New to insulin pumps - what do I need to know?

I have an old pump too but I have no tubing or sets.
I recently ran out of my house without my pump cause I was in the shower just before. Headed for the airport I realized it and I just used my lantus. I really like having it just in case. But I have gone many years with out keeping any long acting. Depends on your lifestyle and how secure you feel in not needing a backup

Be aware that there is an expiration date on insulin. If you want to keep a stash of old insulin it will go bad. I makes more sense to keep only one kind of insulin. There are easy ways to deal with this. I have been using Tandem for 10 years and I have two old pumps I can put in service with cartridges, infusion sets and insulin I already have. I have had a stash of old supplies for other pumps and they don’t really expire as long as they are still sterile. My favorite was the accu-chek. It used 1 AA battery this cheep and can be found anywhere. The Mimimed 506 & 508 were neat but grew to hate button batteries. Any pump that I can set a basal and do boluses is just fine with me. No cgm or algorithms necessary. 8 pumps & 38 years on pump with no long acting insulin. Every one forgets that with long acting insulin when you take the morning dose your day is determined when you’ll eat and how much. Do what works for you but I am lazy. I want all the good results with as little work as possible. :sunglasses::vulcan_salute:

Thanks guys, you both make good points :slightly_smiling_face:
in my case I’ll be a first time ever pump user, so to start with I’ll keep back up insulin as I have that already and no spare pumps (I do always watch the expiry date on those already) and then once I’ve been on the pump long enough, to want to move up to another model then I’ll make sure to keep the old pump & accessories available for the ‘just in case’ situations

so for anyone following this thread, just thought I’d give an update -
I had an appointment with my diabetes Dr (& I say diabetes Dr and not endo because she is actually a GP who just specializes in diabetes) & she was actually very impressed with all the info I had (which comes from everyone on this site that has shared! :slightly_smiling_face:)

so she wants me to go on the insulin pump & CGM - and to combat the medical insurance company (Discovery) not wanting to pay for these items, she is going to do a motivation letter - which is something medical insurance companies will allow here, so my Dr does a letter about my medical history & the issues that I’m having with lows & theres a whole bunch of medical reports as well & then Discovery will provide an answer in about a week, so fingers crossed & prayers please - that Discovery will say yes and provide full funding for both the insulin pump & CGM and then the biggest hurdle will be overcome and I can finally start this new journey :slightly_smiling_face: :pray:t2:

Thank you to everyone that has commented & shared such valuable info, I really do appreciate it !! :innocent:


You got a lot of good advice here that I can’t improve on, but if you want quickly boost your knowledge about using a pump for maximum results, there are two books that can help. Both authors have lived with diabetes and use pumps themselves. Both are certified-diabetes educators.

One is a man who spent most of his career working with persons who have diabetes and trying to figure out how to optimize its management. His name is John Walsh. His book Pumping Insulin is in its 5th edition. The 6th edition was due mid-pandemic. His book was already in its second edition when he was diagnosed.

The other is from a man who has had diabetes since 1985 and became a diabetes education. His name is Gary Scheiner. His book Think like a Pancreas is in its 3rd edition. He’s featured in Youtube videos and the channel, “Loop and Learn”.

The books have some overlap, but the combinations of the viewpoints and writing styles provide a better picture than either one alone.

Mr Walsh’s books came out much earlier, before an endocrinologist first tried to persuade me to use a pump in the late 90s. I looked at the out-of-pocket cost, the potential improvement in outcome, and didn’t think that a motorized syringe could do enough to justify the added cost. His second edition gave me the insight I needed to improve the quality of my management using MDI and the confidence to start experimenting with insulins. When I started getting regular A1C test a few years later, my A1Cs were consistently in the 6s, sometimes in the 5’s.

Later editions of Pumping Insulin helped me to recognize when and which pumps had evolved enough to start tipping the cost/benefit ratio in the right direction (2017), and when using one made sense for me.

But if I had to pick just one, Mr Scheiner’s book is a little easier to read, more pragmatic and practical, more “how to”. I followed its methodology to optimize my pump’s settings 18 months ago.


Hey, Sue…I clip my pump on the neck of my nightgowns. Works fine unless one were to sleep flat on one’s stomach.

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thank you for this info, I’ll definitely make use of Scheiner’s youtube channel as I get too easily distracted when having to read a whole book :slightly_smiling_face: so the video’s will be great insight

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I know what you mean about being easily distracted.,but don’t dismiss books so easily.

Videos are okay for instant gratification but they are shallow and more likely to be experienced as a spectator than a participant. Reading engages your memory and your mind in a way that watching a video does not.

It’s not like in school where you need to go through them linearly and there won’t be a test on Friday that counts for 10% of your grade.

Non fiction books don’t need to be read in their entirety or in a short time. These are organised more like DIY crafts or cookbooks, and like videos, you can pause, rewind, or fast forward through them at your oen pace.

You have years in which to read them -maybe more than once - as your questions and needs change,

Both of them are available through most library systems, as used, or as ebooks on Amazon for less than the cost of a box of syringes.


I appreciate your feedback, however I don’t agree… I know from first hand experience that videos can be very educational and just as easy to remember, so in my case it’s easier for me to make use of video’s.
everyone has their own preferences and what works for one might not work for another, so I’m not at all saying books don’t have value to them, I’m just saying in my case video’s will work better so will go that route and appreciate the info you provided

We have different backgrounds and experiences, so our opinions ought to be different. If not, one of us is redundant :grinning:.

I use the same media as you do, but I live 8+ hours a day with a laptop, 2-3 hours searching/watching Youtube videos at 2X, and about the same amount of time reading “books”, mostly downloaded from libraries. I’m retired and can choose how to spend every hour of my day. . You probably have lots of demands on your time.

I wish you luck using Youtube to get information on diabetes. I’ve watched hundreds of those videos. When you watch the videos I think that you’ll see some kindred spirits, many people who share our disease, but be disappointed as I have been to find that most talk about what they did, talk about doing things - not how or why to do them.

Two channels that you may find helpful are Diabetes Strong and Type One Talks. They feature people who actively experiment with using diabetes technology. and talk about the problems and solutions they’ve found. They provide insight about the newest tech from the perspective of people fortunate to have been able to use it all.


Thank you :grin:

For dresses: men’s lightweight boxer shorts. Great waistbands


I’d go with the omnipod 5 just for the tubeless and automated function. Type1 since 2002.

i also highly recommend researching loop programs (apple phones) or aaps(Android), as these offer ways to use the cgm and pumps in a sophisticated way that also has the least amount of restrictions…xdrip(cgm program/app) and a smart watch that will link to the software and display your cgm numbers are probably my favorite diabetes tech, but setting those up properly are extremely important. most pumps and cgms are interchangeable with loop/aaps, so its more a question of which one will be covered or which one is most cost effective

well I’m limited to only one option for an insulin pump here in South Africa, which also has a CGM that works with it and thats the Medtronic Mini Med 780G insulin pump, together with Gaurdian 4 CGM - so that is what I’m currently busy fighting with my medical insurance to cover. They just yesterday gave me a response which was a no to funding of it… but I was kinda expecting that, so my broker has already sent an appeal through to them to challenge it

but I’m curious about the loop app that you speak of @roger5 - I presumed there would be an app specifically made for use of the two devices above, so is there more than one that could work? (I have an older iphone which I don’t use anymore but could use just for the purpose of these devices or I have an android which is the phone I’m actually using)

the android aaps is most likely more advanced than the Medtronic software, as it will be a closed loop system after all of the objectives(learning exercises) are completed, and one of the major benefits of looping is that it will work with whichever Android phone you are using… its a little challenging to set up, and you’ll need to set up a nightscout account, but its definitely worth it, and something to research while you get used to the pump

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ok so I just had a look at the nightscout thing… its soooo complicated :astonished: surely there must be a normal app that I can just download and use?

its essentially complicated if you dont want to pay anything, however, keep in mind its a do it yourself copy and paste app(more time consuming than difficult and no coding experience is necessary) for your own glucose numbers and for a while, it was essential for parents, caregivers, etc. also works with Alexa and aaps for reports that your dr can easily view at any time. and is essentially the only way to see any reports with aaps. if you start on your day off and slowly follow all the directions, you’ll see its a lot easier than it seems…and there are other relatively easier options now, however, the downside is you’ll have to pay a monthly maintenance fee…

@roger5 do you have names of paid apps to monitor CGM & insulin pumps?

aaps is a build your own app and the one ive used since 5/2022 because thats when i realized my insurance covered the pump via pharmacy…the closest apps might be xdrip(cgm) and pump control, but the pump control app does not allow looping and is very limited. i only suggested aaps because you mentioned you might be stuck with Medtronic… omnipod5 or tandem is a lot easier and probably closer to what you’d expect, but if those aren’t offered and you want more options, then aaps is worth taking a closer look