Am I ready?


~In the last century~ as my children soooo fondly like to “put it”. I used a pump, for a little over half a year. I was well trained, and the guy who trained me was a serious expert in the region. My experience with it however was very negative to be polite about it. I have done ALL that I know how to do, and… accept the technology, its flaws could well have been fixed by now.

I earnestly want to be convinced, I WANT to be a “believer” but I have serious doubts. Those who LOVE these pumps, preach the “pump gospels” (ie… tight control is possible, you (ALL OF US) should be on one). But I fear I am skeptical… (I believe understandably so).

Would anyone like to help walk me through some of the issues, problems, see if they have been ~fixed~ or addressed yet??? I have a few fairly specific questions let’s kick the issues around…


Hi Stuart:

I also pumped in “the last century” but had shyed away from it. I used the pump exclusively while being pregnant. I did it to avoid upwards of 12 injections a day. It was much kinder to my mind and body to just push a button to take boluses and make corrections. I was completely turned off by the tubing and by changing the sets. I found changing the sets rather painful because the insertion needle was sooo long! Then there was the risk of crimping the teflon sleeve around the cannula. Of course, if you did crimp the sleeve you had to start over from scratch! Under all of these conditions I couldn’t wait to get off the pump. As soon as I entered the hospital to have my kids, the pump came out. I did this through two pregnancies. I vowed to be an injector forever! Earlier this year I was turned on to the Omnipod. I really liked the idea of no tubing. I also liked the idea of not having to do the insertions myself. All I have to do is push a button and the unit inserts the cannula on it’s own. This turned me into a convert! I have had a trendously positive experience with the Pod. You can check it out if you like. There is a group on here for Omnipod users. It has a link to the Omnipod website as well as loads of discussions that many people find very useful.

Hope this helps,


It is what you make of it. I am on the minimed 722. There are some struggles but with the control and flexibility it gives me are worth it all. My son graduated from high school tonight and I was not able to eat until 10:30 this evening. No worries basal took care of BG while at the event and bolus took care of carbs at dinner. Try that on Lantus.


I was very skeptical, but for me I figured it was the lesser of two evils----I am a horrid needle-phobe and 6+ shots a day was wearing on me greatly–though I was origianlly terrified of the insertion. But I use the quick serter (and I have a spare–cause manual aint gonna happen) and life is good and I am much happier on the pump.

Hey Stuart,

What was it about the pumps and technology from 8-10 years ago that hung you up?

I know there were many issues, but I ask with a very open ear.



I was recently placed on insulin, 3 months ago. I started Podding (ominpod) almost a month ago. I didn’t want to use it at all but I love it. I would be sad if I had to go back to shots. There are ups and downs but I think the pro’s out weigh the con’s.



(Echoing Adam a bit here)
It would be great if you could tell us what exactly were the issues with the pump 10 years ago. I know my pump well and LOVE it, but it’s hard for me to compare with ten years ago cause i don’t know what pumps were like then.

The reason that I love the pump is that it gives me great flexibility in adjusting basal rates. Being extremely insulin sensitive, I was uneven control with Lantus (good days, bad days…). The pump has evened things out a lot and I am able to adjust my basal rates when I exercise, so no eating is necessary and no lows.

Just a few examples. Avoiding the shots was not really a priority. They don’t bother me so much anyway, but the convenience is nice. And the fact that I was able to control my blood sugar makes it my best friend :slight_smile:

When I started on my pump, the doctor and I made a deal that I would stick with it for a year, even if I didn’t like it at first. Cause it takes a while to get used to it, to learn to bolus effectively, to learn how to adjust basal rates. The beginning can be really tough. But I think that, for many people, the payoff is worth it. If you consider pumping again, I would encourage you to try it for longer!

Best wishes,

Hello Adam:

There were many issues that truly ~scrambled my eggs~ so to speak. I am grateful for your help. Let me ponder which one to start with… maybe begin with some useful (?) background.

I am a “lifer” diabetic, cannot remember a time when I was not… dxed at age 3 +/-. I’m only 42 (Stuart whimpering unhappily) as of last week actually. I had used a minimed 507C (maybe???) I believe.

Have they fixed the “sasscwatch factor”???

I am of “Scottish heritage” and apparently one of my relatives mated with sasscwatch at some point in our family history. Add to that I sweat for my job a lot and have a lot of physical contact as a part of my job… I used every product known to man and could never make it stick without looking like I had received a gun shot wound!!! Used IV prep, used heavy stick medical tape, used assorted products. Couldn’t keep the insertion set down… certainly not easily.

Heck I got a scary intimate view into what the ladies do to help them “shave” for wearing their bathing suits… spooky stuff on tender areas of male skin (eg hip pointer)

What do they have these days to solve this issue? Same old or something much newer, far better???

Others to definately follow…

Hello Kristen:

As with Adam and others, I am genuinely grateful for your help. The “Flexability Factor” is probably the heart and soul of my serious resistance (I think at least). To me (rightly/wrongly) it seems a horrible “shell game” (eg “…find the pea under one of these three cups pretty lady…”).

I can and have always eaten whenever I wanted. Diabetic for waaaay tooo long. It is the INSULIN peak (or its lack) which forces the issue as we all know. The peak will kick our rear ends, if you don’t acknowledge its there. Using the bovine/porcine NPH for 25 years, knew at dinner, food was required. And being a diabetic, a male, I had never in my entire adult life not eaten… not once, ever.

It literally never had occured to me that was an option. People eat dinner, Stuart ate dinner?!. But if I didn’t want to eat until 9 pm instead of 6pm I split the food into “appitizers”, something to buy me some time until I could/wanted to eat just a little later. Same same for any meal.

Feed to move (eg exercise) is diabetic protocol 101.

However if I do not want to eat, I don’t shoot humalog… so no food is required…ever! NPH has gone bye-bye replaced by the lantus so I know where the peak of the humalog is and I’ll never look back. Baaaaaaaaad NPH!!! You’re attached to a bionic device, that beeps like the “bells of St. Mary’s” endless times a day, at night, in the movies, at the gym… on the phone, during a confrence call, when your nephew just wants to ride the ferrus wheel but can’t because of Aunt Kristen’s “beepy thing”.

Flexibility… where… pretty, pretty please?


I’m actually not interested in convincing you to go on the pump. If you can achieve good enough control with injections, then GREAT! But here are a few reasons that it would be hard to convince me to go off the pump, at least for now:

(1) Choice to fast: Today was a busy day at work and I had no time to eat. I was around 100 when I went in and when I got home from work, I was also around 100. I have my basals set so that i can fast… and this is a nice option for me. When I was on Lantus, although it has “no peak”, I could not go all day without eating (but I guess that you wouldn’t do that anyway).

(2) Exercising without lows: if I ever exercised with Lantus in me I would have to eat a ton of carbs. I could not avoid exercise lows.

(3) Varying basal rates throughout the day: Another point is that you can adjust your basal rates. I need A LOT less basal insulin during the night that I do during the day. And more in the evening than in the morning. You can mimic this effect by splitting Lantus/Levemir doses and giving two (or more) shots a day. (Unfortunately, I didn’t know about the option when I was on MDI.) But it still cannot be as precise.

Perhaps I could get the same control with MDI, especially now that I understand more about how insulin works… but i like the system that i have going. I was diagnosed with diabetes as an (almost) adult, and the pump has helped me a lot.

Hello Kristen:

Again, I earnestly, profoundly want to thank you for even attempting to help walk me through this issue especially. And I do understand you don’t want to “convince”, I get that… and am meaningfully sorry (:::frowning: not trying ot bully you honestly…

Dosage flexability, I definately acknowledge as +1 for the pump. Not happy about it, but do get it with no denials, or bone-fide resistance on my part. It would be nice if the needle makers created specificly HALF unit markings on their syringes. Now we have to eyeball em… more of that BEST guesstimation game again. Sigh. Trust me not eating, anything I did that for the very very first time ever maybe 9 year back. I enjoyed it way too much. Have done it countless, countless times now that the NPH is bye-bye.

Eat, not eat, flexable as can be… thanks Humalog!


Hello Denise:

“Needle phobic” would in theory tend to make a pump more viable option somehow I guess. But attached to an insulin IV 24-7 is/was more bearable?

Manual was 100% mandatory when I was originally trained, mandatory part of my training, so that literally worst case, Stuart could do it, regardless of the broken insertion device whatever, the site contra indicates an inserter, etc.

But heck, I was compelled to do “manual” (by hand) finger pricking too… identical reason.


Hello Karen:

Not too familiar with Omnipod, definately want to check that out, sounds interesting. Is it the “electric car” of the pump universe???

I had a ridicilous (intolerable = 1 time btw) amount of canula crimping. If I’ve gone through the )@#$# nightmare of putting it in, it better not give me any grief and force me to repeat the process a second, third, forth @(#+_*@#@#& time. Unacceptable and intolerable in my book…

Has that aspect of the technology changed in a decade… anybody???. Has this issue been improved/addressed by the paradigm, minimed folks, etc??? Or does it still happen often in daily pump usage???


There are half unit syringes! I used them… ask the pharmacy… it was BD and on the outside of the box with says " with half unit markings".

Hope that you are able to get these…

I always wished that they had 1/4 unit markings :slight_smile: I used to be REALLY insulin sensitive.

One idea that my doctor gave was to dilute the insulin with saline solution. For example 50% insulin, 50% saline. This could help make it easier to measure precisely, but i never did it.

Best wishes!

Crimping only happened to me once. When I left my infusion set in for EIGHT DAYS :slight_smile: I haven’t done that again, but I am on day 6 now, so I will need to change it tonight!!!

I insert my infusion sets manually, using the old-fashioned comfort infusion set (at a 30 degree angle). I had problems with the 90 degree tubes bending when I inserted them by hand. I have never had a quickserter.

But I like my comfort infusion sets. It hurts about 50% of the time when I insert it, but then only for a minute.

Just my 2 cents— again!

Can I get an “amen” to 1/4 unit markings on syringes! That would be very nice. Literally be the poor man’s pump… (within .15 units of what the pumps do now a-typically).

Dilute insulin with saline solution 8 O ??? Fascinating… as an aspect of getting precise dosaging??? (Stuart’s mind exploding trying to figure this one out)

What pump were you using?

sorry I just read you were on the 507c.
I started on this pump when I was pregnant with my 2nd child. My insurance was renting it on a daily basis for me. That got to be expensive for them so they bought me a 508. Then from there I moved to an Animas. I don’t remember much of the 507c, sorry :frowning:

I don’t know if the state of getting the set to stick technology has changed a great deal, but I do know that there are more different types of sets out there now than there used to be. The best place to look at some of the more popular ones that I use (Minimed folks may disagree) is Animas’ web store. There are some of the newest ones available as well as some steady standbys (Quicksets, Silhouettes). I too wasn’t thrilled with the idea of sticking a giant needle in me but there are more of them out there now that either come with an insertion device as part of the package (Cleos, Insets, even Inset 30s now - an angled set in pretty colors :slight_smile: I’ve managed to almost pass out the first time I tried using a Comfort Short but I can do it with no problems now.
On the sticky stuff front - they have a few newer adhesives like Mastisol (REALLY sticky), SkinTac H (pretty sticky), IV3000 dressings to put down first, etc. Sorry to hear about the “sasquatch” problem, though on the up side there is always Nair or another hair remover if you’re squeamish about shaving (and really, who really likes shaving any particular body part?).
Seems like everyone else has covered the upsides of pumping for control. I guess my only suggestion would be if the infusion set technology has you worried, call and ask for samples. You might be surprised how many of the earlier issues with pump sets have been remedied.
All the best,
Sarah S.