Pumping Symlin (part 3)

With Symlin having some real potential to help me on two very important fronts (better blood sugar control and weight loss), I needed to find a way for me to use it more consistently.

I mentally evaluated my options, which seemed to be either “man up” and get over my dislike of the shots, or wear a second pump.  I decided on the second pump for now.  It’s worth a try, right?

I’ve been pumping for a long time.  I have a few old pumps around.  The older pumps use proprietary batteries and cartridges, making them very hard to get up and running without a supply source for those components (for which I don’t want to pay out of pocket).   But one of the old pumps I have is a close model to the one I’m now wearing.  Same cartridges, standard AAA battery.  Sounds like a perfect fit for what I was looking for.

I was also able to secure a stash of infusion sets and cartridges from a friend who is no longer wearing my model pump.  It was enough to supplement my routine order covered by insurance, but it is by no means a never-ending supply.   I’ve got enough that I am not worried about running out anytime real soon, but it may become an issue in the future.  There are limits to how many supplies insurance companies will pay for.

At some point I will have to decide if this route is working well enough to justify paying out of pocket for supplies for the second pump.  Or investigate documentation from my doctor to get those supplies covered, at least in part, by insurance.

So far I have really enjoyed the convenience of having my Symlin with me most of the time, and the fact I can take the Symlin bolus when I’m thinking about it (I usually try to do that 15-20 minutes before I eat), with the press of a couple buttons.  I also like that the pump delivers it a little slower than when I squirt it in with the pen or syringe.  When it is delivered quickly it can sting a bit.  Not too uncomfortable, but nice that I’m not dealing with it.

I don’t wear my Symlin pump 24×7.  I take it off when I sleep and when I play basketball.  And as far as the second pump thing goes, it’s just another “gadget” on my “bat-belt”.  Alongside my insulin pump, my cell phone, and someday a CGM.  It’s as if I’ve already got so much crap on my belt that adding another device doesn’t really change anything.

So far, I’ve found the “pros” of wearing a second pump far outweigh the “cons” of wearing a second pump.

There were many questions that came in when I started posting about wearing a second pump.  I’ll try to cover those and any others that you have in the next “Pumping Symlin” post.

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. Patient Success Manager, USA for mySugr (All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the position of my employer).

Diagnosed in April of 1980, I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. Read more…