Friday, June 6, 2008

Diabetes, Insulin Pumps and the Government

Believe it or not, healthy little old me has had Type I Diabetes for oh about 27 years now. When I was first diagnosed I had to P in a cup to test my sugar levels. The only way to test my blood sugar levels was by going to the hospital and having blood drawn then waiting for a few days to find out what my blood sugar level was.
Today, and for the past 20 years or so, you can test your blood sugar with a small finger prick and it takes a little hand held device and about 5 seconds. Diabetics are encouraged to test often. You end up with sore fingers, but it's healthy. I've heard they are coming out with some device that measures blood sugar levels without invasion. I know they have one that measure the sugar in your sweat and can be warn as a watch.
Last year I started wearing an insulin pump. It hasn't really helped my control all that much. I was already doing pretty good with a shot one or two times a day. But, now, my eating schedule is not so regimented. It's not a major problem for me to skip a meal or have a late lunch. With a shot, you have to be on schedule or you risk passing out (or worse) from low blood sugar. The insulin pump gives you more control.
Anyway, it's been in the news lately that kids aren't being trained properly about pump usage. I've been through the training twice. I bought one about 8 years ago and I hated it. It never seemed to work right and I quit using it and sent it back for a refund. I was born intelligent. The new one I bought last year was from a different manufacturer with different training techniques and I love it.
Apparently many people believe the government needs to crack down on these pump manufacturers and force them to abide by certain training standards so the stupid people don't get killed using the pump.
I believe that this will make the pump so expensive that people will have no choice but to return to the days of multiple injections. We need to keep the government out of it. If you feel a manufacturer did not give you good information or you don't like the way their pump works, there are at least 4 manufacturers out there. Pick a different one. Don't expect the government to take care of you.
For the curious, I'm using the Animas pump now. I love it. And I loved the training.
The pump I used 8 years ago that I returned was the Minimed. Obviously, things in the technology sector go fast. I'm sure Minimed makes a fine pump today, but you as the customer should shop around and decide for yourself.

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