Pump to shots?

Hello - i was just wondering if there is anyone out there who has gone on the pump and then gone back to shots? I was diagnosed at 10 years old and took shots. Then I switched to a pump at 18 before I went away to college. I have been on a pump ever since. This means that I've been using a pump for about 14 years and I am really getting tired of it. I starting bleeding a lot the last time I took out a site and the next site really hurt when I put it in. My skin itches from the adhesive. Sometimes the tubing becomes untucked from my clothes and it gets caught on a doorknob or something and pulls. It's a constant reminder 24/7 of the fact that I am diabetic... etc. However, I am not relishing the idea of going back to shots either because of the strict schedule, more lows, etc...

I was just wondering if anyone has done this or if I am just going through one of those "I hate diabetes" phases (which happens occasionally) and I will realize that I was crazy for even thinking about going back to shots.

Hello Brianna.

There are MANY of us who have returned to shots, and will never look back having doing so.

There is nothing magical about pumps... they have two sole benefits. The sine wave bolus feature and micro-dosing that's it. There is nothing more special about them. Pumps so called magic rests solely in the shortest acting insulins which they use period. If we exclusively use the same short acting insulin, and watch our numbers the identical amount of times you do with a pump, poof, we get the same results (ie the poor mans pump).

To answer your question directly, pumps cause all kinds of problems which are exclusive to pumps. Site infections, dosing delivery screw-ups, skin problems caused by reactions to adhesive tapes, severe costs, DKA when/if separated from said pump for short periods... crude artificial pancreas malfunctioning, or separated from them tends to generate serious problems. There are all kinds of issues, make no mistake.

If you want to walk away from it, or need to, put it in a lock box with your supplies and do not be afraid. You have learned an incredible amount using a pump for however long. Take the information and go forward... its not going anywhere, want to try it again, you can break it out of the lockbox and reattach it.

Mines been locked away since the last century, no plans to reattach until they are entirely closed loop and their marketing matches the results promised-advertised. When I used a pump I stopped using NPH. Returning to shots later on, I went with Lantus and all the issues/problems I had before the pump went away. Turns out it was the NPH, not me, my awareness, or anything else.

On one, i did solely what i was told and had nothing but severe problems long term.Off the pump, I am doing just fine thanks! Dont tell minimed...lol.

No matter how you slice it diabetes sucks beyond. That being said if you are willing to inject 6-8 times a day you can have more or less the same control and flexibility as on a pump without all the other headaches the pumps offer. The only real advantage of the pumps IMO goes to the manufacturers and people that sell them.

Did it this morning - took off my Omnipod and started on Lantus and Humalog again. I was just sick of something on me all the time! I'm sure I'll have a few days of "tweaking" to get my doses right, but right now I feel "free"! (and I also feel like I'm "forgetting something" because I don't have anything on me!...ha!)

I occasionally talk about giving up the pump, but I’ve never done it. Now that I use the Dex CGM which is a separate device from my pump, I am a bit overwhelmed with carrying two devices and the itching from so many infusion sets/sensor sites. But the convenience is too wonderful to give up pumping.

What I have done occasionally is to start using the “untethered” regimen where I use Lantus for most of my basal and then the pump for a small amount of basal and for most boluses. This way I can leave my pump at home if I go to the beach, but use it for most of my meals, etc. It’s a great tool for vacation.

With insurance, I never want to stop using the pump and my Dex for fear that they won’t get covered if I want to start using them again. But I am amazed at how painless injections are compared to infusion set/sensor insertions…

My daughter just stopped using her pump after trying it out for about 6 months. She's had T1 a little over a year. So 6 months pens, 6 months pump -- she didn't like it & feels freer with the pens. She had a couple of bad days with the pump: site went bad one time & next time some kind of delivery problem made her BG hit around 500+. That was enough for her. She felt bad about "giving up" on the pump, but I told her she should look at it like she has options. She can use the pens & if she ever wants to wear the pump, she has that too. Not great options compared to just not having diabetes, but at least some kind of options.

I'd consider variable basal rates a MAJOR benefit of pumps, too (at least personally). But some people (if they have relatively flat basal needs throughout the day) really don't need that.

To the OP, if you haven't been on shots in 14 years, A LOT has changed. There really is no longer any strict schedule or meal plan. It's pretty much the same strategy as using a pump, just with a tad less flexibility (no micro units, no variable basal rates, no extended/combo boluses, but that's pretty much it). For some people the pump makes a huge difference in control ... for others, shots work better.

I've been on injections for 25 years and am moving from Lantus/Humalog to OmniPod today because I need the variable basal rates right now. The shots really don't bother me and I find them painless because the needles are so small now.

I'm looking forward to getting rid of the Lantus though. The last year or so I've been having sudden drops at night with Lantus peaking and my Lantus isn't covering me 24 hours anymore. I've also developed DP, which I never had before.

For these reasons, I'm going with OmniPod. I don't think I want to go with a tubed pump at this point. If the OmniPod doesn't work for me, I may rethink it but I just look at it like at least we have different tools to try to see what works for us in different phases of life with diabetes.

Remember this: Neither treatment method is permanent. You can go back to shots whenever you want and you can go back to the pump if you get tired of shots. Yes, there are times when I just get tired of looking at my pump, having it attached to me, itching, etc. and I go back to MDI for a day or two. Or sometimes I just want to wear something or do something that is not pump conducive. During those times, I whip out my pens and do shots.

Issues aside, I love my pump because it allows me to be more active and less rigid. The trade-offs for me are such that I'm willing to put up with the irritations (no pun intended) to have more flexibility and better control! But I am also glad to know that I can disconnect at any time and do shots. And I have done this on occasion. You may very well find a few days of MDI are enough for you, or you may decide you like it better. I think it's all a matter of personal preference.

Thanks for the advice, Alan.

Hmm. I was on NPH when I took shots also. Maybe that was my problem too. I'm not sure that I will actually switch back to shots or not, but sometimes I really just want to throw this thing out of the window...

Oh wow. Yes, I think I would constantly feel panicked about not having my pump on me until I got used to it. However, the idea of not having a little machine attached to me 24/7 is so appealing!

The only reason that I am on a pump is that I need the variable basals, and Lantus and NPH (levemir is about the same cost per month as pump supplies) didn't give me that. The hypo seizures have stopped so I'm sticking with the pump. Yep, it drives me nuts some times. I'm lucky in that I have found that the Roche (Accuchek) sites don't cause irritation, although I have to be careful about any other tapes I use.
I hope your break goes well, and I do think that you will have found that the routine of MDI has changes a lot since you were last on it.
The method from Alan looks really smart. Good luck, and I hope you find going pumpless is great.

I switch back and forth all the time between my pump and injections. I like to take pump vacations for a few months, I find that on the pump I get better control. On injections I find that I often forget to bring my insulin with me, It is as much of a hassle to bring all your insulin and syringes than to cart around my pump.
It is simple to switch to injections, I just disconnect and start my lantus. Going back on the pump is tougher because you need to let the lantus run out before starting your pump basal again.

Just try it and see how it feels, your pump is sitting there ready to switch back if you want it,

I was on shots for 6 years, then the pump for a year, back to shots for another 8 years, and back on the pump for the last 4 1/2 years. I personally like the flexibility of the pump - being able to skip meals or eat something not necessarily "D friendly". BUT I cn can say that it has crossed my mind many times to go back to shots .. It doesn't bother me to take the shots. And I HATE physically wearing the pump. It drives me crazy having something attached to me 24/7. (I also wear the CGM) But for me, personally, I am trying to get in better control so I'm going to stick with it ... but I hear what you're saying. It sucks. :( But you have to do what's best for you. If you can control well enough on shots, and you'll be more comfortable, go for it. ;)


Hello Jen: Let's kick this one around a little bit please? The strict schedule routine is from the "dark ages" (and even before) when many of us used a single shot (1) per day, and urinated on things.

The STRICT aspect (feed every 2 hours) was to keep our blood sugar elevated so there was no "crash and burn", in effect a thick glass floor provided by our food you'd have to work to crash through. Feed often and at the end of the day we ate a certain basic amount, not eaten the entire crate so to speak, nor the single grain of rice routine either (i.e. don't starve ourselves). But that is/was the concept of meal planning...

It was not a whip and chair idea. It was building a habit of portion awareness and intelligent eating. There was always the ability to barter for the cheesecake, the ice cream (whatever food) if, if we were aware of what we could trade in order to eat "X" and what exchanges/carbs were being eaten. If we got that right, nothing was off the table, un-eatable... was it?

Has that truly changed ever, technology or not?

Hello Putertech. I identified with Steve Austin (6 Million Dollar Man character aka actor Lee Majors) big time when attached...

And I too felt spooky free when I was detached at various times. You think mandatory detachment should be some aspect of pump usage/protocol and the psychology of using one whether long/short term? I was stunned at how strongly (when detached) I felt that freedom.

When I locked mine away "permanently", I eventually realized it was not a tiny issue for me at all. Never have dissected it well what's your take re: "feeling free" ?


Hello mybustedpancreas: Good to connect with you again. Thank you for sharing.

Respectfully, I hear this one all the time. HOW please does a pump give anyone "flexibility" ?!?! I can walk out of the house with ONLY a pen, and cover whatever I eat. Or in theory could take absolutely nothing with me period and play "catch up" when I got back.

As a pumper your mandatory kit has a whole bunch of backup pump supplies if it fails... tubing, sets, prep wipes, backup syringe to prime the tubing, backup insulin pen/vial, etc.

Help me out here, where is the flexibility? I shoot just before I eat. Hows the pump more flexible than that? If the proverbial magic wand were truly the pump itself, then pumpers could load lantus or NPH and they would achieve the same great results. Its the ultra rapid insulins not the pump that are the magic...


Hello samsmom: Deeply sorry to hear it did not work for her (::<. As a mother, did her pump make you feel emotionally more secure about her diabetes, more "in control"? Stuart

When I took my Pod off, I had it off for a week - my numbers were not good. I put my Ping back on, but only for 4 days - going back to tubing sucked! Went back to Lantus and Humalog again, but started taking my Lantus at noon instead of in the morning. I've been doing great! Better than when I was on either pump! At this point, not sure I'm going to "hook up" again with my pump (either one). Maybe after Insulet comes out with their smaller pods, I may try it again. But right now, I'm feeling good! And I don't have an electronic attachment on me anymore.