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The pros and cons of insulin pumps / MDI

Anna's Blog
By: FatCatAnna

The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes! Whoo! Whoo!

I am a Type 1 diabetic diagnosed back in the early 60's as a child.  I am living in Montreal, Canada and enjoy scribbling about diabetes from time to time. I’ve had my ups / downs just like any person would experience with going through life - diabetic or not.  My motto in life?  Diabetes does not control me – I control it!! 

You can find more posts/discussions at my Facebook page called "The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes" and also on Twitter under the name of FatCatAnna.  Feel free to follow me at both places or send me a private message!

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 Blog Entries
The joys of having Bowie my CGMS – Chapter 1 - Sep 02
 Okay, for those of you who have never read my #dblogs before, I give names to all my little gizmos that I use for controlling my diabetes.  What we have today, ...
In a slump and scared - Jul 21
It’s rare for me to compose a #dblog that is not all “chirpy chirpy” … I think the last time I did one that was kind of down was at Diabetes1.org ...
Surviving the Holocaust with Type 1 diabetes - Mar 27
  " To the best of my knowledge, I am the only diabetic who survived years of imprisonment in German concentration camps. This is my story "   The above words ...
Sugar and Your Health - Mar 06
The other day I emptied out a 4 kg (about 10 lbs) of white sugar that I had dated a year ago when I opened it.  I use white sugar purely for cooking (I make my own ...
Eating from the ground - Yuca Fries - Feb 20
I am home now from a working holiday, in the Bahamas and Miami.  Despite the weather being abit cooler then normal (they only get 2 weeks of winter - we were there in ...
Posted: Jul 20, 2010 15:00
  • 1 Comment.
  • The pros and cons of insulin pumps / MDI

    I know that there are a few people who are upset that I've gone off the pump - some of the private comments I've received I understand why you are feeling the way you do.  For myself, going onto the insulin pump in the first place was more of a push from a friend who told me that it was heaven sent to him being on the pump (though he's never revealed what his A1C's are with the pump - so it makes me wonder).   My control of my diabetes before the pump was fine, I just was curious to see what pumping was all about.

    In April, I decided to take a pump holiday.  My intentions were to just do this until the next A1C - which I had written about last week.  My A1C has not really changed much as you can tell by that blog post.  So, for me, both methods of diabetes control works for me.  For other PWD's, they perhaps feel more comfortable with having a pump, that is programmed to deliver the correct amounts of insulin which I currently am performing by multiple doseage injections (MDI) and using my sponge brain to figure out the correct dose for carbs, IOB (insulin on board), etc.

    So, the pros and cons of both methods are below -

    • Insulin pump does not allow you to FORGET to give you basal shot (been there/done that - but with no ill effects as I make it up later - and reduce the amount - but still - annoying that with the pump it's all taken care of - bing, bang, boom).
    • With MDI - when you inject your basal insulin (Levemir/Lantus/etc.) - you cannot turn back the clock like you can with the insulin pump where you can lower your basal rates if you need to reduce the flow on insulin into you body due to certain circumstances.  I have to know ahead of time what my activities will be for that day, with a child I think the pump is a better option, as they are all over the place as I'm sure D Mum's will agree on that one.
    • The insulin pump retains all the information that you require to check back late to see how much insulin you have on board (IOB) or have bolused for a meal with the carb amount.  I am bad (okay - LAZY) at keeping a journal with MDI. I was good in the beginning while I got my basal rates perfected, but then I slipped back into not keeping the journal (and I'd bought such a pretty one when I was in Boston).  Because of this, I actually had a very BAD hypo, which I'm trying to get the gutts to blog about, as I think it will cause quite an uproar from a few diabetics.  On the insulin pump, I doubt this would have happened as I would have had a record of what insulin had been given, etc.
    • The cost of MDI and insulin pump - that's where I find a big difference.  $300 a month average in supplies with the pump.  MDI is almost 1/3 of the cost (these figures do not include insulin - only the bits that are used for dart practise on our bodies).  Yes, I may now have to use two types of insulin on MDI, but it's still less expensive, and I'm getting basically the same results as I did on the pump.
    • Forgetting where you put your pen needle for my basal shots I do every 12 hours!  This happened to me twice since starting MDI. Wearing a pump, you can't forget where your insulin is - your plugged into the pump! 
    • When travelling by air - less to carry with you with MDI - and I don't get pulled over for pump inspection by TSA!

    So, will I be going back onto the pump (Salvador Dali)?  Since only 80% of the pump purchased was covered by my husbands medical insurance at work, I probably will.  If I had bought the pump outright, then probably I may not have tried this test out with MDI.

    Also, I am not sure when or how long I am willing to put up with the Levemir reaction I still have (my endo had me fill out forms for Novo Nordisk about this - but no reply from them). 

    Remember, everyone is different with how they want to control their diabetes.  If pumping is easier and gives you better results then MDI, then go for it!  I am not putting down pumping at all with what I have done here as a guinea pig.  It's just nice having a break from the tubing, wearing dresses without trying to figure out where to put the pump so it's accessible to bolus.  I like the freedom, what can I say?

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  • By: : Jul, 20, 2010 15:19 PM
    I think the biggest thing to remember is that either way you go, you still have to manage your disease. So you have to go with the way that makes you feel most comfortable. My kids do wonderful on MDI and neither are interested in the pump. 
    Renata Porter

    Levemir (1) MDI (1) injections (1) pump (1) insulin (1)

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