Switch to pump

Hi everybody,

Last week i made the decision to switch to pump therapy instead of shots.
Are there any people who have experience with the switching process?
What are the do’s en dont’s and how did you cope through this process???
Are there people who have any good advice for me?

Grtz from Holland,


Here in America, you are usually required to go through training with a representative/CDE who is experienced with the particular pump you will be using. This person helps you adjust basals and boluses and takes you step by step through using the pump. When I started I also had to meet with a dietitian to ensure I knew how to count carbs (I did) and had to use the pump with just saline in it for a day or so first.

My recommendation is that as your body adjusts, test your blood sugars even more frequently than you normally would. Keep careful records, and have a doctor or nurse who you can call immediately if you need help.

I found the transition very smooth. I think it may have been because I was switching from R/N to a pump (this in 2008…) but the doc and MiniMedSalesNurse worked pretty closely together to figure out the ratios and basal rates and they seemed to have guessed very closely to where the numbers actually needed to be? We made a few very small adjustments after I started that worked to get it where it needed to be. I agree with Kari that it’s very useful to test regularly with a pump and/ or CGM, particularly as you are getting the hang of it. The more data you have the easier it will be to get it set up correctly.

I was and still am horrible about writing things down however I think the pump helps keep track of things better. I don’t hesitate to adjust rates if I feel like the numbers aren’t quite where they need to be and I’ve found that small adjustments can get very nice results with a pump.

Thank you! i downloaded this awesome carbcounter app on my cell, that will make counting easier. The hard part is gonna be the careful record keeping…

Thanks, i’ll try collect the data :o)

Could you tell me the name of the carb counting app you use.
Thanks, Vince

There are groups here for users of specific pumps if you have questions about particular brands. Click on “Groups” at the top of the page. If it’s available in Holland, Pumping Insulin by John Walsh is a wonderful book.

It occurred to me to ask what your goal in switching to the pump is? I have all sorts of things I can talk about my pump but am not sure what your expectations would be? I thought that my team did a pretty good job explaining it to me and I read “Pumping Insulin” and “Think Like a Pancreas” beforehand so I sort of knew what they were saying however I had no idea how much better I’d feel with it and how much it easier I would find it to exercise and shop. Those things are the big things but I could probably think of other ones too?

Appie, totally off topic: my friend ( a TuD member ) Wouter lives in Wilnes, Utrecht

I am from Haarlem :slight_smile:

I just switched to a pump in June after 26 ½ years of MDI. For me, the most frustrating part in the beginning was the infusion sets. I read that not liking infusion sets is one of the biggest reasons people quit pumping in the beginning. Just remember if you don’t like the ones they give you to start with, you do have other choices! Have you picked out a pump yet? Like Gerri said, you might want to joint the group of the one pump you are planning on getting. You can get some tips specific to that model of pump.

In my profession of travelling salesman it will make my life a lot easier i believe (after a lot of reading on blogs and forums). So it is basically based upon the fact that i want to have the best numbers possible to be able to do my work well.
Besides that, i desire a bit more freedom in not carrying all the stuff with me in a bag as i do right now.

Hi Vince,

I got it from this website:
This website is made by a Belgian guy and also available in other languages like English. I think it’s pretty neat he’s made it :o)

Gotcha! I can’t anticipate any job or lifestyle choice that wouldn’t be made easier with a pump. Turning it down to exercise and skipping meals are two of my favorite parts of having one. I suppose you can do that with shots too but I was not ever quite able to do that. The freedom is big too for me. I suspect that you will enjoy it a lot. For me, the most annoying part was having to keep a log of my activities for a month so that my insurance would approve it.

I think that the doctor, in conjunction with the MiniMedSalesNurse, was able to get very close to the correct numbers for the pump so I would recommend being very detailed in your notes if logging is part of the process for you? Only making a few, small adjustments when I started made the transition 1) easier and 2) .05/ U/ hr basal rate adjustments suprised me with how significantly they’d change my numbers. This has made living with it also useful because when I have adjusted rates or ratios myself, I don’t get carried away!

Doing the pump after 27 years using shots is the best switch i ever made. My A1c’s went down, and my nuisance level with needles went way down. I saw a CDE to get things started, and I met with the mini med representative once before I started. I do not have a grand suggestion about how to switch, but I do suggest patience. It is a different process, with similar desired outcomes. The key word being different. and as with all new things it takes some getting used too, but oh is it ever worth he effort.

rick phillips

Appie, I am a pumper since 2001 ( no reason for me to change brands ) . I have type 1 diabetes since Jan 1983 .The transition was not that simple for me , however I persevered. I had no computer knowledge till about 6 years ago .With today’s forums such as TuD and with the help of people sharing their experiences I have come a long way .
In the mean time newer insulins have become available in Canada …another story .
The biggest breakthrough for me then was more flexibility with my meal timing ; I started to feel much better as I did not have to fight all the crazy lows I had experienced .Day to day living , including travel across time zones and travel by myself became easier to handle .I think there is more planning involved at least for me … I carry batteries in my glucometer pack, a coin to open the pump , if battery requires replacing , carry an insulin needle and vial , just in case of a High , more infusion sets etc , when away from home , a travel loaner pump , when I go out of country , a bit more planning , when at an airport, pump trouble shooting …on the other hand am not ready to go back to MDI .
Wish you well .