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Dr. Bill's Commentaries

Time for a pump!   (May 4, 2008)

As long-time readers of this blog know, I wrote an essay way back in February, 2007,  which I called Time For A Pump?

Well, over a year later, I've finally made up my mind to get an insulin pump. It wasn't one specific issue that made the difference, but a combination of factors. Amongst the reasons:

(1) again forgetting to give a shot of Lantus in the evening,
(2) two successive nights with nocturnal hypoglycemia, and
(3) forgetting to bring my insulin pen when going out to dinner (resulting in a postprandial dash home and subsequent pen-seeking behavior -- it was right where I'd left it on the kitchen table).

So, which pump to get? That was an easy one. Both of my two most respected diabetes colleagues (my spouse and my endocrinologist) favor one brand. So that was settled rapidly. I went to their website, and filled out a form, and asked for the nearest sales rep to give me a call. And he did soon afterwards. And we've been swapping e-mails back and forth since then.

How much nuisance would the paperwork be? Well, not much. The sales rep knew my endocrinologist, and he and I completed most of the paperwork for the physician to sign over the phone, then he faxed the form to the endo for his review and signoff. And I filled out one of those absolutely stupid insurance forms that we all hate to complete almost as much as IRS forms, signed it, and faxed it to the pump manufacturer.

The latest e-mail from the sales rep was pretty clear: "We received your paperwork, & everything is perfect with it." And he offered to send me some infusion sets to try out.

I've also downloaded the huge instruction manual, all 264 pages of it, and have started slowly digesting the information. Fortunately, a few of the pages are blank. The most exciting thing I've learned? Their lawyers stuck in a phrase "Read this entire manual before using the [manufacturer's name] insulin pump." Ha! They have an entire section on pediatric use -- I hereby announce that I shall refuse to read that. Take that, pump company lawyers!

And that's where it stands as of today. I'll keep everyone posted whenever I get the infusion sets, and the pump, or my insurance company's rejection.

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Dr. Bill Quick began writing at HealthCentral's diabetes website in November, 2006. These essays are reproduced at D-is-for-Diabetes with the permission of HealthCentral.

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