Mother, Camp Director
"I gave myself about a month to get used to THE PUMP, and I'm glad I did."
Why did you choose a sensor and pump?
This summer, I started using the Animas Vibe which has the sensor integrated into the pump. It is really nice if I'm going to run out the door, or walk the dog, or something. I don't have to carry a sensor receiver anymore; I just have my pump with me, and it does the job. I still use my Dexcom receiver. The sensor sends data to my pump, and I notice that at night maybe my pump will wake me up, maybe my receiver will. Or, I might be asleep and my receiver might be in the other room with my husband. He'll hear my receiver go off, and he'll come and get me. So it's nice to have two devices. I don't know if I'll keep up with two forever, but I have been for about six months, and I'm liking that.
(Unfortunately, Animas is no longer producing insulin pumps but you can still check it out to see its features.)
What helps you trust your devices?
It's hard sometimes to trust my devices, particularly my sensor. When I had first gotten my new pump with the sensor on it, there was one day when my meter said I had a 120, my older sensor said 80, and my pump sensor said 55. Fifty-five to 80 to 120 is a pretty big range, and to not know which of those three devices is accurate is kind of scary. Especially when one of those options could be 55. In that case, I just trusted my body, and I thought, "'I don't feel that low. Eighty might be more realistic." I also really try to listen to my friends and experts who talk about this amazing technology, and the statistics. That's something I still struggle with: somehow trying to have those things meet in the middle - what I'm told, and what I actually feel.
How do you use your data?
Having so many numbers to deal with isn't such a big issue for me, but sometimes I do get tired of it. It's nice every once in a while to leave my sensor at home- to sort of feel like I'm off the grid. But realistically, I did make a choice that this is what I wanted. So, most of the time I don't mind. Mostly I see it as a necessary evil.
How do you think about the benefit versus the cost?
I want to live the healthiest, longest life I can. If I believe this device is the way to do it, then I am willing to pay some extra money for it. It's not easy, and I know that there are some people who just flat out can't afford it. I wish there was more help for people who are in that position. My husband and I, we've worked out our budget and our priorities and this is one of those must-have kind of things. I mean, it's medical care. This is not the equivalent of buying the next best phone. This is medical care. You wouldn't not take a kid to the doctor if they were sick; that's a no-brainer. So for me, it's a no-brainer to spend more on supplies if it's going to mean I'm going to be healthier in the long run.
What would you tell someone considering this same combo?
When picking devices, there are a lot of pros and cons. There are a lot of options. When I was considering getting a pump, a teenager told me she hated hers at first. It took her about a month to get used to it. So, I gave myself about a month to get used to it, and I'm glad I did. I was not happy in the beginning, but you can get used to anything really. I'm glad that I didn't bail out too early. I know a lot of people who have bailed out early, and their lives could be totally different if they had stuck with it.
Kat's advice: Trust but verify
I still don't trust my sensor completely. I still verify with a test. I have a friend who trusts her sensor 100% but doesn't trust her meter at all. I find there's quite a bit of difference. I'm not sure why I'm inclined to believe my meter more than my CGM. Maybe it's just because I'm so old school. Trust but verify, that's my advice.