Pump or Shot...what should he do?

My husband was recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes late last spring at the age of 28. For the past year we both have had a crash course in learning everything that we can, and he currently uses insulin shots 4 times a day.
I was hesitant to check out a chat room but wanted to see if anyone else had some opinions on the following feelings/ emotions?
Currently his numbers have been a bit higher then normal for him (180-200) and he is meeting with his specialist next week. We both know that they will discuss the insulin pump, but my husband doesn’t seem to excited about it. When we talked about it today he mentioned how he doesn’t have a problem or feel ashamed telling peple that he now has diabetes but that he feels as though by having the pump this would make him be associated more with the disease and that by having the pump would make him feel uncomfortable, not normal etc. Plus he feels as though with the type of profession that he is in (law enforcement) it wouldn’t look as good.
I was wondering whether anyone has an opinion, by being his wife I want to support him in anyway that I can and was wondering whether anyone has insight or has experienced the emotions that he feels right now?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Hi Melissa,
I don’t have a pump. But all of the people whom I have talked to with a pump have just loved theirs. I currently take 2 shots of Lantus a day and 3 or 4 shots of Humalog a day. My doctor has offered me a pump, but I can’t see how i would handle it. i am in contact with small children each day and have them in my arms or on my lap , etc all the time. I can’t think of any place to secure the pump that it wouldn’t get disconnected, pulled out of my skin or other wise dislodged. And i have an adhesive tape problem. A lot of women keep theirs either in their bras or in a little pouch pinned to their bra. I guess the biggest thing is that i don’t want something attached to me that I have to carry around all the time. I don’t mind the shots and I have really tight control with the combination of insulins I am using. A lot of people say they have better control with a pump. I think it is just what a person can accept that matters. I hope your husband gets lots of good imformation and can take a look at a pump to make his decision. Being diabetic is a situation that forces you to take better care of yourself, but it puts you on a rollercoaster of emotions. It is great to see a spouse who understands that. Good luck to you both

If your husband is uncomfortable with the pump, maybe he should talk to his specialist about how to get better control. Going on the pump does not automatically result in better numbers. Does he chart his carb intake and post meal numbers? Perhaps he needs to adjust the timing of his shots, or the amount of his basal insulin. It is possible that since he is so recently diagnosed, he is moving out of the honeymoon phase. The pump is a major commitment so I don’t think anyone should push him into using one just because his control isn’t perfect at the moment. There are lots of ways to get better control while still using MDI. (Multiple Daily Injections.) I was diagnosed last spring also, and use shots. I eat a low carbohydrate diet and my BG is in the normal range almost all the time. I’m sure some of the people on the pump will have opinions too. Good luck, and I think it’s wonderful that you are being so supportive.

While I was at lunch out today with my husband, I was sitting waiting for him to bring the food order to the table, and as I sat there I thought back to my 35 years of shooting up and how truly abnormal that is. Pulling out a syringe and shooting up to eat. Even when I was on two shots a day and knew nothing about carb counting or testing blood sugars, because I come from the dark ages when a meter did not even exist, I some how felt very happy and content as I sat there with my bgs hovering around 100 and bolusing 10 units via my pump for my lunch (yes I take a lot of insulin). I was actually happy, which I am not to often about having diabetes for 41 years, to pull out my pump and push a button to deliver my insulin. I also thought, and that is why I am responding to your post, how totally abnormal shots/syringes are in a normal every day life and how easy and normal bolusing insulin via pump is and yes normal entered my mind, soooo funny you should post this question. Oooo and I had a great bgs day today, and yes I am happy and feel almost normal with my pump (good bgs have a way of making me feel happy and feel good, not always possible for pumping or shots).

I feel pumping is the best way to deliver insulin and the most normal way to look for your husband’s line of work.


I’m on the pump and love it! BUT I don’t think that it is always the right thing for everyone. Starting on the pump involves a lot of work and commitment-- so I think that it is SO important that the person with diabetes WANTS the pump. If your husband doesn’t want it now, then the important thing is to figure out how to improve his control with multiple daily injections (one idea that works for many people is splitting up the long acting insulin into two injections at certain times of the day).

From my own experience, I rushed onto the pump at a point in my life when I didn’t have the energy, time, or support to learn how to handle it. My A1c on the pump was worse that on injections. NOW that I have learned a lot more about how to use the pump, I see the benefits that it has over injections and it would be hard for me to go back to life without it!! So I would keep the pump in mind for the future, but for now, find a way to improve control that you are both comfortable with.

I think it’s GREAT that you are here! Please join in our discussions often!

Hi Melissa, I was on shots for 29 years before deciding to go on the pump 2 years ago, and I do like it better.

I have nothing new to add to the excellent posts here, but I did want to say this: it is not uncommon for control to get much tougher 6-18 months after diagnosis. This happens to everyone, more or less. Stick with it as what was working last week may not be working well enough this week. Changes in diet, exercise, changes in insulin carbohydrate ratios, and additional basal insulin may be required. Work with your CDE and endo and call them every day if you have to. Many of us get frustrated during this period.

Hi Melissa.
I came back tonight to see if there was any response from you. I was hoping to find out how the two of you are doing. From the responses you have gotten to your post, you can see you have come to a great site. Everyone is supportive and easy to talk to. This is also a good place to ask questions like what is a basal insulin if you don’t know and what are insulin/carb ratios. I don’t know if anyone has talked to your husband about the extreme importance of keeping a daily log of everything, like the blood sugar readings and the food he eats and what he drinks and how much insulin he shoots for each time. I also write in that same log any thing else that is going on, like if my blood pressure is high for that day or maybe I have a sinus problem or some big stressful thing has happened. It lets you go back and check up on all that has happened in a months time.or longer. We are all with you and your husband here Melissa. This is truly a great community/family. Whatever questions you want to ask, don’t be afraid to do so. There are always some of us who either have already been there and done that or are going through the same thing with you. We are glad to have you with us.

Hi Everyone,
The feedback and responses have been incredible from all of you, and we both really appreciate people taking the time to write their own thoughtful responses to the experiences that he and even a little of me are going through.
He sat down and read the first 4 posts last night and was really impressed by the variety of comments we have recieved. I think by both of us reading these we are starting to feel as though there isn’t one right or wrong way when it comes to whether to have the pump or not.
His #'s have been better this week and by meeting with his diabetes specialist this upcoming Monday I am sure some options will be addressed. We do both think that he is out of the “honeymoon” phase since it will be exactly a year in 2 weeks since he was diagnosed and perhaps look at a different formula(?) As of now he takes Novolog before every meal (3X) and then Lantus before he goes to bed at night.
We both realize that going to the pump doesn’t automatically mean better numbers, but people have constantly been telling us that there is more longevity with it…and since we are both young…etc…we didn’t know what else to think. Perhaps he will go the route Kristin said about taking long-acting 2 times a day…not sure…
Either way I hope that people do continue with their thoughts on this for us to read. I wish that I had come upon this site earlier within the year,however I am quite happy to be on it now,and once again are happy to hear of others stories…Thanks for making us feel welcome!

Hi Melissa,
Thanks for coming back to give us an update. I wanted to add a couple of things that I learned along the way You may already know about these things. My son taught me about triggers that cause a fluctuation in blood sugars. There are different stressors for each of us. A big one for me seems to be loss of sleep. That one messes up my readings for at least 2 or 3 days. Stress in any form can do it, like one of my kids is injured or I have an argument with some one, or I am worried about a bill. Once you recognize it you can get back on track. We women have somewhat easier ways of getting rid of stress, like taking a nice soak in the bathtub. But whatever works for you all is the thing to do. Also, I never seem to stay the same with the amount of insulin I use for any single day. I have learned to slide my dosage of Lantus either a couple of units up or down when i look back over the past couple of days and see what my readings were. The Humalog takes care of my meals, but the Lantus is my cruise control and helps keep things in the numbers range that I like to stay in.
I don’t know if your husband carries snacks, but I keep a small individual cup of peanut butter in my glove compartment with a spoon. And a little pack of salted peanuts fits well in a pocket. An extra bottle of water kept inside the car is a good thing too. I am sure everyone else can give you their ideas too on substitute foods when he can’t get a meal right away. If I think I will be out too long and unable to get a real meal, I also carry a zippered lunch bag with a cool pack in it and a half a sandwich along with my insulin and an extra drink. There are a lot of things to use for blood sugar lows, but actual food was the problem for me when I had to be in the car for long periods of time. I hope these ideas are a help.

I’ve had the pump for 19 years and won’t think about ever being without it or going back t shots. Much better control and freedom. I love it!

The ability to maintain better control, freedom and learning how “your body” responds enables one to become their own Doctor as long as you learn, study and take control of your diabeties rather than letting it control you.

The pump is nothing more than my cell phone on my belt. While I understand your husbands perceptions the pump will hardly be noticed and given his work he will have much more energy and less modds swings using it vs. manual shots and concern about where his blood sugars are at.

If he needs to take to someone I’d be happy to make myself available to share my own experiences with the pump and 42 years as a diabetic

Hi Jay,
Thanks for your thoughts, when he gets home from work tonight if it isn’t to late I am going to pass along this message to him. I appreciate your thoughts. Thank-you.

Hi Saundra,
Thanks for the tips. He certainly brings a lot of snacks with him, esp. when he is on call and isn’t sure when he is going to get home. He loves the peanut butter!I also think that stress could certainly affect his numbers. Being a detective and seeing many things that we don’t see on a normal everyday basis I think could shake things up a bit for sure…more thoughts to follow…

I am also around your hubby’s age and I was rushed to be on the pump b/c I was preggo and had a horrible A1C when I found out and blah blah blah it’s better for the baby and you more blah blah blah. It was an overload to say the least b/c I was dx’d when I was 19 and didn’t want a pump then, so having to deal with the fact that I was going to be a mommy and had to restrict my free lifestyle of carbs/sugar, whatever!!! Just give me the darn thing and tell me how to use it already…Well, I am glad that I did but I am also glad that I didn’t those 10 yrs ago as well. I said this b4 in another post but I had to become friends w/ my diabetes instead of trying to fight against it as I had tried to for so long. Giving me that time with the MDI helped me learn how to try to control my diet, make “smart” choices (& I was very good at it at one point but got lazy) and have that be my new lifestyle. But hindsite is always 20/20 right??? Sometimes I do wish to have those 10 yrs back b/c who knows what the ups/downs have done to my body that I can’t see now and down the long road ahead. All I can say for now is that I am healthy and he has to be comfortable with it as well. It is a commitment. I hope the best for you both and good luck in whatever he may decide…