Tips From Experienced Pump Users

What these pump veterans have to share

| Aug 1, 2005

Recently Diabetes Health asked experienced pump users, What are the most important things a new pumper or a potential pumper should know? What advice would you give someone who is frustrated with the pump learning curve while trying to achieve the goal of improved blood glucose control?

Here’s what these pump veterans have to share:

Jan, 22 years as a pumper:

The pump features of early pumps were so different from today’s pumps. The early pumps delivered only one basal rate. Now we can have several basal rates. Older pumps required battery chargers and replacement every day or so. Now, the batteries last several weeks or even months. The battery chargers (car and home) were costly ($22) each, and we needed at least three.

I like the Teflon canula infusion sets. Especially nice are the rapid-acting insulin analogs making boluses more like real time. Regular insulin was slower to act and required a 20- to 30-minute lag time after bolusing before eating, which made it unpredictable when ordering food in a restaurant or even when eating at home.

Rodney, 25 years as a pumper:

Be a “smart pumper.” Even with a “smart pump,” the user can still have problems. Get trained and understand what you need to do and when, such as when to use an extended bolus over three or five hours for different foods or situations, or when to turn pump basals up or down for a period of time after a workout.

Wendell, 25 years as a pumper:

As each pump changes, new improvements have to be factored into your individual control parameters. Old practices have to be altered. It is a never-ending classroom, and we are the students.

Bob, 9 years as a pumper:

My main advice for new pumpers is to relax. A new pumper needs to understand the entire process is a long learning curve. (I’m still learning after more than nine years of pump therapy and more than 48 years of insulin therapy.) We are always aiming at a moving target. Our bodies change and our daily activities change. Adjusting to these changes is not as simple as dealing with one variable. Don’t try to “micromanage.” Understand the basics of basal delivery, bolus delivery and simple carb counting. The other fancy stuff will come, over time, when you are ready. Life is not perfect, so why should I frustrate myself by expecting my BGs to be perfect? Try to “soft focus” and relax. The big picture will often come into clear view.


Rodney, a 25-year pump vet says to be a “Master Pumper,” you should

  • Record everything in a journal or logbook.
  • Have a “what if?” plan of action.
  • Try all the infusion sets. Some work better than others on some places on your body. Record what works best for you.
  • Have a pattern for the placement of sets.
  • Work with your team of doctors, nurses and other medical people to do what’s best for you.
  • Have a plan for pump management in case you should need to go to the hospital.
Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Blood Glucose, Diabetes, Diabetes, Food, Insulin, Insulin Pumps


Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • What's on the Horizon with Diabetes Research and Therapy
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Latest
Popular
Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Comments


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...


Username: Password:
Comment:
©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.