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January 22, 2003

Insulin Pumps

Question from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA:

I am a 22 year old mom of a very active toddler, and sometimes my schedule interferes with my insulin regimen. I find myself being overly involved in my son and forget to take my insulin on a schedule. With my son I just can't keep a good schedule. I really want better control, but the regimen I am on now is too strict and doesn't leave room for a surprise schedule. I have frequent high readings and some lows also. I have read a lot of information on the pump and it seems right for me. Do you feel that this pump regimen would work for me? If so, does Medicaid cover it?

Answer:

The insulin pump is a great tool for delivering insulin. It continues to infuse insulin, even if you are distracted with your son. You would still have to bolus the insulin with your meals. It does provide flexibility.

As an alternative to the pump, which can be obtained under Medicaid but requires a lot of documentation (the specifics you will have to look into), you may be able to try another intermittent injection regimen utilizing Lantus (insulin glargine) with either Humalog or NovoLog Lantus is a very long-acting insulin that requires one injection per day to provide for your basal rate requirements. You would then have to inject with a rapid-acting insulin for meals (Humalog or NovoLog). This regimen does give you flexibility and does not require as much training or expense as the pump.

JTL