THE PUMP, is it really all worth it?

This question is for all the pumpers out there. Is it really worth all the hassle? Bear with me for my story. I got a Dexcom and Omnipod in January. The first month I had them both tools were fantastic!! I couldn’t imagine going without them ever again. WELL now that i’ve been using them for some while my opinion has changed! First I used to never think about my D all the time. Just test BG 4 times a day, count the carbs in what you eat do the shot. One more shot at bedtime and that was it! Now there are SO many things to affect and not affect my BG. It just seems with all the possible problems related to a pump. Is the cannula in? Is it in the right spot? Is that site absorbing well? ON and ON it is getting too crazy for me! Plus you have to worry about DKA? IS my sugar 300 because of a missed carb count or is any of the other million problems the culprit?!?! So I guess what i am looking for from you guys is someone to tell me. YES it’s worth it! I have a great A1C or it somehow helped you and you figured it out. All i can see it’s done is made things worse! I am afraid of what my next A1C will be because of this damn thing. I mean if you do a shot and it does’nt absorb good well pick another spot and do some more right? When you’re on the pump you can’t just do that. You have to pull off the $100 pod full of $100 insulin and throw it all away and start new again!! And what if the next spot you pick is bad too!! I don’t know what I am getting at. I am just SO frustrated with all the “reasons” why your sugar is high. Seems to me better control can come with getting rid of all those different variables! I believe in the technology and I believe it works maybe it’s just not right for me? Any advice or personal experiences you would like to share would be great. Thanks for your time.

Will D

Hellooooooooo! I agree with everything you are saying! there are more things to worry about and more considerations, like you say, is my 300 number becuase the cannula is messed up or is it 300 because i under bolused my meal. yes more things to think about but its so worth it to me! I would never go back to shots, I love the pump so much!

also, the Omnipod has a bigger monthly price tag compared to the other pumps, medtronic and animas so you are loosing more money with a messed up cannula than myself since Im a medtronic pumper.

all and all, I feel the pump is worth all the extra considerations, the positive out-weigh the negative so tremendously! but thats my opinion! Im sure others think otherwise :wink:

I hated shots and I love my pump. I want to point out that you may have been enjoying the bliss of ignorance testing only 4 times a day while on shots. The Dexcom is giving you an order of magnitude more information.


To me the pump was waaaay worth it b/c my bs’s were up & down all the time. It helped me with my A1C and also saved me from some REALLY bad lows. I’ve been pumping (with various pumps) for 23 years now. Yes all you things you talked about have happened to me many times but it beet going unconius and waking up in the ER.

First of all, I think many of us love pumps, but they are not right for everyone! But I also have another friend who got a CGM and a Pump at the same time, and she was totally overwhelmed. Both entail a learning curve and the two at the same time were just too much.

Second, we are all different. I don’t think I think about diabetes more with my pump (I started mine in January as well). But I am a fairly recent Type 1, and I have always put a lot of time and attention into my Diabetes management, so it might just be relative.

Here is what I think is the bottom line. I think Diabetes Management is, in every sense, a personal thing, from how we eat, how often we test, what devices we use, our target BG, and finally something I like to call “the luck of the draw” which is an ineffible something that makes some of us have an easier time managing our D than others.

And I think we all make individual decisions about what things we are willing to do, or how much work we are willing to put in to achieve what result. I’ll use my own example: I eat what I would consider moderate/low carb - under 100 per day. I know I would get better results if I went low carb, but for various reasons I’m not willing to do that and I’m ok with the results I have (A1C of 6.3). To me it’s like the extra work needed to be an “A” student, vs recognizing a “B” is a pretty good grade. Most of all I think we make choices to achieve a balance in our lives between diabetes and everything else we do. There is no right and wrong. With time, and with each new thing (like a pump, and for me at this moment, like starting on Symlin), we get past the learning curve and some things become routine and absorbed into our lives. But we still make choices. I have friends with Diabetes who think I’m obsessed and spend too much time thinking about it. But there are others who do much more intensive work than I’m willing to do. I don’t think they are “obsessed” and I hope they don’t think I’m a Diabetes Slacker! We just make different choices.

So if you’ve gotten past the learning curve and the pump feels like too much work for the results you get? Let it go. Our culture really makes us feel compelled to get the newest thing. But really we’re not.

I fought going on the pump for a couple of years, every excuse I could think of - no complications from D, I am to active, in the water to much, etc. A1C just kept climbing as did my weight. Finally said yes. You will have to pry this pump and my Dexcom from my hands now, as I never want to go back to MDI’s. I have lost weight (and I really did not have to “try” to lose it), my A1C’s keep getting better (especially now with the Dex), I feel better, I love it that if I am not hungry I do not have to eat (MDI’s I was SO timed to the shots), I catch both the lows and highs much quicker, and they are usually less severe. Why change back? It’s always connected so if I run out of the house I don’t have to remember to get syringe, insulin, etc. Yep, I love pumping. Life is going to throw you curve balls anyway no matter what. For me, it seems the curve balls are either easier to hit, catch, or dodge with the pump!

How was your A1C on MDI? As Zoe said, we are all different. I LOVE my pump and CGM and would never go back. I love having all the information they give me, don’t mind the troubleshooting because I usually learn something from it. I guess some people would think I’m obsessive about gathering data and analyzing it, but that’s ME, and it makes me comfortable.

My CDE wouldn’t let me start on the CGM till I’d been pumping for a month. I was really pissed, but now realize that it was a good call. I was totally comfortable wtih the pump before more variables were added.

If you decide to give it a try for a while longer, I wouldt put the CGM away for a while and focus on tweaking the pump. See what your next A1C is, and decide if it makes pumping worthwhile. Also download the pump and CGM and look at the data. Is your standard deviation better than it was on MDI?

As everyone else has said, we’re all different. If you were comfortable with MDI and the results you had, and you don’t want to fuss with the technology, then by all means you should go back to MDI.

Will, my son is also on the Omnipod and Dexcom. He was dx Dec09, he’s 15 now and adapting well to a new lifestyle. Yes, there is sooo much more stuff to consider when using these devices. But taking them under consideration and using the technology to better our control for us, out weights the inconvience. We have even taken it a step further, (with the support of the FLATLINERS CLUB) and he nows spends a significant amount of time flatlining, all this is while teenage hormones are raging. There are T1s that have normal blood sugar levels and non-diabetic A1Cs. If you don’t have already Pumping Insulin by John Walsh, order it, it is a pumper’s bible. If you systemically test all your pump settings and insulin dosing, control gets easier. And if its all in your pump, your’e thinking less. There are a lot of variables, lots of PWD go low carb to eliminate the spikes, they know a 300 would be a pump failure. We don’t low carb but have a lot of other tricks that help curb the spikes. Cant remember the last time he was 300. We have had 2 occlusions in almost a year w/ alarms. Absorbtion issues are always questionable but I think if you are consistent with everything else, you’ll know its that. We are still on the learning curve too, but the pump and cgm are there to help not hinder, use them well and I think they are the best way we have now to avoid complications in the future. Best of Luck, Emily

I haven’t had the same issues about site absorbtion w/ the MM 722 I have. It seems to work pretty reliably w/o any site absorbtion concerns. Reports of chucking pods are one reason that the Omnipod doesn’t appeal to me that much but a lot of people like them a lot.

It works for “old timers” too. You can “teach and old dog new tricks”. I have been on the MM pump for about 10 years and got the CGM a couple of years back. It is what you make it. I do feel that having the technology and perservering with it is a BIG PLUS. 57 years with type 1 is no small feat…and yes I do wonder if I would still be alive now, had I not gone on the pump. A good doctor or P.A. in my case, is a big help. The fact that you can stop an impending low is huge when you don’t get many “warning signs”. Also extra bolus’ing for a predicted high, has to help keep the progression of complications.
I do hope you can stick with the technology. I KNOW it will help you. NO DOUBT in my mind.
Good Luck and embrace the help you can get from this web site.

I think there are pros and cons for both the pump and MDI. And there is an element of personal preference and what works best for your lifestyle. I also think there are pros/cons with the three main pumps available in the US (Animas, Minimed, and Omnipod). The trick is to find what works best for you.

For me (personally) the pump is worth it. That said, I did go off the pump about 8 years ago and back to MDI because of a really bad experience with DKA due to a combination of a clogged infusion set and me not paying enough attention (i.e., testing when I should have tested and oversleeping one morning). ANYWAY, at this point in my life, the pump is definitely worth it. That said, I would not select the Omnipod because, for me, it would be too scary to not be able to see insulin going through the tube and see (to some degree) that the canula is in place.

The pump does require a bit more work in some respects. You’ve gotta change out the infusion sets, make sure nothing becomes infected, carry around extra gear (not only extra sets, but also pens in case the pump fails), and really log everything. BUT, the pump also gives (well, me at least) more flexibility in daily activities and a wider range of food options (not just types of food, but also when I choose to eat). On MDI, I was going low a lot. I just could never eat on a regular schedule and this was causing some wicked bad lows. On my pump, I rarely go low and I definitely stay in range better when compared to MDI. My A1C improved slightly, but I felt better because I wasn’t swinging between highs and lows.

THAT ALL SAID, because T1 is such an intensive condition to manage, I think a lot of this is pesonal preference. If someone is doing well on MDI and it fits their lifestyle, I don’t think they should change. But when things aren’t working, that’s when you should look into switching it up.