The Thing Called Ping
After 18 months of injections, my daughter began wearing an insulin pump in February 2007. At that time, OneTouch® Ping® wasn’t one of our options, because it didn’t exist yet. Two years into pumping, the company who manufactured my daughter’s pump announced it would be leaving the diabetes industry.
I was flabbergasted. Developing a relationship with that pump took time. It was hard to trust the pump’s ability to calculate each bolus correctly, and deliver it with exact precision. We had been around the block, trying to find an infusion set that worked well for my daughter. There were features I had come to depend on, and I didn’t want to manage my daughter’s diabetes without them.
But change was a comin’ – whether I liked it or not.
As I began researching other options, OneTouch® Ping® jumped out as a front runner right away. We had been using inset® infusion sets with her former pump because we had tried other infusion sets and these worked best for us. Let’s face it: It wouldn’t matter which pump she wore if the insulin didn’t make it through the cannula! The bottom line: I knew inset® infusion sets worked.
It didn’t take long before I was able to size up our options, and decided the Animas Ping met all of the criteria I was looking for…
Insulin On Board (IOB): I place a high level of value on this feature to help ensure my daughter’s overall safety. Insulin On Board (IOB) keeps track of the unused/active insulin still circulating in the system from the previous boluses. Animas technology keeps track of active insulin for both corrective doses AND insulin given to cover carbs. This is something I consider essential, because she does not necessarily need to be corrected every day, but she DOES eat carbs every day. As a growing child, her basals, sensitivity factors, and carb ratios seem to be eternally evolving. The security of knowing that ALL active insulin is taken into consideration every time a bolus is administered is priceless.
With each year that passes, there are more diabetes care tasks that she is taking on for herself. This means that she is often testing and blousing herself when not in my care. Perhaps she is at a friend’s house, after school activities, or church. IOB always takes her current blood sugar into consideration, regardless of when or why her last bolus was administered. It helps to avoid stacking insulin, which can lead to hypoglycemia. Simply put, IOB has given me the confidence I need to allow her independence to flourish.
0.025u/hr Basal Dosage Increments: Let's face it. A little insulin goes a long way, especially in little people. Animas allows dosing increments to be programmed 0.025u at a time. Try as you might, you will never be able to draw that up in a syringe -- even if you're using a syringe with half unit markings. No matter how you look at it, you'll always be guessing....that's IF you can even get such a minute amount past the needle and into the syringe itself.
Additionally, I have found it necessary to program a ZERO basal from time to time to assist with managing a pattern of lows associated with regular daily physical activity -- for example, she had some post activity lows when she was taking swimming lessons every day for 8 weeks. I found it useful to keep her basal set at zero for an hour before the swim lessons and it helped. I suppose a temp basal would do the same thing, but then you'd have to remember to program it every day at the right time.
The Remote: Simply put....I LOVE IT. The OneTouch® Ping® remote acts as both a blood sugar meter using OneTouch® strips and a remote insulin delivery device. I've bolused through the door while she's in the bathroom (Oh, yes, I have. Nothing is sacred when you need to get a pre-meal bolus working and dinner is about to hit the table), from the hallway outside her bedroom, while she's in the backseat of the car, and across the table in restaurants. I love the remote PERIOD. It provides detailed information about blood sugar history and averages, including graphs and charts that break everything down according to the section of the day.
Pump Bolus: Yes, I love the remote. BUT, I have been stuck without it. A time or two, it hasn't made the transition from the gym bag to the purse, it's been left on the countertop when loading the family into the van, and once we accidentally left it in a doctor's office waiting room an hour from home. We're not irresponsible people, but we have been caught without the remote unexpectedly from time to time. In these moments, I appreciate the ability to administer a bolus from the pump itself.
Sites: Since Animas does not require proprietary tubing, users have the option to shop around in search of the infusion set that work best for them.
Waterproof: She has been swimming, tubing on a lake, running through sprinklers, playing at splash parks, and caught in the rain with her pump on. During the summer months, she prefers to disconnect the pump and store it in a cooler while at the pool. I store it in a plastic bag, and toss it in with the drinks, but we have had water leak into the bag. Suffice to say that I was very glad her pump was waterproof on those occasions!
Choosing an insulin pump for your child is a huge decision. The OneTouch® Ping® proved to be the answer I was looking for, and has allowed us to journey into the future with confidence.