I'm a Pumper!

This was originally posted to my blog, Diabetes Odyssey.

I’ve been aware of insulin pumps for many years. Way back in the late '90’s/ early 2000’s I actually wanted a pump but I wasn’t allowed one because I was considered (appropriately) an uncontrolled diabetic and my doctor required an A1c of 8 or lower before she would let me get a pump.

As the years went by I slowly became less and less interested in pumps and eventually decided I didn’t want one at all. My reasoning was purely personal. I was poor and the thought of steady insurance coverage was fleeting. I didn’t think a pump was reasonable to my lifestyle.

Once I did get insurance and got my blood sugar under control, my thoughts of a pump quickly shifted back to favorable. My endo asked me if I was interested and at first I said no. Then, a month ago, I asked her for one and she immediately got the ball rolling. So here I am a month later, and today is my first day pumping.

And I’m already in love.

I got the Animas Vibe. It is easy to use, and just like my Dexcom CGM, it is hardly noticeable to wear. I don’t feel a thing.

I have my basal rate programmed, I bolus as needed. I only use fast acting insulin so no more Lantus, just Humalog. The pump calculates everything and recommends what it thinks I should do, but I make the decisions and am in control of everything. The Animas connects to my Dexcom so everything is controlled from my pump so I don’t have to wear or use the Dexcom receiver at all.


For the next 4 to six weeks I have to check my blood sugar 6 to eight times a day and log them, my carbs, my activities, and my insulin. I have to do this in order to make sure my new dosing is adequate. Pumping uses different math than shots. It’s actually just as easy but makes life so much less stressful.

I plan to keep you all updated on my pumping progress. I still have stuff to get used to and straighten out, obviously. But I have to say the future looks bright!


I’m glad you like it! I was shocked at how much I liked having a pump!


Welcome to the club! It sure does make life so much less stressful, and I think it’s much easier once you get the hang of it. I’m happy to read you see the future as bright!


I tried posting a comment on your blog, but got a message that my comment couldnot be posted for some reason. I entered my name, e-mail, and blog, so not sure what the issue was.

I found pumping made control much easier, but the real breakthrough for me was adding a CGM years later and combining the benefits of the two. The ability to adjust insulin on an hour-by-hour basis based on CGM data is truly amazing.


Glad to hear you’re enjoying the pump so far. I got a pump last November, but not for any of the conveniences of it. I was having regular hypos, and my endo correctly thought a pump would help. Ironically, my insurance gave me a problem getting the pump because I had GOOD control. They wanted to see an A1c over 8.5 or regular highs over 500 – neither of which I have.

Long story, but at least for now, I have the Omnipod (did consider the Vibe - not sure I made the right choice, but can’t likely change for now). Pumping has resolved the issues I’d faced and - most of the time - has all the added convenience benefits as well.


Congratulations–it certainly makes life easier. One thing you need is a bit of patience getting it fully dialed in. I think my expectations on that were a little under-informed and it led to quite a bit of frustration at the beginning. It took a couple of months before I felt like I was getting back to the level of control I’d been getting on MDI, and all pumps have their own little quirks and annoyances (my Medtronic woke me up at 3 this morning to tell me I’m going to need to change my reservoir sometime before noon today–one of the things I loved about my late lamented Snap pump was that you could set it not to alert you about sh-- that is NOT an emergency at 3 in the goddam morning). But all that aside, it’s emphatically an improvement to your freedom and ability to control things.

Not least of the benefits: you can now join in with other TUD pumpers in our discussions of the minutiae of pump techniques, tricks, and trials and tribulations. Welcome to your new sub-group!


*i,m so happy for you
I also did not want a pump at first but since year 2000 I love my pumpminimed 523
Enjoy !


a quick look at the upper left of the home screen shows a graphic of how much (roughly) is left in the reservoir. I kick myself when I am out for dinner at a restaurant and there are no bars left! :slight_smile: If my wife is wearing her pump, I connect up to hers for a bolus and give it back to her. when finished with the bolus

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Yup, and I’m generally quite aware of where I am in the refill cycle, which is why getting my chain yanked about it at stupid-o’clock in the morning when it wasn’t urgent was so annoying. It did drive me to finally go track down the preference settings for alerts. Turns out you can jigger it so this kind of thing is less likely. It’s not a great user interface but there is a lot of stuff in there if you go hunting for it.

It is nice, isn’t it? Been pumping nearly 3 years now and it still surprises me the boost in my quality of life being able to customize basal and set temp basals vs shots.


I’m glad you like pumping! I still have some issues with it, one is the risks of dka- how quickly my bg goes up as soon as I have 0 insulin really scares me. However there is nothing like a pump for treating lows and also just the fact that you can actually adjust your basal which you can never do with MDI. Make sure you carry insulin/pens/vials/syringes etc. with you just in case the pump or your inset fails and carry extra insets too. :relaxed:

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I agree with you about that Snap feature - miss it, too, as well as the feature to turn off BG-testing reminders. My Omnipod PDM loves to burn up batteries in order to try and remind me to test my BG 90-min after changing pods. I wear a Dexcom - I’ll test when I wish to test and certainly do not need reminders! And while I’m lamenting the Snap - why is it the only one that could accurately report remaining insulin? Omnipod reports only 50+u or whole units between 5 and 50 - then it says “Low” - which, in my experience so far, can mean anything from 1 to 15 units!

I was having regular hypos twice a day on MDI – any changes I made to me basal insulin helped for 2-3 days, after which the hypos returned to the same points in the day. The ability to adjust basals throughout the day/night is a lifesaver! I also have had some bad absorption problems which have improved with pump use. Convenience certainly took a back seat in my decision to try a pump, but that certainly adds to the total package.

Alarms at weird hours, maybe not so much :smirk:

If one tests on a regular basis, it’s unlikely one will go into DKA just because of an occasional no-delivery. Nighttime no-delivery would be the most problematic. Been there (pulled out sets), but never approached DKA. The worst bg I have ever recorded was in the high 400’s. I felt AWFUL!! I feel bad if I get into the high 200’s.

I wouldn’t shy away from pumping due to DKA concerns. Quality of life in both short term and long term is what I look at and for most pumpers that’s where it’s at.

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