Hello everyone, and welcome back to another edition of “So, You Think You Know Diabetes”. Now that we’ve gone through some of the long-term complications, both physically and mentally, I want to cover something can actually help a diabetic monitor their diabetes. And no, it’s not a human.
Now, let’s get right into the history of the insulin pump. Back in the early 1960s, this is what your pump would look like…
Imagine having to be strapped to that thing! Having to carry that around on your back constantly. Now, the phrase “bigger isn’t always better” definitely applies here. Thankfully, time, and technological advances have shrank the pumps down significantly. For those of you who are on a pump, you should thank the creator of the AutoSyringe model, which was also large and clunky, and were difficult to operate.
Nowadays, a pump is about the size of a wearable pager, and is a lot easier to manage. While there’s still a good amount of work that one has to do with a pump, by keeping the injection site and all of the equipment clean; keeping the pump full of insulin; and continuously checking one’s blood sugar so the basal dosgae can be adjusted and a bolus can be calculated.
There are two ways for a pump to administer insulin, either by a basal dosage or through a bolus. Now, that probably didn’t make any sense, but let me explain. For a “basal” dosage, it’s a steady stream of insulin that is administered by the pump. Meanwhile, a “bolus” dosage is the extra insulin that one would do during meal time.
Now, one of the major drawbacks of having an insulin pump is that it is so expensive. Insurance providers are very reluctant to cover any long-term medical conditions, let alone the supplies to keep those inflicted alive. However, there are a lot of positives for the pump that vastly outweigh the negatives in the long term. Sure, one might need to constantly monitor the injection site to make sure that it is still in the skin, but being able to not worry about the dangers of having low blood sugar and help combat the highs.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for this week for insulin pumps. Next week, I’ll cover the impending future in diabetic technology. Until then, I am the Baumeister, and I have been, obediently yours.