Diagnosed at the age of 38 with diabetes, Weaver spent nine years relying on daily insulin injections, up to five shots a day. Her diabetes was not regulated and was often hard to control.
After seeing her physician, Weaver enrolled in a diabetes education class at Jackson County Memorial Hospital. Rose was the class instructor and felt the insulin pump was the best tool to help regulate Weaver's diabetes. The insulin pump has evolved over the years and remains the most advanced technology for diabetes maintenance. Rose is a certified insulin pump trainer.
According to Weaver, “I met with Kelly and a dietitian to learn my ‘carb count', my meals, to determine my pump usage. I also had to learn how to ‘pattern manage' my blood sugar readings to determine my insulin needs. I think I talked to Kelly almost every day for three months.”
The insulin pump is a small electronic, battery-operated device. It consists of the infusion set and reservoir that contains the insulin. One end of the infusion set is inserted into the body and the other end plugs into the reservoir. The infusion set is not surgically implanted. The patient is able to insert the infusion set herself every three days.
“The pancreas knows when to turn on and turn off,” explained Rose. “The individual programs the pump with the help of a Diabetes Educator to closely mimic the function of the pancreas. The individual counts the carbohydrates in the meal and matches the amount of insulin needed to control blood sugar. The pump then delivers a customized amount of insulin.”
The pump is disconnected to exercise or to take a shower.
“The pump really puts me in control,” stated Weaver. “It protects my health and helps me feel better. My family also has peace of mind, as the insulin reactions I previously experienced during the night now rarely occur. I have more energy and consistently feel better in general.”
Rose explained that the insulin pump gives the individual more freedom and more control by delivering insulin at the right time with the precise amount of insulin needed. “The outcome is a healthier patient,” explained Rose.
The pump provides safety features and displays reports on the LCD screen when the battery is low and when to add insulin to the reservoir. It provides an accumulative report on the display for the patient and the patient's doctor.
The manufacturer of the pump provides a 24-hour hot line and on-line information for the patient as well.
“Diabetes can be controlled,” stated Rose. “It is not a fatal disease. Technology, like insulin pumps and insulin pens, have come a long way even in the five years I've been at the JCMH Diabetes Center of Excellence.”
Currently the JCMH Diabetes Center of Excellence provides education and support to about 26 insulin pump patients. Patients with diabetes need to remain under the care of their primary care physician and together they determine the best method for managing diabetes.
The JCMH Diabetes Center of Excellence is located in the JCMH Education Center. It provides education and support to not only Type 1 patients, but also Type 2 and gestational patients. Class or individual counseling sessions are scheduled with a physician's referral. The program provides instruction on blood sugar levels, nutrition, and the latest monitors and equipment.
The JCMH Diabetes Center of Excellence staffs a registered nurse, Kelly Rose, and a registered dietitian, Danielle Jensen. The JCMH Education Center provides education to the community as well as to patients and their families.
To learn more about diabetes education, call The JCMH Diabetes Center of Excellence at 580-477-7297, or visit with your physician about the choices available in managing diabetes.