Tuesday, February 1, 2011

You've got to pick a pump (or two)

Last month Fred and I attended a pump class at our endo's office. I wrote about my pump angst here. I wish I could say it has brought us closer to choosing a pump for Elise, but that wouldn't be the truth.

Fred's choice is the Omnipod. He likes the tubeless, and if I'm being honest, so do I. But, it has some strikes against it in my mind.

Problem #1 is that it is just too big for Elise. I know this sounds weird or hypocritical, but when I see the pod on Nate or Liam, it doesn't look that bad. But I think it's different for a 3 year old girl. She's petite, and girl's clothing tends to run a little tighter (yup, even at 3 years old... sigh). We sometimes have trouble getting sleeves over the CGM sensor.

Problem #2, and the bigger issue in my mind, is the .05 dosage increments. Elise is so, so sensitive to insulin, and to me, the smaller increment, the better. I've spent almost three years feeding insulin, and one of the reasons to move to a pump is to get away from that. It would also be nice to be able to set a zero basal as well.

I liked the Ping. I like the remote. I like the fact that it's waterproof. I didn't like how heavy it was. Elise already carts around her CGM receiver, and it just seems like a lot for such a little girl. And, like Fred, I'm not a fan of the tubing.

In the end, we're no closer to making a decision than we were before... just more informed on our choices. And the closer we get to our travel date to Portugal, the closer we are to having our decision made for us (for now). I will not travel overseas with minimal pump training and experience.

And there is always the point that what we're doing is working. It's just so frustrating... I really thought the pump class would help us zero in on a pump... like a light would shine down from heaven and illuminate the pump we were supposed to choose. Well, not so much.

Since we're lacking a "this is the pump we want" feeling, we're just going to keep doing what we're doing. It's a huge decision, one we'll be stuck with for the next several years, and we want to be SURE.

Hopefully we'll have a pump epiphany soon.


  1. My little girl started pumping with the Ping when she was 2.5 years old. She never complained about the weight of it. I got her one of those really cute pouches from toosweetboutique.net.

    I don't like the tubing either, but it's easy to conceal with dresses.

  2. The one main reason that we are looking into pumps right now is because Cara is so sensitive to insulin and we need the much smaller doses that the pump allows you to have. I really hope that one pump stands above the other at our pump classes I HATE making decisions that I'm not 100% on!!

    Has Elise seen any of the pumps does she like one over the other? I know that she is young but she may be your deciding factor :)

    Hope you have a wonderful and safe trip :)

    and good luck with your pump decision!!

  3. @ Nicole - Elise wants a pink pump... and that's all she'll say on the matter!

  4. Thanks for your insight. Helpful, as we're considering whether we're going to start pumping, too...

  5. Hi Joanne,

    I know just how you feel. I was so TOTALLY in the same boat. Especially because Matthew wanted the pod (HATED the tubing) and I wanted the Ping.

    In the end, I just left it in God's hands and I really feel like He led us in the right direction. (He's so cool that way!)

    I will pray that you and Fred come into agreement on the decision about what to do. : )

  6. SUCH a hard decision, to be sure. I have to admit, if we could get rid of our tubing, I would be so happy! It doesnt really get in the way... its just THERE... and i t bugs me. But, I have some of the same reservations (and a few more - like lack of IOB tracking) regarding Omnipod.

    So, there you go.

  7. I understand! A is really sensitive, too, and that .05 is NICE. We really like the Ping. She's been pumping since 3 1/2. She wears the pump and the Dex most of the time. Sometimes she wears both around her waist. Sometimes the pump is on her back in a tank and she just has Dex around her waist. She has never complained once about it being heavy. She's really little, too - and Amy's pouches from Too Sweet Boutique hold the devices close and are very discreet. Even though she's super skinny you often have no idea that she's wearing it. Although, they are so cute that sometimes we WANT to show them off! Tubing has never been a problem for us. We just tuck and go. It's a big decision for sure! Best of luck!

  8. Does your endo have a preference? Our endo said it was ultimately up to us, but when I told her I was having a hard time deciding, and which two I was debating between, she immediately told me some reasons why she would chose one over the other. She even laughed saying that she doesn't get anything from the company, it's just her personal opinion. I was sold on it right then- she has experience with all models, so knowing which one she would pick made it so much easier! (Unfortunately the one we use isn't one of your choices, so I don't want to further confuse you by naming it!)

  9. It is so confusing, isn't it? I will have to say, that after wrangling a 4 year old, the remote is SO NECESSARY! Not having to make him sit down and dig out his pump is awesome.

    I'm looking forward to the smaller Omnipods as well. I figure that in 4 years, Adam will be 8 years old and we will be definitely taking a good look at the pod!

  10. We were having trouble deciding too until we actually tried both pumps on Addison. He had the omnipod inserted without insulin and hated it and kept asking us to take it off (which we did after about 3 hours). Then we went back and tried the animas ping and he was totally comfortable with it from the get go. I think you can't go wrong with either pump..it just depends on what feels right for you and the fam. I highly suggest doing a trial without insulin of both and seeing how it goes. I will add that Chris and I both tried these pumps without insulin as well and that too was very helpful. Good Luck!

  11. Bryce has had his Ping since he was 4 (almost 2 years now) and we've never had a prob with the tubing. He wears that and his Dex in a couple pump packs around his waist or in a Talligear tummietote.
    Agree with Jen, try both out and see what feels right.

    *the Ping comes in pink ;-)

  12. First off, you cannot go wrong with any of them. You know your family and Elise the best of all Jo! I can say that Joe totes around the Dexcom and the Animas and he has never said anything about it being too much or too heavy. He doesn't like to skate with Dexter in his pants...but otherwise is cool with toting both the Dexcom and the Ping. Good luck in making the decision AND...I cannot wait to hear about Portugal! Will you be able to blog from there?

  13. They all took my answers! Lol

    the ping actually has the smallest increment of .025 and to me thats amazing. But tubeless is awesome too.

    Either way its your choice and you will do great!!

    Awesome about Portugal!

  14. I must say our Medtronic pump is **I THINK** the smallest and simpliest of all the pumps, AND it offers the integrated CGM WITH .025 basal dosing :) If/when you are ready to make this HUGE step to pumping, just know that they are all amazing!!!

  15. Sugar began wearing Cozmo at 3 - it had a meter attached that made it even heavier, but she never minded.

    The tubing has been a non-issue for us. Maybe it will become an issue now that she's taller and doorknobs are strategically placed, but, thus far, it's just not something that would make or break our decision.

    You're aware of the potential tubing issues...but there are pod issues too...

    It's, like, pick your poison ya know?

    ANYway...IOB, smaller increments, and the ability to dose from the pump should the remote be lost/broken are the primary concerns I have. Behind that stuff is the waterproof feature -- we love that she can splash and play in the sprinkler out back or go outside in a rainstorm without hesitation (opportunities to play in the rain are few and far between here -- and, sometimes, you only get 5 or 10 minutes before your chance is gone!)

    You know your family best...you know her diabetes best...you know what you can handle and, I believe, you'll know when you're ready.

    After doing D with a newborn once, I **KNEW** I'd need more flexibility before Tink arrived. THAT was the final deciding factor in our decision to start pumping when we did!

  16. I felt like choosing a pump was a bigger decision that choosing a house...it was that big of a deal. We held all of your same anxieties and reservations about the different pumps. I do feel good about our decision to go with the OmniPod, but i will say this, it still isn't perfect for the very reasons you stated. I do occasionally wish it had a smaller basal rate than .05 (although my engineering husband after having done some research believes that less than .05 isn't accurately attainable with several inches of tubing involved) and I do wish it had a programmable .00 basal (although you can set a temporary zero basal). I constantly wish it was smaller, and I hate that the huge amount of adhesive is destroying Robby's skin. Having said that though, I still feel confident that we made the right choice for Robby's needs. From pictures I've seen, Robby is a bit more slender than Nate. We can't put the pods on his arms because they are too skinny, but between bum and leg sites, we've been able to make it work.
    Honestly, there is no perfect pump on the market, if you ask me, so it's trying to find out what is essential and then making do with the rest. For us, remote access and tubing were our biggest issues, but for others, those are not such a big deal. We also knew we wanted the Dexcom so we absolutely did not want Robby to have to carry around two devices (and we are hopeful that someday the two actually really will join together as they said they would). BUT those are the reasons we choose the pod for Robby. Every kid and every family is different with different "essentials."

    For now, keep with what is working! Pumping comes with it's own set of crappy problems (as you mentioned in your other post), so don't jump unless you have to.

    Good luck!

    By the way, we've been wanting to have you guys over for dinner since before the holidays. But with family visits and more illness than I care to acknowledge, we've had to put it off. I'll email you and maybe we can get something on the calendar.

    Take care and stay warm!! BRRRR!

  17. When my dd pumped,she used the now extinct cozmo. If we had to pick a new one today, I don't know what we would do. I never found the tube to be a problem (my dd was 2 to 6 yo when she pumped). One concern I would have with the omnipod is that you can only use the pod with it. You can't try different sites. My dd never had a problem but my friend's dd developed bad skin reactions to her sites over time. If she had to stick with one kind she would have been, well, stuck. I have also heard the pod self-destructs from static electricity when one goes down a slide (though apparently dryer sheets in the pocket take away the problem).

  18. I'm a new reader with a 3yr old with T1 who was diagnosed in Feb. 2010. We live in northern NM and almost all the kids here are on the Medtronic Minimed - if they're lucky the Revel. It gives .025 units of insulin. We have never had a site problem or tubing issue and we have had it now for 2.5 months. What is hard is that we had an A1C going into this of 7.1 and it will be higher at her next appointment. The best part is 1. no shots! & 2. being able to adjust her basal at night to basically nothing. The hard part is that her average blood sugar is around 200. Pumps need a lot of tweaking. But we're still glad we did it. Waking up to 2 shots was a horrible way to start every day and just being rid of that is awesome. Good luck!

  19. Minimed is coming out with a wireless pump like the Omnipod, about the size of the Solo pump which did not get to market. I agree, the wireless pumps are a large footprint on the body while the other pumps are simply put, too large. If Minimed comes out with the "comfort" sensor, their Revel pump is just a hair's bit lighter than the Ping and Elise could ditch the Receiver. Animas will use 2025 pump to communicate with Dex and that pump is a tad lighter than the Ping. Since both pumps give smallest .025 increments of insulin, it all boils down to which pump will allow you to ditch the Receiver soonest, right? Since I like Dex, kind of leaning toward Animas but they sure are taking their time about integration. Two devices would be a bit much to carry for such a tiny girl.

  20. My 4 yr. old was diagnosed 7 mos. ago in June 2010. We were really leaning towards the OmniPod, but decided after talking to other parents of kids w/pumps, that the size of the OmniPod would not be good for our son - he's VERY skinny. The dosing increment was also a problem with the OmniPod. We don't like the tubing w/the Animas and the Medtronic, but he hasn't even started using his pump yet, so we don't really know if it will be an issue. Ultimately we decided to go with the Animas. We've attended our pump class, and are getting a training session with the pump trainer this afternoon. His insulin start date is 2/11. To date, we've never heard of a toddler (4 & under) using an OmniPod - not to say that there isn't one out there using one, but our endo kept steering us away from it, and the pump nurse said repeatedly that she felt the Medtronic would be best for a child who might be able to work the pump on their own (our son probably won't be able to do that for at least a few more years so that wasn't a selling point for us...). Probably what really sold us on the Animas vs. the Medtronic is that we liked the future integration possibilities of the Animas with the Dexcom CGM. The Medtronic software also isn't compatible with our Mac apparently.

  21. Hi, my little 3 year old girl use medtronic. It was our only option at the hospital, (besides insulinpen..)
    I`m glad we didnt have too many types to choose from!! ;)
    But still, we like the pump, we got pink stikers from the medtronic, and there is a lot of cool (nd pink, and princesslike) pumpcases to bye!
    and a dress covers it all! no problem :)


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