Help to decide on a pump

My 13 year old was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic in July of 2013. He is wanting to start using a pump. He is leaning toward the likes the touch screen and the size of the pump. He thought about the Omnipod but after wearing a pod with saline for a couple of days he has decided that he doesn't think that is the best for him. We are also considering the medtronic. I would like some advise from some other pump users on the pros and cons of each of these pumps. I have read reviews online but would like some advice from people with first hand experience.
Thanks in advance for your help.

Okee Dokee! Good for him!!
A t1D since 1959, I began insulin pump use in 1996. After MANY conundrums through the MANY years, I am presently using A Medtronic. Am unfamiliar with the T-slim at this time except for seeing its advertisements, I intend on discussing this alternative with my doctor. You see, I have a four-year contract to live through before being able to make a change. Insurance company and all. Actually, give your insurance comapnay a call and get some details along with your son's doctor's advice.
It will all work out.

I have an Animas Ping - waiting for the Vibe which has a CGM integrated with it - The Dexcom4. I'd check that one out too. I do know that the T-Slim had John Walsh (he wrote Pumping Insulin a book I highly recommend - along with another book Thank Like a Pancreas by Gary Scheiner). The Ping is waterproof so that might be a consideration. And my own experience as well as others the CGM from Dexcom is more accurate than the one offered by Medtronic.

One thing to do is to check the websites for the various pumps. See if you can't meet with a rep to actually handle the pump and push some buttons. The reps (or the 800 number for the pump companies) can tell you whether or not your insurance will cover that particular pump.

I am very happy as a pumper. I can micro-dose (e.g. 0.25 units of insulin if that is all I need). Another idea for checking out pumps, talk to local Endo practices and/or hospitals to see if they have upmper and/or type 1 support groups. There you will have the opportunity to ask people who use the pump what they like and dislike about a particular pump.

The only pump I have used is the Animas Ping, so I can only render an opinion on it. I chose it primarily for two reasons: it is waterproof (I'm outside in all weather, plus I enjoy such activities as swimmimg and rafting.) and for the meter/remote that means I don't need to extract my pump from wherever I have it stashed when I need some insulin. I know a lot of people are excited about the Vibe with the integrated CGM, but for me, personally, if I decide to get a CGM I would rather have a separate one than give up my meter/remote. I haven't had any problems with my Ping that I have had for 2 1/2 years.

It is too bad that the meter remote will disappear with the Vibe. But I rarely use it so I won't miss it. I guess the thing I am excited about with the Vibe is only one thing on my waist (or in my bra, or in the pump camisole I found. (The cami is available form the Diabetes Mall, John Walsh's website) I find the meter-remote meter is a little large, and so I use the ultra mini when I'm not home and am in the habit of entering everything manually in my pump.

Selecting a pump is a very personal process. I would recommend making lists of absolute must have features, would like to have features and ones which don't matter one way or the other. This is basically the procedure I used when selecting my pump.

I like to swim and snorkel so a waterproof pump was important to me. The only pump at the time I got my pump which met that criteria was the Animas product. It also met my requirement for very fine bolus and basal tuning. So that is the pump I chose. Initially I had the Animas 2020 and now have the Animas Ping. I've been very happy with both.

I'd definitely recommend making the lists like I mentioned above then look at all the product offerings to see which pump most closely fits your must have and like to have features.

I have been T1 for 71 years, and have been pumping for 18.5 years. Your son sounds like he has been studying the situation carefully, although not for very long. I think you should let him choose the pump he wants unless you have significant reservations about his choice. I am using an Animas Ping, and don't have any problems with it, but if the t-slim had been announced when I was choosing my most recent pump, I would have chosen it.

I´ve been using a pump for more than 20 years and the one that´s done the most for me is the Animas Vibe with integrated CGM. I know it´s not yet approved in the US, but as I´ve understood it soon will and you can start with some other Animas pump (the Ping?) and get an upgrade when it becomes available (correct me if I´m wrong here). My life as a diabetic can be described as before and after getting a CGM, and the Dexcom G4 is by far the most accurate. For me this is also the only CGM that has ever actually worked. The only pump that has the Dexcom G4 integrated is Animas, so that´s my choice. That said, other pros is that the Animas is waterproof and that is really important to me. This said, you also need to try different infusion sets to be fully satisfied with a pump no matter which one you choose. It took me almost 20 years to discover that short steel cannulas with the longest tubing you can get is the best combo for me. These days I never (almost) have trouble with absorption and can happily trust my pump.

I agree regarding the meter/remote. I will not miss it either. There have been more than a few instances where I bolus using the meter/remote and it gets canceled because of a communication problem between it and the pump even though they were less than one foot apart. I use the Dexcom CGMS and would love to get the Vibe. As you said, one less thing on my belt.

My 13 year old has been using the Animas Ping for 9 months and a Dexcom G4 CGM for about 2 months. We love them both. I love being able to do corrections with the Animas remote while my son sleeps. The Ping is also waterproof. We usually remove it for swimming since swimming makes him go low, however, several times he has forgotten that he had his pump on and he jumped in the lake wearing it. Had it been another pump, I think it would have been ruined. My son also likes the insersion device w/the Ping better. He tried the Medronics insersion device (mio, I believe) on in a trial and it hurt him more.

Try to see if your endo. will let him try out the different insertion devices and see if he prefers one over the other.

I also recommend looking into the Dexcom G4 CGM. It has, by far, made living with TID much more manageable. It alerts you to lows while they sleep, exercise, etc.

The T:slim was not an option for us as the time that my son got his pump. It was so new on the market that they did not have all the bugs worked out yet and the downloading software wasn't yet released. I think that has all been worked out now. He will research the T:slim when it is time for a new pump in three years.

Whatever you choose, you will be happy. Using a pump is so much better than the other options, especially for teens who are always hungry and snacking.

Best wishes on your decision.

If you want to read about the t:slim, William Dubois has tested it and you can read about it here on his blog LifeAfterDx.

71 years - PHEW! It is a pleasure for me to meet you, hear you, know this. I am a T1D for 55 years.
The Animas Ping was nothing but a problem for me! the two years in which it was in my possession, it had to be replaced seven time - 7!! At one point, I chose to maintain life through six insulin injections per day. A frightening and horrible period. But, I thrived with courageious. Through the assistance and time of my endeared endocrinologist, I am now using a Medtronic Paradigm for the last ten months without a problem.
Fight for life! Fight for life!
ANdrea Roth (aka: A. K. Buckroth)

Hi Laurie,

First, please feel encouraged in your pursuit of an insulin pump for your 13 year old T1 son. Way to go in taking the bull by the horns. Second to testing his blood frequently, using an insulin pump to treat insulin dependent diabetes IMHO is the most important chooice a diabetic or his/her parents can make as to being pro-active in diabetic care (and soon to be SELF CARE).

He'll be able to bolus as he snacks with an appropriate amount of insulin, a 13 year old is ALWAYS eating, so, this is really taking the bull by the horns that will pay dividends.

Using a pump is a giant leap towards living a long, healthy, meaningful and near non-diabetic as one can (presently) get. I'm not sorry when I say "MDI is simply antiquated".

As to pumps. I've used a few. In past posts, I pretty much indicate that I dislike Medtronic as a company with a vengeance. My experience is that their customer service and support is severely lacking.

As to Tandem Diabetes, I've not used their t:slim, but I understand that it's a great pump, to be frank, in speaking with their people on numerous occasions, I expect great things from Tandem. I don't think you can go wrong with it. Lots of reviews here and on other diabetic forums, the isers of the t:slim seem pretty pleased.

With the above in mind, I'm an Animas Ping user. Do I have complaints about it? Not really. But to be frank, I've had a few pump replacements for various reasons. However, much to the credit of Animas, they handle those emergencies with overnight replacements during warranty. When I have had questions, their customer service/support is superb, they will talk you through anything pump related to their product. Ease of use, well, it's pretty straight forward and comes with plenty of reference material, not that you'll need it, youtube has so many videos on the how to's of this and that PING related, you're never far away from monkey see monkey do solutions. The color screen is easy to read with my brown diabetic eyes! Hey, that's saying something. The meter/remote is VERY useful. I use THAT to bolus more than 95% of the time. It even lights up so I can see it, which I find very useful!

The pump and meter is Mom/wife friendly, so, lets be honest here, my wife manages my diabetes as much as I do. And when I sleep, if she gets a "weird feeling", she doesn't even bother to wake me up, she takes my meter, grabs a "D-stick" off of me, and will bolus if necessary or wake me to "carb up" if I am low. So, she's kind of doing a similiar job you are in respect to your son's diabetic care.

The VIBE, it is not available to the US market YET, but buckle up for it, because it does what the PING does AND it integrates CGM, I see this is a huge plus.

Bottom lines:

What will your insurance pay for? If the Ping or t:slim are up for grabs with your insurance, either will do fine (Although I have not used the t:slim personally). Call both of the reps for your area, gets them to meet with you at your son's Endo's office to SEE the pumps. Compare for yourself as well. Have your son's BG logs handy, when you've decided on a pump, your pump rep will need those, you'll fill out the forms and your rep should fax them from the Endo's office to speed things up (If your rep is worth their salt) and get it ordered. Lots of great comments have been posted above mine.


I had been using a MiniMed for about 15 years and just switched to the Animas Ping. I switched because I thought I would like to be able to control the pump, set a temp basal or take a bolus remotely from the glucometer without pulling out my pump. The Ping does this well. The Animas Ping also gives a quicker bolus - about 5 seconds for 5 units of insulin - although when operating the pump remotely from the glucometer the "computing" is on the slow side. The Ping pump is also waterproof. The Infusion set comes with a spring loaded "inserter" for the benefit of people who have difficulty sticking themselves with a needle.

The advantages to the MiniMed is first that changing the infusion set is much easier with fewer parts. The reservoir/syringe on the MiniMed comes all put together whereas with the Ping pump the reservoir/syringe comes in five parts which need to be put together.

As for "wearing" the pump. With the MInimed pump I always used the leather pouch which wrapped around my belt neatly and out of the way-you could not see the screen or tell it was an insulin pump. I have now put the Animas pump in the same pouch BUT the pump screen is upside down unless I take the pump out of the pouch or just learn to read it upside down.

Haven't decided down which pump I really prefer as yet. For you and your son it depends on which features are most important.


I´ve been using pumps for about 20 years, most of them has been from Medtronic. I switched to Animas Vibe almost two years ago (I live in Europe) solely because it has integrated CGM. All other aspects apart, that has turned out to be a "before and after" in my diabetes life. It´s that great. Another big pro for me is that it´s waterproof. All other variables is something I either can lear to cope with or try to find a solution for.

Good luck with chooosing the right thing for your son.