Blog Entries With Tag: Insulin Pump

Posted: Jul 15, 2014

Okay - now who as a young girl didn't watch beauty pagents?  Come on, be honest, don't be shy!!  I loved them, curled up in front of the telly with my family.

Well, going viral with ShowMeYourPump  at the moment is the newly crowned Miss Idaho aka Sierra Sandison with her insulin pump boldly going where no pump has gone before (well - she's joining ranks with former Miss America 1999 Nicole Johnson - but it just sounds so good to write that bit)!  Reading Sierra's diagnosis story (she was diagnosed in 2012) made me smile when I went onto an insulin pump after 40+ years with MDI (multiple dose injections).  I had the same feelings as she did ... being hooked up to a machine (hmmm, wonder if she gives it a name like I do with my George Michael and his predecessors)? 

She's officially started writing a blog (oh noooo competition for the FatCat - scrambling around in my litter box worried).   Kidding - the more the merrier as we educate folks around the world about diabetes is what we all believe in within the DOC (Diabetes Online Community).  Like many of us, we all have obstacles that can stop us, but as many of us have done, WE can overcome them, and as Sierra says " use them to empower ourselves and make an impact on those around us ".  

Many of us who aren't shy to show off our own little sweet devices as well. I know I'm not, though.  We are so proud of her.  Now, if I could only wear a bathing suit the way she does.  Hmmmm ....





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Posted: Sep 8, 2013
Vain Little Cat I Am \\^,,^//A few years ago I wrote  a blog about a D-Mum (Joan Benz of T&J Design) who made great pump leg holders for those of us who like to wear a dress from time to time.  They were made to fit you like a glove and didn't slip down.  I'd tried a few other similar holders but they either irritated the heck out of my skin or slide down the leg. 

Sadly, the one she had made me, I left behind (how I did that I'll never know and I didn't realise this until many months later) when on holidays in the USA a few years ago.  When I decided to purchase another one - and at the time she was making them in black instead of the original white - I was going to purchase two.  I was disappointed to discover she would no longer ship outside of the USA - no matter how much I pleaded with her (a cat pleading is really cute).  Mainly this was due to time involved in going to post office, customs/duty forms.  Let's just say I was extremely disappointed.

Time Ticking By

I did manage to purchase similar material that she made hers out of at that point - with the intentions of making my own version - but so far - time has ticked by - SCREAM - and I've just not found the time - tick, tock, tick, tock.  I have found other ways to wear my pump though when wearing a dress - tucked in a sports bra - except when it comes to wearing a more skin showing dress - a sports bra just doesn't work well.  I've actually removed the pump when I do want to wear something "skimpy" - using a pen needle with rapid insulin to stay in the "zone" for a short time  - but it's kind of a drag - so I don't do that too often.  Ohhhh - I'm such a vain Fashionista!!

Just now, I came across a link by KimChal - that tells you how to make your own in EIGHT EASY STEPS.  It's not difficult to follow (I do sew for a living for other people - so of course - it may be easier for me than some of you).  If you don't sew - you can always sweeten up a friend that does - and they'll make one for you - that will custom fit it to YOU.

If any of you give it a try - either post your results here - and of course - let  KimChal know!!!  I did tell her that I was posting her instructions here at - so maybe she'll come by and say hi to us all (or look for us in the DOC - Diabetic Online Community via Facebook / Twitter / G+ ).

Dreaming of wearing a slinky dress - with my thigh pump holder .....

NB:  The hyperlink for my blog hyperlink  - still works (some have said it doesn't - I triple dipple test every link I put in my blogs to make it easier for you).  Sadly though Joan Benz is no longer in business - taking a break from sewing (I know the feeling - I used to do the same - full time job / sewing on the side).  She is still involved in JDRF events though (her daughter is a T1D).
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Posted: Apr 20, 2013
Back in 2011 - I had written in the forums about Asante and their new insulin pump called the Pearl.  A German mate of mine - who I was visiting at the time in Spain - said it was being marketed in her country - of course - I went to check it out - and since then - had never thought of it again until recently - when Asante started to relaunch the pump under a new name of SNAP!  Of course, like Michael Hoskins at DiabetesMine - we both thought of a certain cereal ad (do all diabetics think alike???).

The Asante Snap is slowly hoping to become the next kid in town as far as an affordable and easy pump for a diabetic controlling their life with insulin.  Of course, this pump is only available currently to the USA in certain regions of the north east sectors of their country (testing sectors), but they are promising that it will be available all over the USA during this year as well as to more countries over time. 
They are currently marketing this pump at being in the price range of $700 USD with a promise that if something happens to the pump that for a minimal fee even when out of the 4-year warranty it will be replaced with latest s/w upgrades.  To me, this is a winner, with the problems I've had with my Animas 2020 since December.  The comparison chart that they show at this link shows the advantages of using their pump.  It basically has all the bells and whistles that I have used in the two pumps I've tried over the 5 years (Animas and Medtronic) but one new thing that FDA recently approved for this pump is the "Drop Detector Alarm" which no other pump manufacturer has.  
What I like from the picture and description is Asante has taken into consideration the screen size on the pump itself.  They claim it is supposed to be the largest print of all insulin pumps out on the market which is good for some of us aging diabetics.  Along with that is the size of the pump and its weight. 
Asante Snap promotion picture

The one nifty feature of this pump is that it uses a 300 mL insulin glass cartridge.  You don't have to bother with filling up a plastic cartridge every 3 days when doing an infusion change which they market as saving the user time.   The only drawback for me is that you have to use this cartridge within 7 days and if there is any insulin left in the vial it gets discarded!  For diabetics who go thru' 300 units of insulin a day they'd be having to use a new cartridge each day - ouch!  Unless they can reload up a new cartridge, since it is supposed to work "7 days until or until cartridge is empty".  That bit is abit vague in their advertising on their website.
My other question and I can't find the answer to it anywhere.  What is the cost of the disposable cartridge section of the pump itself? Currently, I pay on average $7 CDN for an insulin cartridge which yes is NOT supposed to be refilled but many diabetics do reuse their cartridges a few times over.  Now, Asante of course states that insulin in the glass vial doesn't disintegrate as much as in plastic but still it's that question of how much a month will I be shelling out for the replacement portion of their pump?  In the end, could this cost as much as a regular pump over X amount of years?  Again, I'm aiming at folks who don't have coverage via insurance to afford to pump so for others who don't have this worry it's not a problem for them.
Another problem I see (and Asante does as well), only Lily Humalog cartridges are for use in the Snap.  For some diabetics they find this fast insulin doesn't work as well as other insulin that are available (or in the case of Americans with insurance this is one of the more expensive insulins in their country).    Therefore, Asante is in negotiations with NovoNordisk ? which for myself would be great since I use that brand of insulin which thru' the grapevine aka forums - seems to be the less expensive rapid insulin available to Americans.
I took the time to look over the manual for this blog (very easy to understand ? and most of you know I'm not big on manual reading).   One thing I noticed that I've never seen in my Animas 2020 manual is "Air Travel in a pressurized cabin".  Asante says to disconnect the infusion set from your body during takeoff and landing, and I quote from page 5 of their manual ...    " As with any insulin pump, during takeoff the pressure change in the cabin will cause any air bubbles in the cartridge and infusion set to expand. If you fail to disconnect, the expanding bubbles will push insulin into your body and lead to potential over delivery. By disconnecting the infusion set before takeoff and keeping it disconnected until after the plane reaches cruising altitude, you can avoid any inadvertent delivery caused by the change in air pressure ".    I found that a very interesting statement to be made - and realise the reason for it - with abililty of air bubbles to form in the vial and/or tubing - but never thought about this before - and am sure others reading this didn't either.

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how Asante fairs in this - they seem to be more for the user rather than the share holder - which in my case with the Animas pump fiasco is the opposite - so I'd be willing to give the Snap a month trial run when it becomes available in my part of the big blue marble.  As more details come out - I'll keep you posted - and if you find out something before I do - post it here and share!

Original Snap, Crackle, Pop dudes 

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Posted: Mar 3, 2013
Well, so far, no reply from the big wigs at Animas Corporation / Animas Canada on my email that was sent in reply to their's over a week ago.  I'm actually hesitating on calling Animas Canada, since they seem to have wiped their hands clean of me - but have promised some Animas users - that I will see this thru' to the very end.  I've sort of lost faith in big corporations like Johnson & Johnson - but I'm trying my best to be patient - and see what the end result is with my pump - that was under warranty when they "discovered" the issue with the internal s/w date killing the pump (and now it appears to be in all their pumps pre-2020).  Which still makes me wonder .... why it was never corrected in the 2020? 

I've been back on dry land now for a few weeks since my holidays.  I'm still doing the ol' MDI (multiple dosage injections). I'm actually not minding it.  Yes, my tummy that takes all the NovoRapid shots during the day for meals and corrections to my blood glucose (BG) looks abit bruised.  That's from the occasional blood vessel being poked with the pen needle - despite it's 32 gauge sleekness.  My DH noticed my tummy the other day - and I said - get used to it - my bikini modelling days are over.

I'm actually not missing the pump at the moment - I can't believe I'm saying this in public. The pump is great for some occasions - e.g. where accessing areas of your body for a shot make things difficult or you have a change in activity that requires less basal insulin. Other than that - I'm getting used to it again.  I'm trying not to be so OCD over the fact that my BG's are not as well balanced as they are with the pump, but with more BG testing and adjusting of basal and/or bolus insulins - I am getting the hang of it.

My god daughter who is coming with me to Toronto this w/e for the Children With Diabetes event (3 days of education / fun for kids & parents / etc.) - can't imagine putting her 13 year old onto shots. His diagnosis was at 6 (like myself) and I think he was put onto a pump right away.  She said she'd have no idea what to do if he was on MDI. That is a bit scary - andI think if I was an endocronologist or educator (CDE) - I would have newly diagnosed patients hating my gutts - since I would insist that they at least learn how to control their diabetes by the old fashioned system of frequent injections. I'd be like Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest .

I also am still looking into the Roche ACCU-CHEK Combo pump as a possible replacement to Animas.   I'd heard thru' the grapevine that it DOES have an end date - that it only works for 7 years, but after I contacted the rep at Roche that I had met last summer - they told me in their older pumps, this was the case, but not with the pumps now sold (phew).  The one great thing about the Roche pump is that it was $1K less and had a 5-year warranty.  Good for those of us who are paying out of pocket for a pump.  **UPDATE** - see comment below dated March 6th.

Again, until I have some sort of closure with Animas Corporation/Animas Canada it's sort of put me off of any pump manufacturer at the moment.  So, for now, I'm standing on the edge, waiting in ancipation for an answer that is honest and not legally formatted with their reply (e.g. please write in easy to understant terms).

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Posted: Oct 24, 2012

I first wish to thank the help of  Marco Bianchi, who is a CDE (and also an insulin pump user) at the Montreal Children's Hospital.  I have been trying to find more information on the insulin pump program established in my province of Quebec where I currently reside back in Spring 2011.  It was like looking for a needle in a haystack, but luckily he provided me with the website  link (only in French which is why I couldn’t locate it on the English section of the Government of Quebec).  I’ve taken the liberty to translate it the best I can (it's in very polite wording when translated to English - almost like we are back in the 1800's with gloves and top hats - which is knd of cute).  Hopefully it will help you understand what is offered and perhaps give you the courage to speak up in the province where you live - to demand the same type of program (e.g. Alberta as of Spring 2013 will have a pump program - no word on what age group it will apply to at the moment).  I know for myself, I will continue to write letters to my provincial government to see if ALL age groups will be covered, but until then, at least this is now in place.

If you need further information about current pump programs set up here in Canada - I strongly recommend checking out Diabetes Advocacy - which I am hoping will link up this blog for their section on insulin pump coverage in Quebec to help those like myself that do not speak/read French well.


This program was put in force in 2012 in the province of Quebec to provide access to the insulin pumps program to obtain a refund for the purchase of the device and supplies necessary for its use. This program is only offered to persons that meet the eligibility criteria and the clinical indications and currently you must be UNDER 18.

Insulin pump 

The insulin pump is the size of a pager. It is programmed to inject insulin as needed. Thanks to its use at all times, this pump allows:

  • Controlling unstable diabetes;
  • Decrease the episodes of hypoglycemia;
  • Reduce the frequency of insulin injections;
  • To relax the timing of meals and the organization of daily activities.


The rebate program is in effect from April 16, 2011. To be admitted to the program, the person must be 18 years old and meet all of the clinical eligibility criteria.

Those who received insulin pump during the project pilot preceding the program are considered eligible.

Once admitted, a person is maintained in the program, even after the age of 18, as long as it meets the clinical criteria of eligibility. An assessment of eligibility must be made annually.


To ensure the effectiveness of the treatment, the parents and the child must commit themselves to certain measures:

  • Monitor blood glucose levels hair, at least before each meal and at bedtime;
  • Register or record the results of capillary blood glucose levels on a regular basis;
  • Master the advanced calculation of carbohydrates concepts and apply them in the child’s food plan;
  • Provide the child support, supervision and parental supervision required to ensure a safe and appropriate use of the pump insulin;
  • Participate in a program of training of pump designed by age of the child;
  • Attend regular follow-up in clinic with a multidisciplinary team of care in diabetes at least 3 times per year and participate on a regular basis to update knowledge on care.

Reimbursement of costs

Only insulin pumps purchased under the program are eligible for a refund.

The program provides a maximum reimbursement of $6,300 by insulin pump. The pump can be replaced every 4 years, subject to certain conditions. A maximum of $4,000 per year is granted for supplies. Supplies are, for example, insulin reservoirs or catheters.

For parents with private insurance, the Government program covers amounts not covered by insurance in force.

Membership in the program

Parents should contact their pediatrician, endocrinologist or their child's family physician. The doctor will inform you about the program, assess if the child could wear a pump, and will direct you to a hospital where a designated team will assess their eligibility.

These hospitals are designated for the assessment of children less than 18 years:

Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec (CHUQ) - CHUL

CHU Ste-Justine

Montreal hospital for children - MUHC

Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital

Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke - CHUS

Centre hospitalier régional de Trois-Rivières


CSSS Chicoutimi

CSSS Beauce

CSSS Vallée - de - l'Or

CSSS de Rimouski-Neigette

CSSS de Rivière-du-Loup

Other hospitals could be added to this list in the near future.

Several hospital centers will be also identified over the next year for the follow-up of participants 18 and older. For now, only the CSSS de Trois-Rivières is appointed for this purpose.

Certification of eligibility

When the child meets the eligibility criteria, the designated licensed physician of the hospital will provide proof of eligibility to program. The parents must then complete the section of the certificate on the current cover of insurance in force, in collaboration with the doctor.

Information to include is:

  • The name of the company;
  • The name of the holder of insurance;
  • The police or contract number.

Later, the form is sent by the physician to the paying agent, which will carry out the opening of the file.

Choice of the model of the pump

Before you can use the pump, the eligible child and his parents should follow a training program on Type 1 diabetes provided by the multidisciplinary team of the hospital on the following components:

  • The food and the advanced calculation of carbohydrates;
  • Rigorous maintenance of a log of blood glucose levels;
  • Basic knowledge on insulin pump therapy.

Then, the child and its parents choose the doctor or a member of the medical team pump model that suits them.

Obtaining reimbursement

For the insulin pump

Depending on the choice of pump, parents will contact the selected insulin pump company in order to proceed with the purchase of the pump. Parents should give this company a copy of the eligibility of the child form.

For supplies

The parents of the child will be responsible for purchase of supplies. To benefit from the refund, they must send the original invoices or original insurance records to the paying agent. A maximum of $4,000 per year is granted for these supplies.

The reimbursement of supplies will be considered by the paying agent to the receipt of the invoice or original insurance records.

For supplies delivered to home

Some supply companies can deliver to the home of the parents. These companies have an agreement with the paying agent; they may receive reimbursement of costs directly by the program, according to certain rules in force.


The pump will be installed at the designated hospital. The child and its parents must meet with a member of the medical team to receive the necessary training before the start of the insulin pump.  The medical team will monitor the settings of the pump for insulin to ensure they meet the child’s requirements.

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