An Interview with Clara
We met with the fabulous Clara Kempers who kindly offered to share her pumping experiences with us. At the age of 72 and diagnosed with diabetes 47 years ago, Clara is now a tech savvy Animas pumper!
Q. What year did you start on a pump?
Q. What made you decide on IPT?
My specialist Dr Ross recommended IPT however I refused it for years. I had the idea that it needed to be implanted under my skin so I wasn’t keen on the idea; which wasn’t the case at all.
Finally after years of struggling with my control and with huge fluctuations in my blood sugars I decided I would try a pump.
Q. What made you decide on Animas?
I called all of the companies however I found AMSL Diabetes customer service to be the best. The rep came to my house and she was very thorough and put my mind at ease. I felt very supported so I chose Animas.
Q. What do you like about the Animas Vibe pump?
Firstly there is no fiddling around with long acting insulin. I found this management very unpredictable so the continuous infusion of my short acting insulin was much easier to manage. I also love the fact that I have my insulin with me everywhere I go. It’s not in my bag, its on me. I also love not having to carry around syringes.
It makes travelling really easy and I take a back up just in case. I also love that if I’m changing time zones I really don’t need to think about what to do I just change the time on my pump and it does everything else for me.
I used to manage the calculations in my head constantly, working out whether I still had insulin on board and how much I needed for each correction and meal. I love that the pump does this for me now. I don’t need to worry about stacking the insulin.
There is so much more flexibility with food choices and with the time of the day I want to eat as well. The temporary basal rates make exercising easy as well as the combo bolus for tailoring the insulin to my food.
Q. How do you carry your pump?
I like to sew. If I’m not wearing pants I will wear one of the skirts that I made and I have specially designed pockets in these skirts to allow me access to my pump.
Q. How do you manage exercise with your pump?
It’s easy! I’m a very active person. I like to do Zumba Gold, cycling and senior strength classes. I like to swim regularly too so it was nice to know that it was waterproof. I am able to keep it on in the water and I usually change my temporary basal rate whilst I swim.
Q. With your new Animas Vibe Pump have you tried the Dexcom G4 PLATINUM CGM? How did you find it?
Yes, After the 1st few days of getting to know it, it was fantastic. I love the warning telling me that I had blood sugars dropping low. I was able to stop myself from having a hypo, multiple times. It confirmed a few suspicions that I had about my breakfast bolus and my night-time patterns. It also helped guide me with my carb counting for certain foods. I am now using the combo bolus (extended bolus) for low GI foods which works well for me.
Q. Do you use the Diasend software?
Yes, I download regularly at home so that my healthcare team can look at my reports.
Q. If someone was considering going on a pump, what advice would you say to them?
I would advise absolutely anyone to go on a pump. Without a doubt it has made my day to day management of diabetes easier.