Insulin Pump basics


Hello pumpers!

Being an injections type of gal (so far), I haven’t looked around this bit of the site before, so please forgive this very basic question. Do you have a pump FAQ or newby answers section anyone could direct me to? I’m looking for very simple info - just things like, how frequently you have to change sites, how you put the insulin in the pump, how many pieces of equipment you have to manage/keep track of…

all advice gratefully received


There is also this useful website : Insulin-Pumpers UK.


I have a steel cannula which I personally recomend very highly. This needs changing about every 30 hours for me. Unfortunately my PCT do not allow me to order for myself, so I have to keep 6 months stock…this involves a normal 6 foot long sideboaard which is crammed full, including all the manuals, spare pens, and also everything else that goes with the pump.

I change my cartridges every 6 days, unless I run low before hand due to extra insulin usage. I disconnect for baths and showers and my massages. I time my set changes around these times and eating as well.

Pumps are good, but to be quite honest I feel that that are a lot more hard work than MDI, and my blood level;s are better, but I wonder if it is because I am having to test so much more… I do not recognise the signs of hypers until I am way over 20 now…hypo’s I have more awareness, but even though I try to keep to a pretty routine life, I do find that I have say a week of higher levels and a week of lower levels-e3ven without changing things on my pump.

I do actually take a lot more care now, and I don’t know whether this is because of all my readings being recorded on the pump, or whether I just am more adult (47!!!) about things, or whether it is a necessity to be more aware and taking more control.

It is not an easy option. 9 months on from going on to a pump, and I can honestly say that I still finding that I am having to change bolus and basal rates more frequently than I expected. Mind you, I do not know what I expected really!!! I have been put on differing tablets etc for other things and this may well have had an effect on trying to balance my levels. I also realised there was a problem with flexilnk plus sets, that also gave me hell for 2 months, but since changing to steel rapid d ones, my readings are more stable.

I wish there was a genuine pump site that enabled person to read just what is involved. I for one was never told the full in’s and out’s of having a pump, and boy, I wish I had been told, and that there was a guidance to look at to see just how life changes from MDI when going on a pump. It is more involved in manay ways, but in many ways it is better, bt in many ways it has it’s downfalls.

But ain’t that just life???