I have been on an insulin pump now since about 2001 – so that is around 17 years. I first went onto a pump because I was having a lot of issues with gastroparesis and tricky early morning blood glucose spikes. I was also planning our third baby. At that time in Australia there were no choices. I was only able to go on one insulin pump and it was not very fancy. Of course it was way more fancy than multiple daily injections. But there was no self adhesion of sites, so I had to use massive amounts of tapes and patches to keep the site in place and there was no coverage of any parts of the consumables on the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS). It was not cheap. I also had to be admitted to hospital for 3 days to learn how to do it all. I will never forget the absolute terror of relying on a machine to give me my insulin….now I can not imagine being without it. Eventually, after lots of us advocated for it, we were able to get limited infusion sets listed on the NDSS – I remember a pretty nasty one that was not able to be detached…But, after a little time, more pumps became available, and more consumables were listed on the NDSS.
Over the past 15 years various pumps have come and gone in Australia. I was an early adopter of pump tech, and hopped onto the D-Tron insulin pump as soon as they came to our shores. This was an early waterproof pump, and you were given 2 pumps, so you had a back up. I really loved this pump. At a diabetes conference a few years later I met the Animas pumps and never looked back. I have been on one ever since, and love the simplicity of these pumps. I am not a bells and whistle girl and just like to do my boluses, and set up the basal rates. I have no interest in carb calculations and asking the pump to make decisions, hence my reluctance to be a looper.
Recently the entire online diabetes community was outraged to hear that the Animas pumps were going out of production. Starting with OS and then moving pretty quickly to Australia. It was not well received, especially as us Aussies have very little choice when it comes to pumps and other tech. We watch with envy as those in Europe and the US, talk about their fancy pants new toys. The main point about all of this is choice. Whether you choose to ues a syringe, insulin pen, pump, blood glucose machine, flash monitor or CGM – it is YOUR choice to manage your diabetes how YOU wish. When these choices are limited, it makes things very difficult.
What is the YpsoPump all about?
I am very grateful to live in a country where we have access to insulin and all of the products we can access under medicare, the NDSS and private health insurance. I am very grateful to have access to medical professionals and services. I am very grateful indeed. However, in terms of quality of life, having choices, real choices, is critical. So I was very excited when my invite to attend a launch of the new Ypsomed insulin pump arrived. Sadly I was not able to attend, but I have watched my fellow diabetes bloggers over the past few days, sharing their experiences.
I am looking forward to testing this pump out, but here are some of the things that look great to me so far.
It is sleek, light and won’t bulge in the bra ladies!
From what I see online and reading reviews, this pump is a lovely, modern design and will not be as bulky as some of the pumps from the past. It is true that whether your pump is sticking out from your bra and creating a questionable third boob in your shirt, is something to consider when choosing a pump. Perhaps even more than whether it can calculate carbs.
The carb calculation is via an app
Apparently the carb calculation is done via an app, which means it is less complicated to use the actual pump itself I would think. And goes to my point above about this not being so important to some of us. For others this may be a negative point as your carb calculations are not built into the pump – should carb calculating be your jam (not sure how much you need to bolus for that though – apricot is my favourite).
From my reading there is a bit of choice with the infusion sets – being available in teflon and steel materials. There are also a range of lengths, and you can choose manual insertion – which is my preference. Some of those auto-inserters just freak me out. Frank also says that there is no 45 degree angled cannula, which is a bummer as I use a manually inserted 45 degree angle cannula with the Animas. However it is always good to try something new!
Bells and Whistles
Renza says that the YpsoPump is pretty easy and intuitive to use. It is apparently simple and logical which is nice. In these days of so many apps and gadgets, we are used to touch screens and moving logically through instructions and screens. There is a glass cartridge which holds 1.6ml of insulin which may not be adequate for some people, but I like the idea of it being glass and not plastic – less plastic in the world is always a plus. For me, I usually take about 27 – 30 units per day, so it will be fine for my needs. However if you take large doses, you may find the need to change it more often a downside. Currently you use the app to do the carb calculations but there is no direct operating of the pump from the app. Apparently this is coming in the next couple of years though. It is apparently water-proof.
Ash says that there is less waste and that other than the needles, the waste is recyclable, which is a massive plus for me with my sustainabilty passion in my other work. I am always stressed when doing a pump change to see all that plastic waste….You can have 360 degree rotation of infusion sites, which gives more capacity for using alterntive sites. It uses a normal AAA battery which lasts about a month.
An interesting note – David says that the Ypsopump has been tested at altitudes up to 5500 m which is apparently very unusual. Most other insulin pumps are only certified up to 3000m – so if you are a mountain climber this may be of interest!
As with Animas here in Australia, the customer service is operated in Australia. This is very reassuring as it means prompt response to questions and issues. The consumables are already on the NDSS and many health care professionals are getting trained as we speak. You should be able to start enquiring with your diabetes educator or specialist now.
I can not wait to try this new pump and am thrilled to see that we are being given another option in Australia with the death of my beloved Animas pumps. You can find out more here