Tuesday, April 2, 2013


So I have some pretty major pump decisions to make in the next few weeks.

As you might remember, the day before my Israel trip, I had a bit of a pump fiasco and my beloved Medtronic pump died in my arms.

I'm now bonding with my loaner pump but he can only stay with me for 90 days and we're already over 20 days into his visit.

I need to get a new pump and I need to decide which one to get. This is proving to be a harder decision than I thought it would be.

I'm seriously looking at three options:

I've been pumping for over 4 years and Medtronic is the only pump I have known. Based on the fabulous support they have provided, as well as the pump itself, I have a lot of brand loyalty. They are also the folks who made me a Global Hero and that certainly counts in my books. I love the Medtronic pump. The buttons and menus work very well for me and are quite logical. I love the Bolus Wizard and how easy it is to see how much insulin I have on board. My Medtronic pump and I are a good team. I have no complaints, save one, and would be happy to sign on for another five years.

My one complaint is that it is not waterproof. I swim three times a week and must unhook every time. I do triathlons and must unhook for an uncomfortably long period of time. It's doable and many people make it work (including me) but, if Medtronic's pump was waterproof, they would win hands down.

Animas is waterproof. That's a big deal for me.

The Animas pump has most other features that Medtronic has although, apparently, they don't have a Bolus Wizard. There are also a few extra steps for bolusing and the menus are, again apparently, not as intuitive.

At this point, being waterproof is the only selling point for me so, unless you folks have other reasons why I should switch, I'm not yet convinced. I'm currently struggling to decide just how important the waterproof feature is.

I originally hated the idea of the Omnipod. But then again, I also originally hated the idea of an insulin pump and now I love it. So I'm trying to keep an open mind.

The reviews of the Omnipod are pretty positive and most people say that they would never go back to tubing again. I like the idea of no tubing and no longer having to clip my pump on my belt but I don't like the idea of the bulge that the Omnipod would create. It seems kinda big to me.

It is waterproof though which is a bonus. Omnipod is sending me an info package and we have booked a house visit on April 16th so I can check it out, play with it and check out how the menus and controls work.

That being said, the cost is pretty crazy compared to my current costs. It is at least $300/month for supplies. I receive $600 every three months for supplies so I'd have to cough up at least $100/month. The difference may be covered by my insurance - I'll have to check - but it still adds up and I already pay a LOT out of pocket to keep myself alive and healthy.

Other factors
I don't currently use a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) although I have in the past and would like to again if the cost were not so crazy. Medtronic's CGM is integrated with their pump but it is not as good as the Dexcom. Dexcom is a separate CGM so, if I went with Animas, and I wanted a CGM, I would have two separate systems going. That being said, Dexcom isn't even available in Canada at the moment so it is not really an option anyway.

Animas has a remote that allows users to bolus without having to fish their pump out of their bras or wherever else it is hidden. I clip mine on my belt 99.99% of the time and don't care a whit about this feature. Nonetheless, it is a feature that many people do care about so I'm mentioning it.

Infusion sets: the Medtronic ones work well for me and I have never tried any other than the original ones I started off with. There are all sorts of other options though but I don't think they are a selling feature for me.

So folks, what say you. Tell my why you love your pumps and what the selling features are. If you're Canadian and have experience with costs and insurance, let me know. Ontarians with experience with Assistive Devices Funding AND insurance coverage - please share your knowledge. I don't have super long to decide and I put a lot of value on people who use them every day and in all situations.


  1. I have been pumping for just over 5 months and I chose the Animas Ping. To be honest my number one deciding factor is the fact that it is waterproof. I swim only twice a week however in the summer spend a lot of time at the beach and in the lakes etc. Also I run outside all year round and wanted something that could sustain possibly being soaked in the rain. So far I love it and have found other features to be just as valuable to me. Being able to bolus remotely is fantastic and knowing what my IOB is invaluable to me. There is a great database where I can store foods with their carb content and the bolus wizard works a charm. I think these are all things that you have available with Medtronic. As far as customer service goes they have impressed the hell out of me. My understanding is that the infusion sets are the same as Medtronics (don't quote me on that). I guess the main draw for me is the fact it is waterproof. I feel good knowing that this summer when I do my triathlons I don't have to unhook and hook up again.

    Just my two cents :)

  2. I suppose me telling you that I'm still a huge fan of my Cozmo pump doesn't help matters much...