Best Pump out there?

Hi everyone! SO, I am fairly new to TuDiabetes in that I created this profile more than a year ago and haven't been on here for quite a while (YIKES)!

Anyhow, just a quick question, which I am quite sure you all have seen on here:

What is the best pump out there?

I have a twin sister who also is a type 1 diabetic and who this year, went into renal failure, so docs want me to look into possibly getting on an insulin pump. I have my reservations about it because I haven't looked into it too much yet so I figure, why not ask those who know insulin pumps BEST! ...

Here are a few factors that I look into with why I ask...

When I sleep, I start on the right side of the bed, and may wake up in my closet (basically, I don't sleep pretty HAHA). So, I'm nervous of too much wiring so I'm looking into a possible wireless Insulin Pump...

I also travel A LOT for work (average 3 days out of a week between February to September)! So I'm looking for something possibly as compact as can be (but read something about taking into consideration the units that the pump takes)... I know I'll still need to bring supplies but if there are any travelers out there, any suggestions?

Of course, price of supplies! I am covered by Premera Blue Cross Gold Plan but I'm not sure what they will cover but I'd like to know my options :)

I'm still looking into the Insulin Pump but I am about 85% sure I WANT to get one to take that one step further into living a healthier lifestyle. As a kid, my parents were not so fortunate so we didn't get the best care that we probably could have got as diabetic twins (totally not blaming my parents because they worked very hard, even to this day as a 27 year old, to make sure we are well), but now that I am older, I've made it a thing to take care of myself the best I can from now on.

Any of your feed back will help! I'm due for my appt in order to speak with my doctor about the whole thing but wanted to get others opinion on the whole thing :)

Much Ofas (LOVE) from me!

Here's a comprehensive and current (December 2014) review of pumps, written by Melissa Lee, a TuD member.

I've used Medtronic, Insulet (Omnipod), and Animas pumps. I wasn't successful with the Omnipod but many like the tubeless option. I have no trouble living with my tubed Animas Ping. It's dependable yet a bit retro-looking. In an ideal world, you should try a pump out for at least several days before you make a four-year commitment to any one system.

Be aware that a pump is just a dumb tool. The most important asset is your knowledge of how to make a pump work for you. You should invest some time in studying pump therapy techniques discussed in Think Like a Pancreas by Scheiner and Pumping Insulin by Walsh.

Simply attaching a pump will not make your control better. You have to know how to drive it where you want to go. You should already be familiar with insulin to carb ratios, insulin sensitivity factors, and duration of insulin action. Once you learn how to use the various features, an insulin pump can make your life more flexible. It is more convenient than multiple daily injections.

Traveling with any pump is not that hard. You just have to make sure you have your necessary supplies and be able to take care of your glucose business when needed. There's a few things you'll need to know about the TSA screening procedures at the airports but you'll learn that fast.

AWESOME and THANK YOU! Good start in the right direction for me :) AND I'll definitely be looking at the links you provided! I definitely did figure that I'd have to use a few different ones before I found 'THE ONE'...

I've been on the 'Insulin to Carb' ratios for the past year so I'm slowly familiarized myself with it all but new knowledge about is always great! I believe what is selling me on a pump at this point is that it will make things a bit more flexible, as you mentioned...

Again, THANK YOU :)

I've used Medtronic pumps since 2008 and have found them very easy to use and very reliable. I like that I can see the screen very easily in bright sunlight and that the menus are easy to navigate. I'm very comfortable with it and have done very well with it.

I had an opportunity to meet with a T-Slim salesman recently and was very impressed with that product as well. It was in the evening (ok, 5:00 but in December in Chicago, it was dark...) so I didn't get to check the visibility but I like that it seems to be more water resistant than the Medtronic pumps. Two of my local buddies met with the guy too and they both bought them almost immediately. I heard from one that the priming/ loading process with the Tslim is a bit convoluted (maybe that's not the right word however based on her description of the process, it sounded a bit uncomfortable?) but I think she just got it Friday and I haven't heard how well it's working out.

I've liked the Medtronic because it's integrated with the CGM. The newly released in the US Animas Vibe is similarly integrated with the Dexcom which also sounds very appealing. I'm not quite ready to pull the trigger but have thought about the potential to switch a bit. On one hand, switching would have a bunch of chores, phone calls, etc. The Dexcom sensors are widely reported to be both more accurate and cheaper than the Medtronic sensors, if only because they last longer. The TSlim salesman said something to the effect that "This is not official but we are working on our Next Gen pump, integrated with the Dexcom, and it may be available sometime in 2015 and if you google around there's hints of it floating around but who knows about that.

Ideally, you'd get to try one. I got the pump first, then found the DOC (in 2008) and had already pulled the trigger and I've never considered switching too much. I agree with Terry that it's not so much the pump as how you approach diabetes that will get you where you want to go. Something they didn't talk about much in the "sales" process that I've found very useful is how well the pump logs things, sort of R2D2ey, it's always there and keeps track of food, BG when entered and all of that much more effectively than I was ever able to. That helped me take control of my diabetes and push it to the next level. If I didn't feel confident that I knew what I was doing, I'm not sure if it would provide the same benefits. I hope you find one that you like as much as I've liked mine!

There are as many opinions as pumps out there. Personally, having debated this just two or so months ago, I was torn between the tubeless OmniPod and the 21st century t:slim. I ultimately decided I didn't want a big pod stuck to me with robust adhesive, and was also less keen on the somewhat more crude capabilities.

I'm extremely happy with my t:slim--not just pretty like an Apple device, but user friendly like one, too, and very sophisticated in its capabilities. The tubing is much less of an issue than I'd thought--it's actually kind of nice to be able to position the pump independently of the infusion site. But one crucial component is my SPIbelt (diabetic model), which allows the pump to discretely sit where I want it to, and independent of my clothes, so I can get dressed and undressed, wear it over or under clothes, wear it naked after getting out of the shower, put it where I want to while I sleep, and again independent of clothes. The t:slim should ship with an SPIbelt!

Wanted to weigh in on tubing and "messy sleeping". I have a Ping and when I got it my trainer said "just stick the pump under your pillow" - I did and in minutes me and my cat were tangled in tubing. So now I clip it to sleep shorts in summer and thermals in winter and it stays put. I often clip it to my back as I mostly sleep on sides or stomach but I am good at sliding it around on my waist without waking myself up if it bothers me, or just switching places if it's annoying me underneath. You can't hurt it by lying on it.
I agree with niccolo that the tubing becomes a non-issue for most of us very quickly.

Agreed. And again, I find the SPIbelt is key to this for me. The clip case for my t:slim is a little bulky, but with the SPI belt, I can comfortably sleep on my stomach with the pump located on my stomach, it's that slim, but usually I try to push it to my back/side, in part because I'd prefer to keep it as cool as possible to avoid spoiling the insulin.

I agree, Zoe. The tubing becomes a non-issue pretty quickly. I was always a little skeptical of the big deal that the patch pumpers made about the advantages of no tubing. In my 27+ years of tube pumping, I've snagged my tubing maybe three times! None of them pulled the site out.

Only time I worry about tubing is when it is not tucked into my waist and is dangling enticingly and I see that predator look in my cat's eyes. Your dog is probably better behaved.

Many THANKS to you! Again, very useful to get the opinions of those who use an Insulin Pump, you know what I mean? I mean my doctor's have been trying to 'sell' me on getting on a pump for a couple of years but when I ask them what their opinions on the best one out there, I think they just give me the most 'basic' without really knowing what I should be looking for AND they do not use one. I liked what you and Terry mentioned, that it's not so much the pump, but more of what you get out of it and being able to drive it and use it correctly in order to get the results you want.

I definitely appreciate it! Thanks again and Happy New Years!

Thank you, thank you! I know that when the docs started trying to get me on an Insulin Pump, I originally looked at an OmniPod (because of no tubing) but I'll look into that t:slim as well... Maybe I am looking too much in to the worry of the tubing and maybe it will work it perfectly fine with an Insulin Pump that has tubing attached to it :) As long as it helps me, I'm happy!

THANKS AGAIN and Happy Holidays!

I realize I am probably a little late… but I wanted to weigh in.

I have tried both the Animas Ping and the Omnipod. Currently I am using the Omnipod, but only until I can get back to my endo and switch back…. here's my main reason.

Besides the adhesive wrecking havoc on my skin (which is an issue that does not apply to everyone), I have found one "fatal" flaw with my Omnipod. If you misplace or forget to take you controller/glucometer with you, you HAVE to go back and get it. There is no running into a drug store and buying a glucometer to check your sugar and bolus. You can NOT work the pump without the controller which has left me in a pickle several times and I am not an irresponsible person. With a tubed pump, you can control it with the pump itself, allowing you to use any glucometer in a pinch and make adjustments/boluses as needed using the pump. That is my number one reason for switching. Sometimes, I just need to make a quick adjustment, or I am out and decide I want to eat something and want to bolus for it but forgot the controller.

I have had to go back for it, missed out on food opportunities, and even been low because I couldn't decrease my basal while out shopping because I left the controller at home. I know that seems dumb and I know I should have it with me all the time and I usually do. In fact, when I first got it I never forgot to take it with me, but my life is hectic and I forget, or say to myself "ill only be gone an hour". All sorts of reasons.

And you need the controller to shut off any alarms as well… including the 4 hour warning on it expiring. If you don't have the controller you beep like every 15 minutes several times and it's not quiet.

Finally, I find the alarms very annoying. And the fact that the Pods "expire". In the middle of the night, a pod expires and then it alarms every hour or so until you change it even though it's still good for 8 hours after it expires. With my Animas, I was in control and could change when it was convenient for me. So basically, I felt like all the freedom the Pods provided was negated by alarms and the controller problem. I like the idea of having my Animas pump right on me where I can control it and make it work how I need it to, without constant reminders I do not need. I'm a grown up, I don't want to be bothered to change my pump at 4a unless its not working or out of insulin.

I was all set on getting a pod, but ended up changing my mind after some research, and I have to admit over time that decision looks better and better to me, of course in part because I'm super happy with my new t:slim so far. But of course, to each his/her own.

One thought--what if you had a bracelet, like one of those Livestrong ones, that you took off when you put down the controller, and slipped back on when you pocketed the controller again. You could be self disciplined about always doing that. And then you'd always have a very tangible reminder of whether your controller was on your person. Just a thought that popped into my head as I read your comment.

I could do that… but I think overall, the Anima pump is a better choice for me. It's just more convenient for me. This way I can go back to have a million glucometers stored everywhere I may need them…lol.

I hear you. Glad you have the option to switch!

I have the omnipod and I can't imagine using anything else! It allows me so much freedom to do whatever I want at any time. The pump is waterproof and wireless, so you can swim and shower with it, which is super important for me because I have 2-hour long water polo and swim practices almost every day. I've traveled internationally with it, and it was a dream come true. The PDM controller fits into a handbag quite nicely, even my little crossbody bag that I take to parties (I'm a college student). I carry a little bag with me everywhere and almost never put it down, so I never leave it anywhere. It sits in my backpack all day and my small bag at night. Honestly, if you're responsible, you won't leave it anywhere. Would you leave your wallet at home? No, you put it in your pocket because it's habit. One thing I don't love is that sometimes the pump digs into you a little if you sleep on your stomach, but I'm a side sleeper so it doesn't really matter much. I'm still on my parents' insurance so I'm not sure how much it costs, but I know we don't pay for it out of pocket…?

One last thing to note:

You're going to be with this thing for 4 years, so I'd get with the reps from each company, and see which one suits you best. As for the tubing thing, there are a few caveats:

1. When sleeping, it's probably best to have PJ's with a pocket.
2. When awake, have good brakes when walking. It's a learned thing, but learned very quickly. Doorknobs are a hazard that are usually underestimated.
3. Women, you are lucky. You can clip yours to your bra, and go wirelessly to avoid the tubing tangle. I keep mine in my pants pocket, and do the wireless thing, but I still have that little bit of tubing hanging out.

I know this sounds frightening, but it's really not that big of a deal. Maybe once or twice a year, my tubing gets pulled out, and I keep a few extra infusion sets in my backpack (think "man purse").

One last thing about the tubing... Diabetics know what the tubing looks like, and it does build a camaraderie between pumpers. I have been at Ikea and had strangers come up to me and ask what kind of pump I have, and we leave as friends.

If you haven't already selected a pump, see if there is a pumper's meeting and take a look at them.

The Medtronic clip and underwear works great for sleeping too. As far as pants, I wear belts and belay the coiled tubing around my belt and it's very neat and tidy. I've had zero sets pulled out as I use the Medtronic Silhouttes which will support a pump if I stand up and it falls to the end of the tube. I've had a couple fall out running, like 14 miles in the 90s temperaturewise and super humid but now I watch the weather and use extra Opsite Flexifix for. I agree with Jeffy that it's not that big of a deal but the rig I have has worked really solidly for me and I have had very few, like maybe 1/2 dozen problems since I started pumping in 2008. 1/2 of those were "motor errors" and the pump kept working but Medtronic sent me a new pump anyway.

I REALLY wish I had a sensor when I started on a pump. Just sayin.' If your a sleep walker, or something, try Omnipod pump and a Dexcom sensor. Medtronic sensor out of date.

That is a good point, you do need the controller to shut off the alarms. I was once in a meeting at work and left the controller behind, it started beeping and I had to leave and get the controller to stop the beeping. But now I tend to take the controller with me whenever I leave the house.

Another issue with the OmniPod is the newer PDM has several "safety" beeps that are annoying. One of them is I have to confirm that I am me when I turn the PDM on. If I don't do this and insert a test strip and put a drop of blood on it, the test strip is no good and I then have to confirm myself and do it again. Another issue is after putting a new pod on, after a while it will beep to remind me to test my blood sugar. So if I change the pod in the evening I have to stay awake for the reminder beep or it will wake me up. I have been on the OmniPod since 2007 and I certainly don't need these reminders, but they can't be turned off in settings. I also use the Dexcom, and if the tubed pumps get integrated with the Dexcom I will seriously consider changing. Also, I agree that the Spibelt is an essential part of my wardrobe. I wear it constantly. I put glucose tabs and the Omnipod PDM in the pocket and the Dexcom receiver in a Tallygear and slide it on the belt.