Meter & Pump
"This disease is frustrating as is, but using a pump helps to simplify just one part of it." -Betsy, 56
Fewer needles, please? Insulin pumps let you quickly and easily give your insulin with fewer injections. Most pumps have built-in calculators to help dose your insulin based on your blood sugar and the carbs you’re eating. Some meters send your blood sugar to the pump directly.
WISDOM FROM OTHERS USING A METER & PUMP
“It gives you more freedom and consistency with your blood sugar. My A1C has gone down significantly since being on a pump.” -Ashley, 28
Test blood sugar with a meter several times each day. Enter how many carbs you’ll be eating into the pump and it will suggest how many units of insulin you’ll need. Once you approve the dose, the pump will deliver the insulin.
Change infusion set and insulin cartridge. The infusion set is a small flexible tube inserted into your body, usually every two to three days. Cartridge changes should be done when you are running low on insulin in your pump. The frequency of how often you will change your cartridge depends on how much insulin you use, and most pumps hold 200-300 units of insulin.
Order new infusion sets and cartridges. Most suppliers send a three-month supply of infusion sets and cartridges. There are 8-10 infusion sets and cartridges in each pack which should last approximately one month.
Order new pump. The warranty on insulin pumps typically ends after four years. This is when you can get a new version of your insulin pump or consider changing to a different brand.
“If your highs and lows are controlling you, a pump is worth the money.” - Kelsey, 26
Meters (and their disposable test strips) are much less expensive than CGMs, and can be found in almost any local drug store. Pumps can be expensive, but are often partly covered by insurance, which makes this meter + pump combo a mid-range price. Many people feel the cost is well worth the benefits.
Dealing with insurance is tough, but you can do it! Check out our How To Get It Guide to get the basics straight and understand what you'll need to get approved.
- Fewer Pricks and Needles
Rather than having to give injections for every meal and snack, pumps only require you to inject your infusion set once every two to three days.
- On-the-Go and Flexible
The pump makes it much easier to give insulin on the go. While waiting in line or walking, you can quickly type in an insulin dose instead of sitting down to pull out syringes. Also, pumps give you more options for customizing insulin doses to accommodate the unpredictability of life. For example, on days you exercise, you can easily decrease your insulin dose to avoid hypoglycemia, or on sick days, increase the dose to avoid hyperglycemia.
- Dosing Calculator
Insulin pumps have a built-in calculator to make meal dosing and blood sugar corrections less complicated. Less math for you!
- Initial Set-Up
The first couple of weeks of using an insulin pump can be time-intensive. You may have to learn a new routine and work with your healthcare practitioner to make sure the pump is customized to YOUR needs.
- Attachment to Device
Wearing an insulin pump means you will have a device attached to your body all of the time. You can either clip it onto your clothing or put it in a pocket. Some people detach their insulin pump for up to one hour for swimming, showering, sex, or working out.