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European Diabetes Stories -- How does it feel to make the switch? MDI to Pumping

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15 January 2006

European Diabetes Stories -- How does it feel to make the switch? MDI to Pumping

Piotr Kalinowski is 27 years old who works as a journalist/press officer in Warsaw, Poland. Piotr has had diabetes since 1990, and has been taking MDI (Multiple Daily Injections) with various insulins for the past 15 years. I met Piotr through the Pumpers group here in the United Kingdom. We exchanged personal emails and I asked him if he would write a little bit about himself and how it felt to be put on the pump in his first few days. On January 10th , he went to his hospital in Warsaw to be put on the insulin pump and receive training on how to use it. Here is his story.

“For 15 years, I have had the same problem - high BG (Blood Glucose readings) in the morning. No matter what I did with my insulins (Humalog & Humulin N) it was always over 11.1 mmol! (200 mg/dL) My doctor said that Lantus could be a solution, but here, in Poland, the monthly cost of this insulin (Lantus) would be very similar to the monthly cost of the infusion sets and other materials required for a pump. Almost simultaneously, my ex-doctor and a friend of mine suggested that I should take a look at the (Accu-Chek Spirit) pump. So, I did, and I liked it! It's small, not too heavy, and it has a lot of features. The monthly costs are the same as Lantus. I decided to try & buy it. OK, it's not cheap, but there is always a possibility to borrow money from a bank.

Thank God when my family heard about the pump they promised to pay for it! So, it happened!

Before I switched to the pump I changed Humalog for NovoRapid (NovoLog). I read that Lilly's insulin can crystalize in cannula or infusion set. Besides, it doesn't work properly in high temperatures (I noticed this when I was in Tunisia).

On January the 10th I went to a hospital to start on the pump. And you know what? The very next day my morning BG was... 6.3 mmol!!! (113 mg/dL) A miracle? My daily BG's are very good, too.

Roche has let me borrow the pump for 3 months - I will buy it in March, 2006. For sure.

What is strange is for the first 3 days I missed my... injections! It is a strange feeling without them. For over 10 years, injecting insulin with needles at every meal was a part of eating and now it gone. Now, I hope the injections are gone - forever!

What can I say to my fellow diabetics? Don't be scared - try the pump!”

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