How Getting an Insulin Pump is like a new puppy: A 3 month review

Medtronic Minimed 670G Insulin Pump shows a fairly flat graph
Disclaimer:

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People say that an insulin pump is a learning curve, and it certainly is. I liken it to getting a new puppy that has to be trained and drives you crazy at times. As the puppy gets trained and as you grow fond of it, you fall into a harmony. ❤️

My first endocrinologist said that I was a good candidate for an insulin pump, but I was not interested. That was 4 years ago.

I only really became interested in an insulin pump after trying the Freestyle Libre. That was the first time I had ever been able to see a graph of my blood sugar in real time. Since I was not on an insulin pump, every time I wanted to give myself insulin to improve my blood sugar reading, I had to do an injection. 😩

Thinking about the advice of what I would recommend for someone else, I decided to get an insulin pump. It was described as the best medical treatment available.

It was a rocky first month. The first few days actually went pretty well. I had a good trainer who helped me learn how to use it (Medtronic provides personalized one-on-one training). I took time off from work so that I could learn to use my insulin pump. That was a very good decision. There was A LOT to learn!

I was so afraid to do something wrong when changing the insulin reservoir or the CGM sensor that I would carefully watch the videos and read the manual over and over. The objects I held were unfamiliar to me.

I got very scared one day when I was out walking by myself and saw 3 arrows pointing down and my blood sugar was around 100. I started eating candy furiously and called my husband to pick me up.

I learned from that incident that I can quickly drop if I have any active insulin on board and I’m exercising. Now days, I’ve developed a routine of walking in the morning before breakfast, which avoids this issue.

A Few Sleepless Nights as I Learn the Pump and it Learns Me*

I had some nights where the pump woke me up and prevented me from getting a good night’s rest, and it was on those nights I questioned my decision. I had been reading reviews online and my Medtronic 670G insulin pump was described as “needy.” I wondered, “What have I gotten myself into?”

I chose my pump because “Medtronic” was a good name. The technology looked amazing, although I had my doubts that it would actually work. The pump has an “Auto” mode which automatically adjusts insulin based on the CGM sensor. This is called a hybrid closed-loop system.

After 3 months, I can tell you, it certainly does work. I swing from needing up to 19 units of insulin a day to only needing 12 units, and the pump is amazing at adjusting. The menstrual cycle changes in my insulin need have less impact on my blood glucose now. I am regularly getting time in range at above 80%. My A1C is 6.2, which is actually the same number it was prior to switching to the pump, but I have way more flexibility in how and what I eat. I can have something sweet and I can easily tell the pump to give me the insulin I need.

Every night, my glucose is around 120 mg/dL. For long hours at a time, it’s an almost straight line. This is amazing technology. I no longer have to eat a snack at bedtime to prevent night time hypoglycemia.

Thinking of getting an insulin pump? Think of it like getting a new puppy. It can be a rocky relationship at first, but don’t get discouraged!

I was in range 88% of the time over the last 30 days

Sensor Glucose review screen on my Medtronic 670G Insulin Pump.

Over the last 30 days, my glucose is high on average only 3 hours a day, and is low 0% of the time. In reality, I’ve had a couple of lows, but they were so brief that they average out to 0% of the time. I’ve been in range 88% of the time!

* NOTE: The pump still does sometimes wake me up at night. However, I’m usually able to take care of whatever the issue is and fall back to sleep quickly. In both auto and manual mode, there are built in safe guards. For auto mode, if the pump has to give the maximum or minimum amount of insulin for a certain time period, it will ask you to enter a blood glucose before auto mode will continue. This pump has a lot of safety features and while they can at times be annoying, I’m happy that they have safety features built in. For myself, I’m very sensitive to insulin, so it’s very important that the pump is as safe as possible.

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