1) I can keep my blood sugar more constant, by testing and correcting easily every... two to three hours.
2) No more shots. No more 5:30 am Lantus shot on weekends, in particular.
3) There is a handy bolus calculator that tells you how much insulin you've injected within the last three hours and automatically calculates how much insulin you need based on the carb amount you enter and some other presets you've given it.
4) I can adjust my basal rate for exercise on the fly, so I don't have to take less insulin at lunch to make sure I can work out before dinner. All I have to do is program a lower basal rate during that hour workout.
5) No shots means no bruises on my thighs, which isn't a huge deal, but which I found vaguely annoying.
1) Note that in order to keep that blood sugar consistency, I have to test and correct... every two or three hours. This is substantially more than the 4-5 times a day testing I was doing before.
2) The online bolus calculator doesn't work for me at all. I've been dialing in an extra unit or two and juggling the presets to see if I can get it to work correctly, but no dice. I don't think it adds in the basal rates correctly. Yes, I programmed all the settings i.e. carb lowering amounts and target blood sugar.
1) Workouts that involve jumping around? Like tuck jumps and jumping jacks? Totally out, unless I want to tape or bandage the thing in place. It also hurts when you jump around, cause you can feel the needle bumping up and down uncomfortably. I already own a sports bra. I don't want one for my medical hardware, too.
2) It beeps. It beeps 12 hours before you need to replace it and again when you need to replace it. This would not be so bad, only it also beeps when it's finished delivering your bolus insulin, too, so that's more beeping 3-6 times a day.
3) It generally takes upwards of two minutes to inject 6 or 7 units of insulin. Two minutes? What the hell is it so slow for? Since it clicks as it delivers insulin, I can only imagine that it's because it's literally clocking it out at .10 unit increments.
4) It clicks every time it delivers insulin. Every. Damn. Time. I emit clicking sounds like a fucking clock.
5) The PDM is easy to use, but clunky, especially in a device you're using at least 10 - count `em 10 - times a day to check blood sugar and deliver boluses.
6) 1 in 7 pods fail, so you always have to bring a backup and your pens.... so, all that "gear" I figured I could ditch cause I was on the pump? I have to fucking carry it all around *anyway.*
I can see the advantage of a pump for people who hate needles or who have trouble with control, but my A1c runs 5.9-6.5 while using the pens, and I've figured out how to live with them. Sure, the pod makes insulin delivery more discreet, but you still have to stab your finger and bleed on a stick 10 - count `em 10 - times a day.
So again, really, what's the point?
I keep reading about all these folks who say insulin pumps really changed their lives (especially the pod), and I just don't see it. Granted, I've never been squeamish about stabbing myself at the table or telling people I have diabetes. So maybe these are more for squeamish people who have a hard time getting their blood sugar under control and don't like needles?
I admit, the beeping, clicking, knocking around cyborg thing really annoys me. I'm thinking I'll ditch it Monday morning and talk with my endo about it during our appointment in August. This was really the only pump option I was excited about (the idea of having tubing hanging off me isn't all that appealing either), and honestly, I really like the pens. I feel like they've given me a lot of freedom and flexibility, and I don't have to worry about jumping up and down during exercise and hurting myself/dislodging something. The insulin's already in there.
I am not terribly impressed, so far. I mean, when I first got it it was "Oh neat shiny and cool!" and now I'm like, "Was taking a Lantus shot at 5:30 am really so bad that I have to pack around two additional pieces of hardware?"
I just don't think it was.
I don't know. I'll take some time off and revisit it, maybe. So far I'm pretty wishy-washy.
Sunday, July 20, 2008