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January 4, 2007

Insulin Pumps

Question from Wilmington, Massachusetts, USA:

I want a pump to get my diabetes in better control. I am scared to ask the doctor about this because she says I don't take my diabetes seriously. Things are all new to me since I was just diagnosed with MODY3 in August 2006. I don't know how to prove to her that I am serious and want to get a pump to improve my control. Right now, I take Humalog and count carbohydrates.

Answer:

This is a common point of discussion between patients and their doctor. It should be noted that any treatment plan is a decision between the patient and the doctor. Therefore, it is important that you discuss this with your physician. At another level, it should be noted that pump therapy is another level of care requiring refined diabetes self-care skills. This means you have to show that you can monitor regularly and problem solve in a way that lets your doctor know you can work towards problem solving with an insulin pump. In addition to monitoring, you need to be able to count carbohydrates and keep good blood sugar records. If you can do this, and you still want to or need to move to a pump for better control, you should be able to talk with your physician about being able to pursue pump therapy. However, it is not a short-term thing. This is a long-term commitment towards better diabetes self-care and treatment.

JTL