Starting with Saline

Hi all,

Brand newbie here. Been T1 for 18 years and finally decided to make the switch to a pump. I chose the Animas Ping after researching all of my options. I am very excited to get started!

I have my first training session next Tuesday and my CDE will have me start on saline for a week so I can get to know the basics and see how things go.
Is this a normal part of the transition to a pump? How many here had a trial period on saline and if you did, do you think it was worth it? One reason I ask is because of the cost of supplies, as I really am not that excited to burn through a week's worth of carts and infusion sets for saline use. I'll do it, of course, but am curious how common this practice is.
Thanks for any input, and any advice is greatly appreciated :)

Welcome to the Ping! I skipped the saline step and lived to tell about it, but I know others who did the saline step first. It is fairly common.

It depends on how experienced you are with carb counting, understand how many grams of carbs need how many units of Insulin Carb Factor) and your insulin sensitivity Factor (ISF) which relates to how many bg points 1.00 units of insulin will lower your bg. Of course, that trial and error research will be done when you have insulin in the pump. I guess using saline would "tell" the pump how many units you took - so you could fine tune your I:C and ISF.
Anyway, one of the things that will be brand new (most likely) is the IOB or Insulin On Board feature. Based on how long a carb or correction dose of insulin is active, when it is time to do another bolus, the pump will adjust for the amount of insulin on board. This really cool - it does this very important math. It helps avoid "insulin stacking"
Your trainer is likely to look at your TDD and the split between basal and bolus, and based the initial settings on that. Most Endo's/CDE's want you to eventually be in a position to make your own tweaking adjustments. Which in my mind is wise since you know your body.
Do you have Think Like a Pancreas (by Gary Scheiner) and Pumping Insulin by John Walsh? Great reference books. I usually "upgrade" when new updated editions come out. Both are available from Wlash's website The Diabetes Mall (

Thanks for your responses. I have read the first several chapters of "Pumping Insulin" and have found it incredibly helpful. I have read the Ping users guide, and basically everything I can get my hands on.... I will definitely look into "Think Like a Pancreas".
I have no idea why it has taken me this long to decide to make the switch from injections, other than silly vanity older brother is a T1 (he was diagnosed at 24 and I followed suit 5 years later at 24 - no T1s in our family history at all) and he has been on a pump since he was first diagnosed.

Anyhow, now that I have made this decision I am really excited and want to start pumping yesterday - patience is not one of my virtues and sitting here looking at my Ping is not helping that! Haha

You and just about every other pumper "Why did I wait so long" I guess I would be tempted (since I too lack in the patience dept) would be asking my brother to help get me started. But my brother doesn't have type 1 (he doesn't have anything,but a bothersome attitude). Is your brrther local?

I was put on saline when I started on my Ping. I had one meeting with the trainer in which I asked her to focus on the sets as I felt confident in dosing issues. I used the week before out second meeting to familiarize myself with ALL the functions of the Ping since I planned to do it all myself (my doctor is just a primary and would have no clue). I found it very worthwhile to push buttons and figure out settings when I didn't yet have the pressure of the pump being my insulin delivery method.

I started right away and didn't have any problems. I change my infusion set every 3-5 days because i don't use that much insulin, and change my cartridge once a month to save on costs. you'll get the hang of it; i know you'll be saying "why did i wait so long" soon enough! good luck!