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September 2003
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October 2003

Why I chose my pump

As I said in my "Minimed" post, pump users are passionate about their pumps.

I looked at all the pumps, and narrowed down to Minimed, Distronic and Animas fairly quickly.

Customer service was what finally helped me make the decision. I looked at over 3 months of insulin pumpers digest, and Minimed was complained about weekly. From supplies service to customer support, there were complaints. And this was about a month before the water debacle too...

I also looked up the pump manufactures on the FDA Maude Database. This database lists all equipment failures. It's pretty interesting if you are a data voyeur.

I believe one of the reasons that Cigna is denying my pump, is because I selected the Animas -- but that's okay. The education I'm getting from the pump trainer is almost worth it.

Minimed comes out with a new pump

FYI: Pump Wars are very similar in nature to Mac vs. PC wars. Remember that we are connected to our pumps 24/7, and that we become passonate about our pumps and their manufactures.

Medtronic MiniMed Press Releases - Corporate Information

I looked at the Minimed pumps and rejected them based on reservior size right away. I use 70-100 units of insulin a day, and their smaller size wasn't an option.

More on another post.

IRS changes in Allowable Medical Expenses

From Diabetes in Control Newsletter:

IRS reconsiders blood glucose meters:
Because only 6 percent of taxpayers claim medical expenses on their tax returns, probably due to the fact you can only claim medical expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income. But on May 15th the Internal Revenue Service made it a bit easier for those with diabetes to reach the cutoff mark of 7.5%. On a May 15, 2003 ruling, IrRS determined that this limitation will no longer apply to other nonprescription medical care items such as bandages, crutches, and blood sugar checking kits and equipment. This means that blood glucose meters and strips are now an allowable medical expense. So if you claim medical expenses on your taxes, don't forget to include the money spent on your supplies come next April 15th.

Another first -- battery change

I was a bit worried about changing the battery on my pump. Okay, the first time doing everything along has been a bit scary.

The whole -- pump has to have a battery thing bothers me. I'm a bit anal about batteries anyway, every since I went to a AP grading to Clemson state and arrived without Palm Pilot batteries and NO place to get them. Had to live without it for 2 days. Major withdrawal.

So anyway, this pump (Animas) does make a hideous sound when it is out of battery. I've heard it once, when I first got the pump. But the good news, is that the battery lasted 9 weeks and a day.

9 weeks of pumping 60-90 units of insulin a day, site changes, and downloading data. Not bad!

The batteries aren't cheap, but I did find a source of inexpensive on Ebay -- go to Ebay and do a search on insulin pump and it will come up. I've put a set of those in, and I'll let you guys know how well they lasted.

A light at the end of the tunnel?

Since I got my insulin pump (which Cigna STILL refuses to pay for), I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Our A/C stopped working and dumped massive amounts of water on the floor, destroying it. It was lovely parquet. This happened over two weekends, one of which was Labor Day.

Then we discovered that our roof had major hail damage.

Then the husband broke his hip.

Well, today, the final paperwork on the roof has gotten done, and we're getting a check for part of the work from the insurance company.

The floor is coming in today or tomorrow and will be laid on Monday.

Husband goes to the doctor on Monday and we'll find out how that is doing.

And the really good news, the new insurance will cover the pump supplies -- they claim they have no rules on what Type you are (Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO). And they tell me I can put the pump payments on pre-Tax dollars. (Flexible Spending Account).

We're getting somewhere. Now if my husband's insurance will just get it together and pay their part of his hip.