I have had a few questions lately about the pump. What is it? How do you put it on? So I have decided to put together a small pictorial about the components of the Medtronic Minimed Paradigm pump. This is real basic and just shows the highlights. Always read the manual, watch the DVD, or visit the website of your particular pump for specific information.
The insulin pump has been amazing for me. Being a very active and on the go person, the pump has provided me with great flexibility and precision. While it is not always perfect, the technology has come a long way. When I was first diagnosed (38 years ago), I used glass syringes. And now the pump (yay!). Imagine where we will be in a few years.
Here are the highlights for the Paradigm pump from my perspective :
1. All the supplies you need to make the pump work (minus setting the pump up initially and installing a triple A Energizer battery).
2. The skin prep. There are lots of different preps. I use this particular one because it works great with sweat (when I run and work out). I apply it on my stomach and let it dry completely before inserting the Quick Set.
3. The Reservoir. The Reservoir holds the insulin. It is inserted into the pump.
4. Insulin. You have to put your brand of insulin into the reservoir using the plunger (similar to a syringe).
5. The Quick Set. The Quick Set connects it all together. The Reservoir which goes into the pump connects to the Quick Set which in turn attaches to your body (Reservoir in pump/Quick Set/Body). Notice the catheter/tubing on the Quick Set where the insulin travels. Note how small the tubing is that stays in your body (tip on the blue portion).
6. The Inserter. The inserter helps place the tip (needle) of the Quick Set into your skin. It has a tight spring on it that forces the small needle to break through your skin. Virtually painless.
7. And there it is; Attached to my pasty white stomach. Pretty easy once you get the hang of it. I don’t even notice the tubing in my skin.
8. And my puppy who barked at me the whole time I was doing this.
Hope this helped those who wanted to learn a little bit more about insulin pumps. I have been happy with the Paradigm, but since I swim a lot, I am considering switching to Animas’s waterproof Ping this Summer (if they still have the exchange program or when my warranty is up in August). Will keep you posted. The technology is amazing, and I cannot wait to see what they come out with next. And if you prefer to use an insulin pen or shots, that is cool too. We all must do whatever works best for us.
Be sure to work closely with your diabetes health care professionals to determine the best basals and boluses and all the other fun settings on insulin pumps.