Thinking of dropping the pump and going back to shots. Has anyone done this?

I've been on an insulin pump for 15 years+ now... In the beginning things were great - it really smoothed out my ups and downs and gave me the freedom to go and do almost anything.

In the last year or two however, my success has diminished greatly. I've always had an adhesive allergy that required me to use all kinds of preps to keep from blistering. My issue now is that I cannot count on a site lasting more than about 36 hours. Either the site starts bleeding, or leaking, or my sugars just jump through the roof.

I use a 90 degree stainless steel site now, and my support team hasn't been able to come up with a better choice. The cannula sites have not worked correctly in the past (we think part of my allergies).

So is there anyone else out there who has gone from pump back to shots? If so were you more successful?

Have you thought about it?

My step-daughter was quite successful going back to shots. I'm really perplexed at this time trying to decide what to do...

I can relate to the feeling. I have been pumping for 7 years, but often think of switching back. Part of me wonders if my control with MDI could be just as good given that I have learned a lot about insulin since then!

I did it for about a month and my control was OK, but I did miss the pump. Also I think that the more varied your basal rates are, the harder it will be to replicate the control without a pump. My basal rates are pretty steady throughout the day. So I think that I could mostly replicate them with two shots of long acting insulin per day.

One thing to keep in mind is that metal infusions sets DO need to be changed every two days, as our bodies react differently to the when compared with Teflon. One nice part about metal infusion sets is that they can be reinserted. You do need to be careful to avoid infections, but I use the Sure T and I reinsert it 2-3 times. I just removed it, clean it and my skin with alcohol and reinsert it and tape it down. So I get about 6 days out of each infusion set.

That's interesting to know... I've been on the metal sites for over 8 years and hadn't known that. I can see about having to be careful of infection - I'm cautious in what I do always. Thanks for the info.


I have been on a pump since I was 13, and I am now 22. I got on mini "pump breaks" whenever I feel like I need to not have the physical attachment. I usually spend just enough time off the pump to miss it, however long that takes (often between 1-2 months). I have found through experience that I slack when I get too used to one or the other. My management improves with change. For me though, the switching is more for my psychosocial health and wellbeing. It is like I find a new drive to focus on it again.

With that said, I should also include that EVERYTIME I switch, I am afraid. I am afraid I wont be successful, that I wont be able to adapt. There is fear involved for me. I usually start by telling my loved ones that I am going to switch and ask them for their support. I always get through it.

Ultimately it is your decision to make with your doctor. Everyone has different reactions to methods of treatment, and your doctor may be asking you to stay on the pump for a reason he hasn't expressed.

Actually my Dr hasn't said anything one way or another - she's been pretty open about me having choices. She just left the practice and I'll be seeing a new Dr in April. I just want to make sure I've thought things out... With the scar tissue and site issues, I get days where I bounce between 100 and 130, and days when I bounce between 250 and 350 (and I change sites again). I may have to go to changing sites every day, but that isn't that much better than shots.

Thanks so much for the input tho' - every little bit helps.

Yes I did, and do not "look back"...

Look pumps have a grand total of three advantages period. Micro-dosing, and the sign wave bolus thingy. The ability to give tenths of a unit of insulin has advantages. Most problems we all have are caused directly by excessive insulin usage. Whether caused by unusual-rapid absorption, or by simply using too much at one time for whatever reason(s). IF we had the ability to inject/bolus tenth units, or half units, life would be a hell of a lot easier because of it. Worst case scenario, golly gee, I used two tenths of a unit too much ooooopsey. not three units, or five. That ability to micro-dose is a definate advantage.

The other advantage is the sign wave ability. In english the ability to distribute the dose over a far longer time than the moment which we inject/press the buttons, delivering the insulin into our bodies. With that ability you can eat pizza. However beyond that fairly narrow ability I have no clue/concept what possible use it actually holds? Surgery perhaps? Do not know.

The final advantage is an electronic memory. You have a device that will keep track of exactly when and how much insulin we use. Fine as far as that goes, but until it also records with clinical accuracy the food intake, the mechanic errors the pump had shortly thereafter... (e.g. the dose never got absorbed, the line kinked, etc.), and you have the capasity, the ability to transfer all that data somewhere which will analyze the data and help us severely tweak things... its pretty much entirely worthless information

Beyond that, pumps have definate disadvantages FAR worse than any issues with daily injections. Causal DKA, delivery errors, severe adhesion problems, site infections, the beeps, alarms, supply costs, the extra/backup supplies, the external "bionic device" we cannot be separated from for long without directly causing trouble because of that separation. The interference which wearing an external device does cause either with water or intimate sweaty activities

Its NOT the pump which makes them good, its the insulin which all pumps use which gives them the claimed "flexibility". (And its a mistaken claim)

No thanks, no pump again, until they work out the massive systemic and fundamental kinks. Second generation, internal pump, closed loop system, then maybe, until then NOT A PRAYER

Hi Daricel,

I went from pump back to MDIs a few years ago, and am still pretty happy with that decision - pumps just weren't for me! I think the most important thing is having a supportive doctor who will help you through the process. Good luck with your decision :)


You reuse your Sure T needles 3 times. Doesn't the needle get dull? I change up my Sure T's every 2 days. They are pricey and I can see why you would want to reuse but I would be concerned with relocating them for a second and third use.

I've never noticed any difference with the needles sharpness. The main concern that I have is rather with infection, but I sterilize my skin before inserting again and throw the site away if it touches anything before I reinsert it. I have never had a site infection. My doctor knows that I do this and is fine with it.

Well ok, if there was LOTS of money involved... maybe, until then no "bionics" for me.

So I've been off the pump for 4 weeks. I'm in the "happy to go back to shots" category. I am in less pain and have had a more balanced life. Sometimes things still just don't go right, but I don't have the wondering if I should switch the site, or if I just need more, or...

Thanks for all the comments folks...

Thanks for the update! Glad that MDI is working out well for you. I may be joining you someday... for now I am still pumping.

I never wanted to start the pump in the first place....something about having that thing attached to me 24/7 just didn't seem right to me.

It was great while it lasted (> 10 years). No more intrusive than carrying a cell phone around. My body just ran out of places where the pump could be put and absorb right. My grandkids called me a Transformer... My geekier buddies called me a Borg... My crazier friends wondered if it could run with Margaritas in it... If the time comes that it becomes a need, there is a lot of good support on this site.

I just recently made the jump from my pump back to shots. So far, it has been a struggle to be honest, but it has been the sort of "break" I was needing. It is hard to be on the shots, having to worry about them constantly. I feel I lost a huge piece of my freedom when it comes to being out with my friends and spending greater amounts of time away from home. It calls for more planning on my part. I was also very afraid when I made the jump back to shots. I was worried I wouldn't be able to control my levels as easily and efficiently. I spent the first few days so freaked out, but after the first few days went well I was able to calm down and feel just a tad more confident about my ability to take care of myself. I think here soon I will make the jump back to the pump from the shots, But, being off the pump was a nice break, but I definitely miss my pump!

Daricel- I did. Quit the pump (Omnipod) completely. Was back on MDI for two months. It was Hell. I was so out of control and had a maddening Insulin reaction just last week. Went right back to the pump, and will never do that again!

So far (it's been 6 months) my control without the pump is better than it was with. In the beginning I was doing great. But after 10 years, the scar tissue in all the areas ok for the pump made the absorption inconsistent. It also doesn't help that I'm allergic to the adhesive. Glad the pump works for you...

I too can relate. I was on the pump and CGM for almost 2 years and in the beginning it was great- gave me more consistency and independence but then my IR started to worsen and things slowly degraded. My sites would get infected or not absorb properly and so the insulin wasn't doing it's job. Eventually I had to stop and go back to shots. This helped for awhile too but the past year I have had gradual worsening of this too- more and more insulin, I am now on 500 units or more a day. This much insulin in itself is a major problem.
I guess if you are getting more issues with the pump, you could go back to shots for a certain duration (with your physician approval) and see if it improves. Best of luck.

What is IR? I am not familiar with that term. Sorry.

Sorry... Insulin Resistance (IR)