T1 and pumps

I’ve recently gotten in the habit of forgetting insulin and having to go all day without it. My doctor asked if I was comfortable with getting on the pump and I instantly said no, I’ve been using shots for 18 years and I’m kind of scared to try something new. If you are using a pump: how do you feel about it? My main concerns are weight gain, and pump site pain. I’m also allergic to medical tape. Does anyone react to the pump site?

I had the exact same reaction when I was told it was time to go to a pump… but I can honestly say it was the best thing I ever did! No joke. I have the Omnipod system and I love it. What freaked me out about the other systems was the tubes. But I am not knocking those either, after all those years of shots I will never go back… I had minimal weight gain and honestly when I set the infusion site (pump in my case) you barely feel it, less then a normal shot.
I also thought I would have an issue with the adhesive, but I haven’t and they make products that block the adhesive from actually contacting your skin…
Do your research and feel comfortable with whatever decision you make,I took two months to do the research and weighed the pros and cons of all the pumps before I made may decision and again it was the best thing for me, I have “normal” numbers again and I feel a 1,000 times better then I had in the past two years.

Ditto to Fleece816’s reply. Been diabetic forever (1966), resisted until 2008. Will not go back to shots. I have Minimed, don’t mind the tubing. Lost weight, better control, better A1C. I have tried multiple types of infusion sets from Medtronic, all ok for me but like quickset so I continue to use that one. I sometimes get a “sting” with a bolus, especially with the first one or two after a site change, but that is all. I am not allergic to the adhesives on the infusion sets either, but I will have trouble with some over the counter band-aids or tapes.
Research, see if you can try to sample pumps with saline to find your fit. Good luck!

I just started on the Animas Ping last Monday. Tuesday was a rough day because we had to do trial and error regarding basals and such, so i had a bunch of lows throughout the day. As of right now no more constant lows but we are working out the kinks on the highs. Ive had diabetes for 20 years and I just started pumping, so i know exactly how you feel. I thought it would hurt but it doesnt at all. My main concern to be honest was a malfunction, I was scared of the pump just dosing out on me. But I can tell ya that Im already in love with it. I love not having to worry about taking long acting insulin at night or taking shots for every meal. I really think you should consider it. My endo suggested it to me years ago but i brushed it off, boy do i regret that. The DOC will always be here to help you through it and the diabetes educators are amazing (least the ones i deal with).

I’m allergic to just about anything that touches my skin (I have to use hypoallergenic soap, lotion, laundry detergent, deodorant, etc.) and I don’t have a bad problem with the infusion sets. They get a bit itchy on the third day but I change them shortly after they get itchy.

Pain isn’t a big problem. Once in a while it hurts when you insert a new set, but I’ve never had residual pain that didn’t go away after a few seconds. But then…injections hurt sometimes too!

I will be honest and say I’ve gained weight since being on the pump but that is not necessarily because of the pump. I had an A1c between 10 and 14…so I was obviously high much of the time. Now I’m in the 5s…I’m obviously getting the insulin I need and needed all along (I used to skip injections). So yes, I gained weight…but I think it’s ‘hey, look…you’re healthy now and getting your insulin’ weight and not just because of the pump. (And some of it’s from birth control pills…unrelated.)

I was like you at first. I’d gone 16 years on injections and didn’t want to change over to a pump. What convinced me was developing a complication (retinopathy). Having taken this path…I honestly NEVER want to go back to injections.

Hey there,

I used a pump for 5 years, and for the past 7 years I’ve used injections.

While the tape residue was annoying, I had a lot of problems with the site “hole” itself getting really itchy and irritated, and even after I removed the cannula and started a new a site somewhere else, the old one would be red and itchy and irriated for days. I had a lot of sore little bumps from the old infusion site areas.

That, plus many other things about the pump, led me to be very sure that pumping doesn’t work for me anymore. While the pump has A LOT of really great benefits, I appreciate being tube-free, not having the skin issues, and knowing that when I injected my insulin it got into my body…versus with a pump, there are more risks for blood in the cannula blocking insulin, the cannula itself bending, etc. that can lead to quicker DKA.

But like I said, the pump provides many things that injections don’t. So it comes down to “Which frustrations are you more willing to deal with? The ones that come with pumping…or the ones that come with injections?”


I run out of the house at 5 am and sometimes I honestly forget to grab it. And I was asking about weight gain because I allready get about 10 questions a day from people about my belly and if I am pregnant and to be honest its killing me, I hate myself and dont want to gain a lot of additional weight. Because pump supplies don’t expire, I would be able to store some at work and school or at a friends house. I was just thinking and asking how people have reacted. I know that nothing about diabetes is easy.

I think the pump has many pros and cons. In the end, I like having it, but also like knowing that I can take a “pump vacation” whenever I want (I always keep pens and basal insulin handy for those times).

To address your concerns - the pump can cause weight gain, but mainly only if you go crazy and start eating whatever/whenever you want. Yes, the pump gives you more flexibility in what you can eat and when you can eat, but you can’t abuse it, because you will gain weight. That said, I haven’t gained any weight since going back on the pump. I do allow myself treats now and again, but I try to do so only in moderation and for special occassions. All other times I follow a relatively low carb diet (around 90-130 g/day) and just generally eat healthy. I do guesstimate carb counts more than I probably should, but I at least try to make them educated guesses!

I use the mio infusion sets and have almost no pain at the site. Every now and again a site will (I think) hit a nerve and while that’s uncomfortable, it’s not terribly painful. It hurts a tad going in, but once it’s in I don’t even notice it. I love mio sets; they are really easy to use and great if you have to carry some extras around (extremely portable). I do have both the 9mm and 6mm canula sets because I found the 9mm sets too long for some parts of my upper abdomen that doesn’t have a lot of fat (I think the canula would hit muscle and that would hurt like mad). So, keep that in mind if you have any pain.

As for the allergy issue, I don’t have that problem. BUT, you could probably get a few infusion set samples to try. You can easily wear an infusion set for a few days not connected to anything and see if it causes you a reaction (I know you can order the Mio infusion sets from dLife without a prescription, or you can see if your endo has some samples).

I ordered the demo version of the Omnipod and put it on Thursday night and wore it for 3 days like it said to and the site hurt. I thought that I was having a reaction to the adhesive but when I took it off, there was no reaction. I’m thinking that maybe, because I put it on my leg and I slept on it, the knobs hit my leg wrong or something. If you have an omnipod, was sleeping on your pod a problem and if it was was it something that you were able to get used to to?

I’ve been on the pump for 12 years, and I would never go back to injections if I could help it. I used to leave the house without my insulin all the time, mostly because I thought I would be home for my meal. And then a friend would suggest impromptu going out for dinner, and guess who’s not prepared?

I have only on occasion had a set hurt, and that was probably because it hit a nerve, but only had to take one out once in 12 years. Otherwise, the pain has been only momentary, and rare, as well. I have lost weight on the pump, because I can bolus small amounts and because of that, I have fewer lows, too.

I’m allergic to Tegaderm, but not to Hypafix, which is what they use to manufacture the sets. If you turn out to be allergic to Hypafix as well, there are barrier wipes you can use to shield your skin from the adhesive.

I really think it would be worth it for you to give the pump a try, ESPECIALLY because of your habit of forgetting. I forget, too – once went up to 365 because I forgot to bolus for my birthday dinner, but with the pump, I was able to correct immediately and discreetly. I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I had forgotten to bring insulin along with me!

I’m also in the pro-pump party. I was similarly averse to getting a pump for a long time, felt like I knew what I was doing w/ shots (R/N…in 2008…!!!) and didn’t need anyone telling me what to do. At the same time, I was involved in things (martial arts…) that made the MDI thing much more challenging and, after talking to my friend’s wife about her pump and how much easier it was to manage stuff, I said “what the %$!&” and gave it a try.

First meal was 3x tacos and 2 hours later was at 85 and was like “wow!”. There are still cons to it but I don’t even notice the gizmo, I mostly like knowing where “the precious” is so I can keep an eye on it. To me, the pump turned out to be a TON less work than shots and also has allowed me to keep better track of my data which, in turn, has allowed me to continue losing weight (slowly but steadily…) while improving my BG #s, control and exercising more. It has been a huge win for me. I dunno about Omnipods. I am about as put off by them as I was by regular pumps before I had one. I don’t notice any pain from the MM Silhouette needles but that may because I also have the monstrous 22 gauge MM CGM stuck in my abdomen.