Why we need insulin pump choices

insulin pump choices Diabetes Advocacy

When I first decided to put my son on an insulin pump I was overwhelmed by the choices.  I wasn’t sure exactly what we needed in an insulin pump but I knew I could get one from Roche or a different one from Animas.  There was one from Medtronic and there was a new pump in town, called Cozmo. We had four choices to consider.

How was I going to choose our insulin pump?

With the help of friends, we were able to make our choice!

I was part of an incredible online email list. Members told me which pump they preferred.  I talked to sales reps about our options. They quickly became friends! They were all wonderful.  They guided me and told me which questions to ask...both of pump companies and of myself.

How much insulin did we need?

Well back then my son was only 5 and I was throwing out insulin on a regular basis so reservoir size wasn’t much of a concern. I would only fill as much as we would need between site changes.

Did we need reminders?

Heck yes! I had two young children and was very active in their lives.  There was no such thing as a continuous glucose monitor so I was up at all hours testing, correcting, and treating.  I had trouble remembering my name. I desperately needed a reminder of things like site changes and missed boluses.

Did we need more than one basal pattern?

Granted my son wasn’t working shifts at that point in his life but he was beginning his school career.  That meant gym days and sleep in days and hours upon hours of outside play days.  A pump that could switch gears and change patterns based on the day of the week was a definite benefit.

My son was 5 when I began researching his first insulin pump.  He needed a pump that would administer tiny amounts of insulin…much smaller than he would ever use now. That was 15 years ago however, now his needs have changed a lot.

Fifteen years later…

My son still needs reminders. He hates carrying anything extra so the more compact the pump the better  He works shifts and is up at odd hours.  A pump that makes basal switches like his very first pump did would be ideal.  He uses a lot more insulin at 20 than he did when he was 5.  A 300 unit reservoir is a must.

This is 2018 however and not 2003.  He can no longer choose a Roche pump or even the AccuChek brand.  He can’t get a new Cozmo because they left the market one insulin pump life ago.  He likes his Animas pump but that is now out of warranty. He is left with two choices…sort of.

He could try an OmniPod but he really doesn’t like them. Yes, he has seen them.  He knows that they are much smaller but they aren’t for him.

That leaves him with a Medtronic pump.  He doesn’t want that either.  It also doesn’t work with the Dexcom that he plans to use for work.

Neither pump fits his lifestyle.  Neither of these insulin pumps have all of the features that he wants and needs.

What does this mean for my son?

It means that he waits.  He still has a working Animas pump and cartridges.  He has two old Cozmo insulin pumps and a few boxes of old cartridges for them.  He won’t rush to get a new insulin pump.  He will make do for the moment and wait for there to be more choices on the market.

Everyone who lives with diabetes deserves choice.

No two people with diabetes are the same.  Even the same person with diabetes will have different needs in an insulin pump over time,  This is why they need choice. Diabetes is not a one size fits all disease. Every person needs to tailor their care to fit their life at that point in time.

As a wise person with diabetes once said…”Having diabetes is not my choice.  How to manage it should be.”

In 2019, there will be two new insulin pumps available to the Canadian market. The Tandem t:slimX2 is available for purchase and an insulin pump by Yspo Med has also been approved and will be made available for purchase in the summer.

Check out our easy to use ebook. It helps you to decide which pump is best for you and what questions to ask your local reps. 

4 thoughts on “Why we need insulin pump choices”

  1. Barb, big changes are coming in diabetes management. We have to have a pump that will suspend when it goes too low according to the cgms. The Medtonic 670 G will adjust itself depending on your needs. It’s not in Canada yet, but I think it will change the picture of type 1 diabetes management. The Enlite sensors I use are very accurate. The last 2 have been amazing. I wish your son good luck. I was always glad my husband didn’t work shifts and had a sit down job as a computer programmer. There could be pressure there, but it never really messed with his blood glucose levels, i guess, until near of the end of his career in progarmming. (His a1c was really high though, too. back then so no wonder he didn’t pass out much at work.) I’m glad your son has funding for cgms now. Maybe, he’ll be able to enjoy managing bg better with the new technology. I know I do. I can even get some sleep most days and nights.

  2. Tandem should be in Canada soon if not yet. Tandem will use the Dexcom sensor. I love the Medtronic 670G and Lilly has announced that they will be in the market in the middle to end of 2019 with a new pump. I suggest looking around a little. New off shore pumps are being announced regularly so I suggest not shutting doors, options do exist and are increasing.

  3. I too, loved my Animas and was left having to change to another company. I chose Tandem G5 at the time. It worked efficiently and then I upgraded to the G6. If I had only known how disappointed I would be in this product I would go back. Be aware in 6 months Tandem has already switched my pump to a new one. The devices do no always “talk” to each other. Neither Tandem nor DexCom seems worried about this. The sensors and transmitters sometimes don’t work. You need to be able to see those numbers and sometimes you are back to finger pricks in order to do that. Do your homework! I wish I had.

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