TEN: Reasons We Love Our Pumping Experience
July 25, 2015 marks ten years since my daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. In honor of this milestone I’ll be sharing a summer series of posts entitled TEN. From learning experiences, to awesome experiences, and a few things in between, I hope you’ll stay tuned!
My daughter began wearing the OneTouch Ping® Insulin Pump in 2009. Since then, the pump has become a normal part of our daily living, and we can’t imagine life without it. Here are TEN reasons we love her insulin pump:
1. Precision Micro-dosing: When my daughter was very young, she needed insulin doses that were too small to draw into a syringe. We struggled terribly with hypoglycemia, and she often lost consciousness as a result. The ability to administer micro-doses of insulin put a stop to those horrible episodes of low blood sugar.
2. Small Basal Rates: Basal flexibility helps me fine tune her insulin delivery according to her body’s needs. A little insulin goes a long way, so I appreciate the ability to program tiny 0.025 unit increment changes as often as she needs.
3. Basal Pattern Options: Sometimes I need to tweak part of her day, but don’t want to commit to the changes until I see how they’re working. When she goes to camp, I set an alternate pattern so I can switch her back to her regular pattern easily at the end of the week. Instances like these make me appreciate the option to set up an alternate basal rate.
4. The OneTouch Ping® Meter Remote: My daughter loves to wear dresses, and remote insulin delivery allows us to make sure she gets the insulin she needs without having to lift her skirt to access to the pump. It also makes overnight corrections easier, because I don’t have to dig around under her bedsheets to find the pump to program insulin delievery. On road trips, it’s nice to keep the remote up front with me so I can dose her as needed when she’s snacking. We love her remote!
5. Water Fun: She loves waterparks, and keeping her pump on causes less interruption in her day. She never worries about being caught in the rain unexpectedly, or playing in the rain intentionally. She swims, splashes, and has a blast in, and around, the while wearing her pump and never gives it a second thought.
6. Insulin on Board: The pump keeps track of active insulin to help prevent stacking which can lead to low blood sugar. I can’t count the number of times this feature has saved my daughter from hypoglycemia by deducting the IOB from the recommended dose. IOB takes her current glucose level into consideration, and gives both of us the confidence that she’ll get just the right dose of insulin.
7. AA Battery: One AA lithium battery for the insulin pump lasts 4-6 weeks. In a pinch, I’ve been known to use the AA alkaline battery from the TV remote. Either way, I appreciate the fact that I don’t need to keep track of a special cable to charge, or worry about buying a special battery to keep the pump operating.
8. Upgrade Program: Knowing Animas honors their customer’s desire to upgrade when new technology becomes available offers great peace of mind. We never worry that we’re missing out on anything!
9. zCarb/ezBG: Let’s face it: Math is not my thing. Calculating insulin dosages always makes me nervous because I question the math in my mind repeatedly. Whether covering carbohydrates or a correction, I love being able to plug in her numbers so the pump can do the math.
10. Being Attached: That’s correct. We love having the pump – and the ability to perform all pump functions – tethered to her body. The tubing is hardly ever an issue, and we never have to worry about losing the ability to operate the pump if the remote is misplaced or accidentally left behind. The peace of mind knowing that her pump can’t get lost because she’s wearing it is priceless.