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lgvincent

Questions about the insulin pump

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lgvincent

I just started using a pump about a month ago and I'm curious about how long I can expect it to work.  These things are pretty expensive so I want to avoid abusing it in hopes of increasing the lifespan of it.  It looks to me like rewinding it every three days will cause excessive wear and I was wondering how to keep that to a minimum.  I've noticed that the reservoir will hold enough insulin for about six days so I was wondering if filling it completely will reduce the wear by not having to rewind it as far or if using it for a full six days and rewinding it only after the reservoir is empty might help prolong the life.  Should I do that, I'm thinking I could still change the infusion set after three days and simply fill the new one with a bolus when changed.  It varies but seems to take around six to eight units to fill the 23 inch set so that shouldn't be much of a problem.

 

 

Also, I'm curious to know how bike riders store their pumps during rides.  I fear if I fall off the bike, and I'm pretty certain of that, I could fall onto the pump and crush it.  I wonder if I start using the 43 inch infusion sets, I would be able to store the pump in the saddle bag, giving it some protection in the case of a fall, although I know the saddle bag will still shift to the side of the fall, making the pump slam into the asphalt.  I'm thinking perhaps I could wrap it with several layers of bubble wrap before putting it into the bag in hopes of giving it some protection. 

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NoraWI

First off, congrats on taking the plunge into an insulin pump. It will make your life so much easier! Pumps are all guaranteed by the manufacturers, mostly for a period of 4 years. If bought on Medicare (which I am sure does not include you), then for a period of 5 years. If anything goes wrong with your pump, contact the manufacturer immediately and they will swap it out with another one sent by expedited delivery. Otherwise, the pumps are pretty hardy, although I did crack the casing on one once. As to saving mechanical wear and tear on the pump by not rewinding it often, that is not a factor at all. However, many do save money on insulin capsules by filling them to their capacity while still changing the inset every third day. Changing the inset every third day is important as that avoids getting infections on the sites. BTW, I use the 23 inch tubing and my prime amount is only .3 units NOT 3 units. As to getting longer tubing, I feel that the longer the tubing, the more problems you might incur. Why not look at a Frio to encase your pump. It will provide insulating value as well as a bit of padding.

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notme

Changing sets every two to three days is imperative. The insulin pools under your skin after a bolus and you will find that after a couple of days scar tissue builds in these pockets and your numbers will rise dramatically. Wear and tear on the pump really isn't an issue. I have an old pump from over ten years ago and that back up pump still rewinds like a champ and has no issues.

 

Warranties on Medtronic pumps are solid. I have gotten many new pumps over the years. I swam with two....ooops, cracked one and had software go south. One of my pumps that I mangled was less than a week old. They replaced it with a new in box pump. Medtronic always supplies a replacement, no questions asked.

 

Use your pump as intended. Don't worry about wear and tear. Mine have lived through Hurricane Notme.

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don1942

I had two replacements due to water issues. I replaced my 570 Medtronics after 7 years only because I wanted to upgrade to the 630.

 

I happen to prefer the 43" tube because I keep my pump in my pocket and can lower my pants when going to the bathroom without having to remove the pump. I also prefer the longer tubing at night because it lets me roll over without having to worrying about repositioning the pump. To

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GretchO

They're built to be rewound...it's what they do. I wouldn't worry about rewinding. Even if it did wear out, MM would replace it. With me, as wtih NotMe, rewinding is the least of its worries.

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Ailsa

I refill & change the site every four days. I could tolerate it longer but was told not to as it will cause tissue damage as someone else has said.

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lgvincent

Thank you for your responses.  I've noticed some mentioned using the infusion sets for 3 1/2 days and that's what I've been doing of late.  It does make it easier to remember to change it at the same time and day each week.  I'd still like to try the 43 inch tubing though since I want to try using the back of the arm to insert it and the 23 inch just won't reach with ease and I'm trying to use as many different places as I can to hopefully keep scaring to a minimum.  Besides, I do need room to move on the bike and it's impossible to get off of it until I've removed the pump from the saddle bag.  Although I remove the pump on rides of an hour or less, I think it would be unwise to keep it off on the 50+ mile rides.  I'm hoping to buy a belt sold by Medtronic later this summer that will allow me to wear it closer to some of the places I insert the cannula(?) but I still worry about what would happen to it if I should fall and break it, I seem to have a hard time getting out of those darn pedals when an unexpected stop takes place.

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notme

You really don't need to remove your pump for rides. You can either set a temporary basal rate that you keep programmed in the pump just for your hour long rides or you can suspend it if need be. Personally, I set a temporary basal rate for my long rides.

 

Your pump really is a lot more durable than you realize. I have dropped them, fallen with them and even smacked it on the wall a few times. As you can see, I am not careful. She lives on to tell about my abusive personality.

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Anyted

For my dad he refills his insulin for 3-5 days its really hard since his getting old

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Gladtobehere

When I was ice skating I would put my pump in a pocket on my chest rather than wear it on my hip. The theory being that I rarely fall on my chest. Knees hips back elbows they take the abuse and the roadrash.

 

I would not put the pump on the bike.

 

Look for a SPIBELT. You may find it a useful product.

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