handle that. It also has some awesome software that allows you to keep track of all sorts of things. Maybe that will help me keep myself on track a bit better.

Come o-n-n-n-n-n-n-n August!

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Comments
  1. Jan:

    Thanks for keeping us up on pumping. Some days the T2 versus T1 thinking is inhelpful and a closed box mentality.

    I am not on pump - yet. But as T2 one of the items that gets over looked is that T2’s may need both meal bolus and basil management. I sometimes wonder if the basil issues are a real issue for T2’s as that is where I see the most irratic operation of my body letting liver misbehave etc.

    Pumps from what I see provide a better overall solution and control. I am not there yet but watching and learning.

    Thank you and good luck on your new pump and share the details.

    Posted by jim snell |
  2. Thanks for the info. I just finished reading the t:slim owner manual on line. I just wanted to mention some interesting facts (according to the manual): The pump is approved only for Humalog and Novlog insulin, not Apidra. In addition, Humalog can be used for 48 hours, Novolog can be used for 72 hours. Also, pump is approved for over age 12 years users.

    Posted by Jackie Kelley RN MS CDE |
  3. I have been a Type I diabetic for over 35 years. I am on the Medtronic Paradigm pump!! It is such an awsome device. No hassles, has a CGM if you want to use it, which works incredibly well, and I don’t even know how to go back to trying to figure out dosages, etc., on my own, insulin on board, etc.,etc., and I am totally spoiled. I totally depend on it, and after only 2 months on it went from an A1c of 8% to 6.1%!!!! I also lost 60 lbs while on it, too, because my insulin usage went from 130 units a day (didn’t do well on long acting insulin) and gained 10 lbs. with every increase if insulin. I was 100 lbs. when diagnosed. With the pump I am on approximately 20 units a day, and that’s with basal and boluses. You don’t need all the other fancy features the other pumps offer, like foods and carbs listed for you. You learn them, and eventually know how they affect you, and don’t really use those tabulations anymore. All you ever needed was a really good “carb book”. Meditronic is very reliable and will work with you on supplies, etc., when you have to go on medicare, or don’t have very good insurance. Insurance companies will work very well with Type II’s, and even give you a lot of stuff for free, but when it comes to Type I’s, who need pumps and CGMs, they usually pay nothing, and we are the ones who need it the most because our lives literally depend on it.

    I hope the ADA will get involved and see the plight of us Type I’s with our special needs.

    Posted by Jeny-Lynn |
  4. Jeny-Lynn - thank you for your comments.

    Don’t hold your breath about all sorts of free stuff. In a pigs eye. I had to fight tooth and nail to get my cgms; I PAY FOR and no hope on insurance.

    I am still fighting medicare over my test strips which my Doctor did the correct steps, scrip, orders, patient log and logs every 6 months and still being screwed with.

    So while it may be tempting to think T2’s get away with the ship, yes maybe in early stages but in back end - just as grim for T2.

    Some morons in the business seem to think the pain and work properly managing your disease need to be matched up with an equal amount of beaurocratic crap and harrasement just to prove you need it.

    Posted by jim snell |
  5. Dear Jan,
    Thank you for the news on the new pump. I’ve been a Type 1 since 1999, and the 2 posts by Jim & Jeny-Lynn I TOTALLY get! I’d like to comment on Jeny-Lynn’s post. I’m glad that she has success in using the Medtronic Paradgim. When I first went on the pump I was prescribed the Medtronic MiniMed. My experience with Medtronic was a NIGHTMARE!! The treatment I received by Customer Service & Tech Support was the worst. The people I dealth with everytime were rude and when I advised them that I had Medicare and a secondary insurance that covered everything @100%, there attitude went from bad to worse. It was so bad that within 1 year’s time due to their bad/lack of service I had 3 separate hosptial admissions due to DKA. I didn’t have the correct/appropriate tech support, could’nt get delivery of supplies, and once my pump had stopped working altogether and I wasn’t aware of it until it was too late. After alot of phone calls and letters to my insurance company/Dr, I finally got approval to change to an Animas Pump. I’ve been on the Animas pump now for 12 years and it is GREAT! The upgrade to the Animas One Touch Ping is even cooler. I can’t express enough how great and helpful the Animas company/staff has been. They always go out of their way to make sure that any/all issues I have are resolved and I’m treated like a human being and with respect; one experience I never got with Medtronic. My diabetic/health issues are complicated, and it’s an everyday battle with my glucose levels. I couldn’t due it without the insulin pump. My A1C levels went from 10.1 to 7.5 within 3 years time after changing pumps. Thank you for your update on this new pump coming on the market and I look forward to reading any/all comments on the usage of insulin pumps. I value any/all information I can get on insulin pumps and Diabetes.

    Posted by Robin Figone |

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