[acb-diabetics] Insulin Pump: To do or not to do.
plawolf at earthlink.net
Fri Nov 11 13:20:13 EST 2011
Very good explanation. I use the Roesch Spirit. I too need some help when
it beeps etc. It flashes a number and I have a sighted person tell me the
number. I have them memorized, so I know what it means. Most of the time
it means there is a kink somewhere in the tubing and when I check all that,
it is okay. Sometimes it means new battery, but it gives enough power so I
can get home and do that.. Prodigy is supposedly coming out with an
accessible pump next year. I am totally blind and have used this pump for 8
years. My A1C is around 6
From: acb-diabetics-bounces at acb.org [mailto:acb-diabetics-bounces at acb.org]
On Behalf Of Chanelle Allen
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2011 5:11 AM
To: Discussion list for diabetics and/or ACB issues
Subject: Re: [acb-diabetics]Insulin Pump: To do or not to do.
Dear Nefertiti and list,
Many people who are blind have successfully used insulin pumps.
Unfortunately, most features are inaccessible, but it is possible to perform
basic functions without the aid of sighted assistance. It takes some time to
be trained in how to fill reservoirs, change infusion sets, and learn button
pushing sequences. I have used the Minimed Paradigm pumps, so I can only
speak from my experience with Minimed. The pump has three horizontal buttons
and two vertical buttons which are the up and down arrows. My pump is set to
beep for each press of the up arrow so long as I am in the main screen. This
is called easy bolus, and for me, one beep equals 0.1 units of insulin.
Everyone has their pumps customized differently (1 beep = 0.5 or 1 units of
insulin etc.). The pump will beep back to me again (10 beeps = 1 unit of
insulin) to confirm that I want the insulin. The maximum amount of insulin
that can be given at one time is ten units. The key closest to the arrow
keys is the activate button, which also goes into menus. The button in the
middle is the escape key, and I am not quite sure what the other button
does. Priming the pump is simply a matter of pressing the activate button
and down arrow a few times activate, and down arrow again. When the
reservoir and infusion set are inserted, continually holding down the
activate button until you feel wetness lets you know that the insulin is
going through the tubing properly. After inserting some infusion sets, the
pump must be primed again; since that feature is inaccessible however, I
just press escape and activate several times until I come back to the main
menu indicated by three beeps and give 0.4 units of insulin (about the
amount given when going into the menus to prime the pump). The Minimed pumps
have something called a bolus wizard where users may input their blood
glucose level along with the amount of carbohydrates eaten and the pump will
calculate the amount of insulin needed. Unfortunately, this is inaccessible.
The pump gives a certain amount of insulin each hour called the basal rate.
Doctors may from time to time want to change the basal rate, and since there
is no audio feedback to do this, I have needed assistance. The button
pushing sequence is simple enough to set a temporary basal rate. The pump
emits a sequence of three beeps, which could mean several things: the
battery is low, the reservoir only has a certain amount of units left, the
pump is not connected or able to give insulin, and many others. Usually, I
am able to take a guess as to what the pump wants. For example, after three
days, it probably wants more insulin; after two or three weeks, it wants a
new battery; after an infusion set is inserted, their may be a problem with
the cannula being bent, etc. Doctors are able to download settings and
history from the pump on to a computer in order to analyze trends. Minimed
produces a meter that works with the pump in transferring readings
wirelessly; however, this is inaccessible. At one time, the software for a
pump user to view settings and history was accessible, but I don't know what
the case may be now. Overall, being on a pump is better than having to give
injections several times a day. It is best to try to be patient with the
process as many adjustments to basal rates and boluses will need to be made
in the first several weeks. There are several different types of infusion
sets from which to use, so you will need to find the one that works best for
you. Usually, pump users are first trained in filling the reservoir with
saline, inserting the infusion set and wearing the pump for a few times.
I hope that I am not overwhelming you with too much information and that
this explanation helps. Please feel free to ask more questions.
Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2011 4:43 PM
To: acb-diabetics at acb.org
Subject: [acb-diabetics] Insulin Pump: To do or not to do.
My doctor and I began discussing the possibility of putting me on an
Insulin pump during my last visit. Both she and I are ignorant as to
the accessibility challenges one might face as a visually-impaired
individual. In hopes of remedying this, we agreed to do our due
diligence by way of research, and reconvening in 2 weeks time.
So far, the information I have read online is grossly out of date, and
this has hampered any true progress on my part.
Recently, I read a message posted to this list by a lady (Patricia?)
who mentioned her pump use.
Are there any other users here? Would any of you be willing to share
your experiences and/or advice? Perhaps there are resources I've yet
to tap into that someone might be kind enough to impart?
Hoping all are well,
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