Discussions that mention levemir

Diabetes board


Welcome to the board! I've had diabetes for 2 years and have used a pump for a year and a half of those 2 years.

I personally cannot imagine trying to control diabetes without it and am amazed at the people that go years on end without one.

First off, pump therapy 101. Just in case no one has explained these things to you yet. A pump is a small device (and we're talking small. I'm not sure if you've seen one in person, but I own 2 brands of pumps and both are smaller than my sleek modern cell phone, or at least similarly sized) that has a screen, holds a battery, has buttons, and holds a cartridge of insulin. It looks like a weird cell phone or pager. The pump connects to an infusion set with tubing and uses this to deliver the insulin. The infusion set is changed with a needle every 3 days. The needle comes out and leaves a cannula that's flexible in. So long as the set doesn't pull out or anything, that's the only "shot" you need those 3 days. The pump delivers micro doses of fast acting insulin around the clock. This is called the "basal rate." This replaces whatever long acting insulin you take now (Lantus, Levemir, N, whatever it is). Unlike long acting insulin, you can program the exact amount you get by the half hour. You are not stuck with the same dose for the day or trying to line up peaks of insulin with when you need the peaks. You set the amount you need for when you need it. This is probably the biggest advantage of the pump.

A second dose, called a bolus, is given when you eat. This dose it a "bunch" of insulin delivered all at once to prevent the raise from food you eat or to lower a high blood sugar. Most pumps have bolus wizards that will take your personalized information you input and figure out the dose based on your blood sugar and carbs taken in. You match the dose to when you eat and what you eat. Therefore, advantages: no math, no set schedule to eat, no set amount of food to eat. You eat what you want when you want it.

Advantages of pump therapy:
No shots
Variable basal rate
No math
No meal plan
No schedule

The pump uses just fast acting, predictable insulin. Because of this, you can shape it to whatever you need. You can even stop it or up it for certain activities. It's flexible. But it also comes with disadvantages. You need to wear it all the time. If delivery gets stopped, you go high quickly. People will pretty much know you have diabetes. You may get ignorant people who insist you must be a "bad diabetic" to need to use a pump.

One thing you definitely need is a set of skills:
How to carb count
How to calculate boluses should your pump fail
Troubleshooting pump problems
Back up insulin method
Programming of pump functions
Adjusting basal rates

This may sound overwhelming, but if you have a good educator and take it a step at a time, it's easy.

Pumping is expensive. Your insurance company needs to be on board. Most are. They know pumping is best.

As for lifestyle, contrary to your fear that a pump may be binding, I cannot imagine living my life the way I do without a pump.

For the beach, many pumps are waterproof so you can wear them right in the water. You can disconnect the pump to go in the water then reconnect it when you come out. If you'll be in and out of the water for awhile, just throw the pump in a cooler, and come out once an hour to "bolus" the missed "basal" insulin. It works. Same goes for pool time. You can also just test frequently and correct highs.

For showers you just disconnect and reconnect when you come out.

The pump is small. The tubing is flexible and long. I wear it clipped to my pants most of the time. To sleep with it it roams under my covers.

You can hide the pump if you wish. Bra, pocket, underwear, sock, thigh strap. I've heard of people using all these spots.

For sex you just disconnect, but remember to reconnect.

I really cannot think of any ways it interferes with my life.

If you have any other questions, let us know. There are a few pumpers here who love to talk.