As someone who was so stubbornly resistant to the idea of switching from multiple daily injections (MDIs) to insulin pump for my entire childhood with T1D, I surprised myself quite a bit when I finally decided, around age 21, that I was ready to start using a pump.
And I haven’t looked back since I made that choice – that’s how much of a difference it made for me.
In my almost 10 years of pumping, I’ve realized that there is one, major piece of advice that I’d share with anyone who is looking to make a similar switch, or even go from one pump to another. It doesn’t matter if that person is newly diagnosed, a diabetes veteran, or somewhere in between. Or if a person is a pro at adapting to new technology, or wary of any kind of electronic device… because in my humble opinion, this advice applies to all. So what is it?
Don’t do it alone.
When I started using an Omnipod back in 2015, it was with the help from a team that included my endocrinologist, a diabetes care and education specialist, and a more experienced Omnipod user who I actually lived with – my mother. It was the guidance that all three of these people gave me that ensured a fairly easy transition to pump therapy.
My experience was starkly different when I went on the Omnipod 5 late this past summer. In a word, I was too cocky about it. I thought I knew enough from my prior pod experience, and had enough exposure to all the literature that had come out about the Omnipod 5, that I could make this upgrade just as seamless as it was to start up pump therapy in general. And that was most definitely not the case. I struggled for the first 8-10 weeks of life with the Omnipod 5, and it was such a rollercoaster that I seriously questioned whether or not I’d made the right decision to try out a more advanced pump.
Of course, I don’t regret switching to the 5 – not at all – now. That’s because I did finally get help, first from the nurse practitioner at my endocrinology office, and then from an educator at Omnipod who was really able to explain the 5’s algorithm to me and suggest changes that ended up working wonderfully for me within days of our conversation. It just goes to show that it’s okay to reach out for help when I’m feeling stuck with my diabetes (or when I need it in any other facet of my life, to boot), and I’m here to remind you of that, as well. Don’t do it alone. Lean on your community. Get support from healthcare professionals. And you’ll be amazed by the outcome.
2 thoughts on “My #1 Piece of Advice for Any T1D Who Wants an Insulin Pump (or Wants to Switch Pumps)”
It’s been a while since I commented on one of your posts. I agree with you completely about not doing it alone. I’ve tried twice to make them work. Both times they failed quite horrifically. Medtronic was my choice, well endos choice really. The last time we found something out that limits my want for one again. Well 2 things really. She couldn’t understand why I kept crashing with the last pump, the 670G so she had me tested to make sure I was actually type 1. I definitely was she stated when she got the results. She said the only explanation was that I was hypersensitive to insulin. Even at its lowest setting it delivered too much insulin. That’s beside the point. I had her office, Medtronic, and online sources to help guide me through it. Took 2 months of experimenting that last time to get her to agree it wasn’t working. Again.
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I think it depends on the type of change. For years I changed with no instruction from MedT version to version I did it even without telling my endo. However, I got my come comeuppance when I switched to the MedT version 770g, the semi automated pump.
It took lots of help to get it working correctly but once i did, this current version of the Tandem was just easy again. I think the jump to semi automated is the issue. I am willing to take on the next pump with confidence again.
But the jump after that? We will have to know how big the change is.
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