I Want An Insulin Pump…

I have really gotten comfortable with using the Freestyle Libre and now I am obsessed with Diabetes Technology. I have been reading up on everything and would really love to talk to my doctor about an insulin pump or an OmniPod (a tubeless insulin pump). I have a few reasons I would like to look into it more.

First, insulin shots hurt for me. I always hear other diabetics say “oh it doesn’t hurt, it’s just automatic, I don’t even feel it anymore” well I call bullshit on that… it does hurt. Well for me anyways. It hurts a lot. When I give myself an injection of insulin I react almost every time to the needle itself and to the insulin. I get big welts that look like mosquito bites around the injection site that spread out and are super itchy.

In talking to and showing my allergist and immunologist she diagnosed me with dermatographia and chronic hives about 6 months ago after about 3 months of torture everytime I took one of the 5 insulin shots a day I was taking. She at that time suggested a pump but was unsure how I would react to it. At the time I did not have any major reactions to adhesive just to punctures and scratches of the skin so she thought it might be something that might help.

I never did find out though because my endocrinologist said to just wait that they would not put me on a pump until I had completed at least one year of insulin therapy. I’m guessing because I was so new. It was supposed to be the same with the Libre, only it was 2 years of testing and managing blood sugar but my family doctor gave me a prescription anyways and Abbott did not ask and neither did my insurance.

Second, an insulin pump provides greater control and increased flexibility in lifestyle. In other words instead of having to go to the washroom before a meal, test my blood sugar (or mostly scan in this case), figure out how many calories I’m going to eat, calculate how much insulin in my head, prepare and give myself an injection all before I can eat and  in a 30 minute work supper break that does not give me much time to actually eat, all I would have to do is calculate the calories, input them into the pump and let it do the rest for me (from my understanding anyways). I would say that is a much better way to go.

At the moment I am not taking meal-time insulin only long acting (24 hour) insulin, however my family doctor said that if I continue to spike over 8 mmol/l after meals then the next time I see him (in one week) that I will have to start back on the short acting insulin and I have continued to spike, despite my A1C going down. So I am not looking forward to that. It means 4 times a day (each meal and at night) I will be injecting again. So really if that is the case maybe it really is time to really look into and contact my health insurance provider to see if it would be covered.

I know sometimes they will say no as well but if you can get a note from a specialist stating that it is medically necessary and not just more for convenience as in the case of the dermatographia then maybe they will consider it. I hear all the time about people lobbying their insurance providers for things that were denied and just keeping at it until they give in. I really have no idea how they do it though.

2 thoughts on “I Want An Insulin Pump…

  1. It sounds awful with hives and having allergic reactions to the insulin! I’ve never met someone who had those problems.

    I really hope your insurance company will cover the pump, as you say with it being a medical necessity they should. But how terrible having to fight for things like that. We’re so priveleged in my part of the world where you don’t have to buy healthcare. It’s another thing in Ireland (we want to go back to live there) and I worry a bit about that.

    1. It’s not really the insulin although I have never been tested for an insulin allergy because the allergist said it was more likely to be dermatographia since I can “skin write” with a little bit of pressure or a light glide of a fingernail on my skin. I react with welts and redness, itching and hives so she figures it is more the actual needle puncturing the skin causes a similar reaction not the insulin itself. I randomly break out in clusters of hives. Three or four on my face or back or arm that last for a few hours and then slowly go away and I am always itchy. I was taking something for it for about 6 months but hate the side effects so I just take something when needed now instead of all the time.

      I called this morning about an insulin pump and my insurance company said YES! They do cover them and supplies as well. They will pay 80% of a reasonably priced pump and supplies. That would still leave me out of pocket about $1200-1400 on a $6000-7000 pump plus the co-pay on the supplies but I am really considering it. I want to get this under control and do what is best for me no matter the cost. So I just have to figure that one out but at least I know it is now a possibility. I don’t know why I was putting off asking. I guess maybe I was just scared of the answer.

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