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Pump Time for Us

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Dvbo79, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. Dvbo79

    Dvbo79 Approved members

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    Hello everyone. I'm sure this type of thread has been started more times than anyone could count.
    We are researching pumps for our 4 year old, almost 5. I have read and looked up old threads and studied information online.
    My husband and I are quite nervous to try the pump but know it's probably way better for our little guy overall. Our endo seems to favor the Ping for remote capabilities since he is young.
    Our diabetic supply company leans toward the T-slim.
    So...thoughts, experience and advice are what I'm looking for. Thanks to all of you! I haven't posted much but I read and glean from your posts often! :D
     
  2. cdninct

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    I think all of the pumps are great. They really all do the same thing, and the tubed pumps are very similar. My advice to you is to get in touch with the pump reps to get your hands on the pumps and see how they work. One may very well feel more "right" than the others. We've been very happy with our Medtronic pumps--we just liked their logic the best. Very early on, I wished we had the Ping for the remote from time to time, but now it makes no difference to us as my son pushes his own buttons most of the time. You would be amazed how quickly 4 years flies by, so think about what you want for your 6 year old or 8 year old, too!

    Good luck, and enjoy the search!
     
  3. jenm999

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    You will love pumping. It adds so much flexibility and it doesn't bother the kiddo after a few days, as hard as it is for us parents to see life-saving equipment attached to them 24/7.

    In my limited experience, every pump seems to have something about it that is really great and a cut above the others, and something about it that's not ideal. We have the t:slim (and love it). It has a very intuitive interface (you can download a simulator app on your phone and see what it's like to give a bolus, view history, set a temp rate etc.) but the cartridge loading process is a bit fussy and takes practice.

    My son "drives" the pump most of the time - he'll be 8 in a few weeks. For a 4 year old, you'll do most of the button pressing so the Ping would probably be the logical choice. You can bolus from a remote, but (unlike the Omnipod) if you lose the remote you can still bolus from the pump itself.

    Many people love the Omnipod, but some hate it desperately - there seem to be few neutrals. I would suggest looking into getting a tubed pump first and getting Omnipod as a secondary pump via their Cut the Cord promotion. Their disposable pods are the consumable and they will sell you the "brain" for $199 out of pocket. But if you get the Omnipod first and don't like it you are stuck for four years.

    I don't have experience with the Medtronic, but many many many people use and love them.

    I agree you should try them all out if you can and decide which features are most important to you. They all do the job! Good luck!
     
  4. dpr

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    Every pump has something great about it and something you just won't like! You have to research the good and bad points about all of them. Probably the first thing to do is find out what pumps your insurance cover. That may narrow it down. For us Medtronic was the only pump our insurance covered when we wanted one. Problem solved. I have to say it's been a good pump and I'm happy enough with it.

    It's strong points,
    It's small. Easy and fast to bolus. It has very small basal rate adjustments (other pumps have caught up in this area). Very easy and fast to fill the reservoirs. I like that it uses AAA batteries and they are easy to change, I don't like rechargeable batteries. Most of the programming is simple (except the basal).
    And I've heard others complain, but we have had nothing but exceptional service from Medtronic. We have had a couple emergency issues over the years (no fault of Medtronic) and their service was far above and beyond what I expected. Simply outstanding!

    Cons,
    Basal programming is ancient. Time consuming to add or delete rates in the middle of the program.
    Temp basal only goes to 200%
    You scroll up or down to get to a number. Can be a little time consuming with an impatient kid and you need to enter 385 for a blood sugar.
    Water resistance varies. We had one pump die from falling in a pool. The replacement has been dunked at least 6-8 times with no ill effects.

    Now that we are eligible for a new pump in November, our insurance will also cover the T Slim and I'm seriously considering one. I've heard nothing but good things about it. It has some features different than the Medtronic that I really like (great basal programing) very water resistant, looks great and excellent service. And some I don't, rechargeable battery only, slooow to fill reservoir and no glucometers connect to it.

    Weigh your pros and cons and pick what you think might work best for you. Good luck!
     
  5. njswede

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    All I can add is that you're in for a treat. We've been on a pump for about a week now and it's a game changer, if not a life changer. We got the Animas Ping, mostly because his insulin dose is still low and it has the lowest basal increments. The remote control is really nice though. Although we're Dexcomers, we didn't get the vibe since we rely on Share.

    Good luck!
     
  6. StacyMM

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    My daughter loves her T:Slim and my son loves his OmniPod.

    I love just about everything about the T:Slim and it works great for DD. I've had huge struggles with OmniPod in the past but DS considers tubeless to be a huge deal...and I was recently able to see what they have planned in the future and I was seriously impressed. So much, in fact, that I wouldn't be surprised if DD switches back at some point.

    My suggestion is to do what the others have suggested - call the companies, ask for a sales rep to contact you and then check out the pumps. For us, nothing beats pushing the buttons, seeing the menus, walking through a basal set up or a bolus, etc. We've looked at Animas twice, for instance, and it's never appealed to us. I think they have weird menus...but others love it. And I have no desire to go back to Medtronic again but they have users that have been using their pumps for 20+ years, based on what I see in Facebook groups, so that is a perfect brand for a lot of people. Call them up, check out the pumps and decide from there. Good luck!
     
  7. Dvbo79

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    Thanks everyone! You all are so great for sharing your thoughts! I appreciate it!

    One question for those who use the t-slim: Have you ever had any issues with unlocking accidentally?

    Ping question: How valuable would you say the remote feature is?
     
  8. rgcainmd

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    I can only speak in reference to the remote feature in general, as my daughter uses the Omnipod pump. I love being able to correct, bolus, set temp. basals, etc. without having to disturb my daughter while she sleeps in order to fish around for her pump or interrupt whatever she is doing during the day. I can adjust her basal programs and other pump settings slowly and methodically without needing to disconnect her pump or have her nearby, impatiently tapping her foot.

    Like everyone above has said, just about everyone has a love/hate relationship with their kid's pump: there are features you will love, and other features, not so much. I believe that all the pumps out there are fantastic little pieces of technology that enable us to [try to] keep our kids' BGs as in-range as possible. Asking questions here, as you've been doing, is IMO one of the most important thing to do when researching which pump to get. I wish you the best with whatever choice you make!
     
  9. jenm999

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    Nope. You have to press 3 buttons in sequence to unlock it. I was worried about "butt bolusing" too (like butt dialing) but unlike a phone, there is the unlock sequence and then several confirmation screens so I think it would be impossible to by accident.

    One of the things that is GREAT about the tslim is that if it times out - say you are bolusing and forgot the number of carbs in one part of the meal and put down the pump to check the package - you wake the pump back up and it will resume where you just were. A few other pumps I tried bring you back to the home screen and you have to start the whole sequence over. So annoying. Also punching in 52 carbs as 5 then 2 is soooo much easier than pressing the up arrow 52 times. :) The rechargeable battery is a nonissue. It lasts forever. We charge it once a week when he's in the shower, that's it. I don't even remember that last time I charged it and just asked him what the battery percentage is and he told me 70%. Worst case, it uses standard micro usb so if you lost your charger you could use virtually anyone's phone charger.
     
  10. chammond

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    We have been using the ping for our son for 7 years now,and we are really happy with it. The remote bolusing is awesome. I like that when he is at school he never has to take the pump out of the pouch, in early elementary school it causes less disruption in class for the teacher to have him test and correct remotely. I also really like the fact that it is water proof, rather than water resistant. My son spent a lot of time at the pool this summer with the babysitter. Three times last week he forgot to take the pump off before jumping in (this hadn't ever happened before, I think they got a little complacent). I love that although that's not really ideal, there were no worries about a malfunctioning pump because a 7 year old did what 7 year olds do! When we check at night he doesn't even wake, we don't have to dig through the covers to find the pump to bolus. I know that all the pumps have great features, and when our warranty runs out in a few years we will definitely be considering the tslim for the convenience of the larger cartridge for puberty. We just started dexcom, so could upgrade to the vibe for a very small cost, but for us, losing the remote bolusing is definitely not worth it.
     
  11. rgcainmd

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    To jenm999: "Butt-bolusing"

    You'll have to excuse my immaturity, but I'm still laughing.
     
  12. quiltinmom

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    I am also pump shopping for my 13 year old. This will be our second pump, so we aren't new to pumping. It's such a hard choice because they are all so good. :)

    We have a minimed pump, and we are leaning toward switching to a tslim pump.

    The mm is easy to use and sturdy. It is a good pump. Out doctor loves the great data/reports he gets from downloading it when we go in. We have used care link (different from what the dr sees) and it is helpful and easy to use. Customer service has always been wonderful for us. Changing sites is simple and intuitive, the pump tells you exactly what to do next. We liked having a linked meter that sends his bg number straight to the pump. While we were still in warranty, we had clips break which were covered by warranty, so they shipped them free of charge in 2-3 days. Ordering supplies is easy and you can do it online or over the phone with a person pr an automated system, or also by mail. Those are some of the things I like about the minimed pump.

    We want to switch to tslim because the user interface is easy to use, there are a few features we like--like the on board calculator for carbs, settings are easier to see and change, and there is a site change reminder! And let's face it, a 13 year old kid wants to carry something around that doesn't look like it was made 20 years ago. :)

    We also are looking into starting the cgm through dexcom. We compared the two cgm systems (mostly researched online) and found the Medtronic one less favorable, so even though the Medtronic pump has an integrated cgm system, we would probably use the dexcom cgm anyway. We hope the tslim integration comes out soon!

    I have never seen an animas pump up close so the only thing I can say is that the remote sounds very useful for younger kids--you can give them insulin in a way that is much less intrusive than having to stop them and get the pump out every time. Or of you eat in the car often....it would sure come in handy. By the time we started pumping Ds was old enough to manage the pump on his own, or we might have gone with animas.

    This post is getting long, so I will just say one more thing. Where we live there is a "tech night" at a local diabetes center, where all the pump companies send reps and you can see what's out there, and compare them side by side. See if there is something like that near you. If not, that's ok! Contact each company you are interested in, and they will send someone to you to show you the pump, usually in the comfort of your own home. Once you get to hold it and navigate menus, etc. you will get a much better sense of what you like and don't like. Also ask your doctor for their thoughts. They see a lot of different pumps in action and can give good advice.

    Good luck! I was a little nervous about pumping at first too, but it made managing diabetes so much easier. We had to go without a pump for a day and a half and the new pump couldn't come soon enough!

    It's fine to ask all of your questions here even though they have been asked a hundred times already. :). We are here for you. Good luck with your decision, and there's no need to rush it. Take your time and the right choice will become clear.
     
  13. Dvbo79

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    Thank you, quiltinmom, for taking the time to share. :) I appreciate all the insight.
    Thanks everyone for helping.
    I get very nervous about him not getting insulin properly through the site and ending up with high ketones etc.
    I know that when I give his Levemir he is getting some insulin all day. I know fear alone isn't a good reason not to. Doing my best to overcome it.
    Thanks again, y'all are great!
     
  14. jenm999

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    Do you have a Dexcom? While not a requirement for pumping, it makes setting basal rates MUCH easier and you can see abnormally high BGs (such as from a failed site) coming loooong before it gets dangerous. If failed sites and the possibility of DKA are stressing you out, I would encourage you to check out CGM. Life changing for all of us!

    And for what it's worth, we've had a few poorly absorbing site but never one that outright failed. The most recent time he hit HI wasn't a pump issue - Grandma (bless her heart) measured and counted dinner but forgot to actually bolus. :)
     
  15. quiltinmom

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    You are very welcome. ;)

    I was also nervous about the lack of long acting insulin and dka from a bad site. To my knowledge, it has only happened one time, at diabetes camp last week, of all places. :). We usually catch a bad site long before dka. (I admit we don't test for ketones often, though. Plus he hardly ever gets sick, so that's a blessing.) And aside from last week, I can't remember how long it has been since he had a bad site. We had a string of them maybe a year after we started pumping, but we figured out why it was happening and haven't had much trouble since.

    Also, pumping doesn't necessarily mean that you must give up your long acting. There are people who use the long acting for all or part of the basal. It's a little more complicated to manage, but it's definitely doable, even if it's only until you come to trust the pump.

    What I guess I'm saying is that the benefits of pumping far outweigh the risks and downsides, for us. I hope that you will find it's the same for you. :)
     
  16. msschiel

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    We are looking at pumps as well. It will be 2 years in October since diagnosis. We are doing well on MDI, but would prefer the flexibility of a pump, even though it means learning something new all over again! We had a meeting with the Tslim rep yesterday and are really leaning toward it. A friend of a friend told her that it has a steep learning curve, but it seemed pretty simple to both ds and I. My mil was there (we met at her house because my house was a disaster) and she even thought she would be comfortable taking him camping by herself with the pump. She doesn't understand all the math and other things, and without cell service at a lot of the campgrounds neither one of us feel comfortable with him going anywhere for an extended period of time. Plus, I like the built in calculator, so if my phone isn't handy or we forget a calculator, we don't have to guess at carbs counts and trust my math. I also like the fact that it looks more like a cell phone or Ipod so he might not stand out as much in certain situations. I love the lit touch screen.

    We have a meeting scheduled with Animas tomorrow to look at a Ping. At first I was interested in this one due to the remote feature, but from watching videos online the menus look a little difficult to use at times. We had a One touch meter and I didn't like it without a backlight or having to hold a button to get the light to come on. He does most of his calculations and things on his own, so the touch screen will be great for him.

    We are also looking at a dexcom in the near future, too.
     
  17. rgcainmd

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    There is no one "right way" to do things. That being said, you may want to get Dexcom first before the pump. For us, it was a fairly painless and quick process to get a Dexcom. I had actually started out with a plan to get a pump first, but the Dexcom arrived first, so we figured what the heck and went for it. So glad that we did because it made transitioning to the pump so much easier because the information it provided showed us where things needed to be adjusted. I'm sure this isn't the case for everyone, however.

    Just something to consider...
     
  18. jenm999

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    OMG, tslim for a teen, no question. We love it (I've described its pros and cons above). I think other than the load process it's MUCH more intuitive and with an easier learning curve than other pumps.

    Agree with rgcainmd, definitely investigate Dexcom as well.
     
  19. Christopher

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    To the OP, I just want to second what rgcainmd said. This was exactly our experience (CGM first, pump after), and it really does make sense logistically. Good Luck!!
     
  20. Dvbo79

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    Once again a great big THANK YOU to everyone! We do have a Dexcom and cannot believe that they're not handed out at diagnosis. We just love it and as I have read nearly all other parents do too. :welcoming: We are still weighing which pump to choose. My son has said multiple times recently when I go to give him an injection, "I just want a pump!" So deciding sooner would be better than later. ;)
     

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