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  1. Wanted, Dead or Alive: Advice

    Wednesday, 25 August 2010

    If you've been talking to me on Twitter over the last few weeks, this isn't going to come as a huge shock. I know there are some who I haven't told though, and I haven't really publicly announced my decision to those I've been talking to.
    Well anyway, a while back, I talked about the fact I'd been thinking about pumping, and whether it was something I should consider. Lots of you gave me some really wonderful advice. 

    Then I sent an email to my DSN, who sent me one back. Not long after, I got an appointment with the nurse who deals with pumps. That has since been and gone. I didn't want to lose momentum with or distract from The D Team fund-raising, so I didn't mention how it went. The bottom line though, is that I've been offered a pump, to start at the end of October/start of November.

    It's been mentioned to me by various people (not that I wasn't already aware of this) that I don't fit the NICE guidelines (that link might be interesting reading for those in the US). This is true, and I don't deny it. I went to my appointment with this in mind, and just with the attitude of wanting to know more about pumping. What ended up happening was quite interesting.

    The DSN who deals with pumps at my hospital couldn't be more lovely. I told her about my concerns about my insulin sensitivity, and how I was beginning to lose my initial hypo awareness. This is true, although it's something I don't think that I've really discussed on here.I also told her that I was unsure about pumping - I wasn't convinced with being attached to a device 24/7. I was open about that from the beginning.

    We discussed my general control, lifestyle, frequency of testing, that I was starting an MA fairly soon, and how that might disrupt patterns that are easier to keep at the moment. She told me that she was impressed how much I already seemed to know about pumping. Then she asked if I wanted her to take my case to the review board. In her words, I 'don't strictly qualify, but you're clearly working very hard to get good results. You're smart, pro-active and educated. Why should you be denied the gold standard for working hard? I could tell you to let your A1c slip to make it easier to qualify, but I wouldn't do that, and I don't think you could either.'

    So thinking that my case would get turned down, I said go ahead. Then two days later, I got an email saying I'd been approved. I think I sat staring at my laptop for a good minute before moving or saying anything. I hadn't been expecting that at all. Trouble was that now they'd said yes, I didn't know what to do. Like I said during my appointment, I've never been wholly sure it's right for me. I was scared. Still am, if I'm completely honest. 

    Since then though, I've done a lot of thinking about it, and I've decided to go for it. I'd never forgive myself if I didn't even try, and I might never get the opportunity again. So now that I've said yes, what now?

    Well, it seems that my clinic isn't specifically tied to one sort of pump - they have people using Roche, Animas and Medtronic. I get the general impression that if I give a preference to a particular model, they'll try and accommodate that. So I've been doing some homework. 

    Looking at the different pumps, I've mentally ruled out pumps by Roche. Now, I have no personal experience with Roche products, but from things I've heard from friends, I don't think these are appropriate for me, for various reasons.

    So that leaves me with the Animas 2020, and the Medtronic Paradigm Veo. I've got pros and cons for each in my mind, but they're coming out mostly tied. So, since you guys gave me such wonderful advice last time I asked about pumps, I'd really love to know people's experiences with these two companies and pumps. Negatives as well as positives. What are the features you love, and what would you like to change? What would you tell a novice pumper that no-one ever told you (and you wished they had!)

    The floor is open!

  2. 6 comments:

    1. Well, that NICE link looks interesting. I know here in Canada for some provinces to qualify for a pump you have to have an A1C of 8% - otherwise if it's higher - it's difficult to get a pump. I know for myself when I had some PWD friends encourage me to go onto a pump (I was MDI with A1C of 7%) - and I was hesitant because I was doing fine with MDI and my endo actually thought I had a screw lose in my head to consider going on one. So, I went ahead without his approval. I'm glad I did, I was like you, bit scared in the beginning, as it's all new, but I'm glad I decided to try it out. Yes, I know some of you will say - but you went off the pump in April - and still are MDI - I will go back - it's just I'm sorta enjoying the freedom of no pump (Animas 2020), tubing, etc. - but if you've read my blogs - you'll know the pros/cons of pumping. I like both methods of control - but Becky - I'd grab this chance to see what pumping is all about - I mean - what have you got to lose? Again, it's your decision of course :)

    2. Brenda W. said...

      I'm on the medtronic (hi by the way! I've been missing in action) but I am seriously considering the Animas. Medtronic I'm familiar with, and they are really reliable with the pumping. The reason I'm thinking about Animas is that have the remote bolusing thingy which I think would be really awesome if you concealed your pump somewhere that was hard to get too. Otherwise, the Medtronic has never given me any issues (besides the CGM) and I've been on it for the last 4 years. It all depends on what features are important to you! I think that new MM now has the same small unit increments as the Animas.

    3. Mike said...

      From what I've seen/read/heard I'd be looking into the Paradigm Veo with built in CGM goodness. I'll watch your progress with great interest. Hope you get all the benefits and none of the glitches :)

    4. Big Swifty said...

      We'll be watching how you get on. We take our Frank (4yr old) to Addenbrookes at Cambridge for our first "pump" consultancy. Best wishes to you.

    5. Lisa said...

      Hi Becky. I think you have made the right decision going for it, after all if you don't like it you can go back to injections but you might not get another chance to try it. I have had mine since March and it has made a lot of positive differences to my control. Expect a steep learning curve though - I was a bit too optimistic so when I did have problems it knocked me back a bit. I have an Accuchek pump, by the way, my DSN wasn't able to offer me a choice, but it is fine really. Good luck!

    6. Emma said...

      Hi Becky. Congratulations! Exciting news. Like others have said, if you don't like it you can go back to MDI, but I'm sure within the first few weeks you will fall in love with pumping.

      I have the Medtronic, as does everyone I've spoken to from my clinic. It is WONDERFUL. Personally, I've had no issues with the pump or sets at all. It is incredibly reliable - and I must confess to man-handling it a bit too harshly sometimes. It's clear & easy to use. Everyone I've spoken to who has the Veo feels the same way about the pump itself, but some people have had problems with the sets (however, I don't think this is exclusive to Medtronic). I myself have had no issues. The first few times changing the set are a bit fiddly & time-consuming, but you soon get used to it. I've had no problems with air bubbles. Inserting the set (with the Quick-serter) is nowhere near as painful as injections. Once it's in it stays in for 3 days no problem. On several occasions I've actually had the pump fall out of my pocket without me noticing, & have stood up to find the whole lot hanging from my set - and it hasn't budged.

      Because I've had no problems with the sets, I haven't needed to switch to different sets with Medtronic. However, I do order from them regularly & this is always quick, and I get everything I ask for.

      I have no experience of any other pumps so can't compare, but would definitely recommend the Medtronic on its own merit.

      Best of luck!


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