There’s a New Pump on the Horizon

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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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