Considering size, tubing, and the latest technology.
By Deanna Glick
Editor's Note: While this columnist is no longer writing for dLife.com and we have ceased to update the information contained herein, there is much to be read here that is still applicable to the lives of people with diabetes. If you wish to act on anything you learn here, be sure to consult your doctor first. Please enjoy the column!
February 2011 — I began pumping insulin nearly eight years ago. This was three years before my daughter was born; pregnancy certainly was not the impetus for leaving an inflexible life of multiple daily injections, its less-than-optimum control, and weight-loss-crushing mandatory carb consumption before exercise .
It was a marathon of a different sort that prompted pumping. In fact, it was an actual marathon. Instead of nine months, the preparation was only six. But it was fraught with aches, pains, time management, fear, excitement, anticipation....Despite the learning curve, pumping made my training so much easier, more flexible and enjoyable. I didn't have to feed my workouts with inordinate amounts of carbs. I never looked back.
In the next month, I have to choose the insulin pump I'll have for the next four years as the warranty on my Animas 1250 is about to expire. As I embark on the search for the best pump for my situation and needs, it astounds me how the features I desire most in diabetes management technology and my own self-care have changed since I became a mom.
Eight years ago, I was all but obsessed with waterproof technology. I spent hours considering the merits of water tightness and various depths and time periods and the variations in size among manufacturers. I envisioned using combo boluses often. By the time the warranty on my first pump was up four years ago, technology had progressed to the point of carb calculators freeing my mind of the math involved before consuming meals and one choice offered a blood glucose testing device integrated with the pump.
I never thought much about the tubing, sound features, menu simplicity and how many seconds it would take to complete boluses. Now, that's pretty much all I care about. I don't go cuckoo over pretty colors or fancy accessories. The best pump for me is simple, efficient, and and inconspicuous as possible. Everything else is just something to cloud my mommy brain to the point of thunderstorm threats.
I've basically narrowed it down to either the Omnipod or the Ping.
The appeal of no tubing is pretty strong: no pulling or catching on little extremities, accidentally or otherwise. But I feel a certain amount of loyalty to Animas for being easy to deal with and responsive to any and all needs I've ever had. And the Ping seems pretty cool now for its potential. Finally, considering I'm edging frighteningly close to my 40th birthday and its resulting vanity issues, I'm thinking I may not be real happy with a perpetual white wart on my body that I can't remove.
The bottom line is this: in the long run, which pump is the best doesn't matter as much as that I have a choice. And, as a mom who can sometimes feel as though her life is no longer hers amid caring for her health and that of her child's, that is huge.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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