To pump or not to pump, that is a question!


What did you think of the reservoir-fill procedure? I’ve seen some off-putting videos of what’s required to do a proper reservoir change. My Medtronic reservoir changes are dead-simple and quick. Because I am not a fan of their newer pumps, I’m seriously considering the t:slim.


Got the insurance approval back today for a pump if I’d like to proceed with one. I only have to pay 10%.


I wear the G6, which is a tiny sensor, and the OmniPod, which is twice as big as the G6 sensor but still small overall. No tubes, nothing hanging off my belt since the OmniPod is controlled by a PDM. Yes, if I am going somewhere, I take the PDM with me because that controller also is my glucose meter. If I am at home, I just leave the PDM in my bedroom since it already has programmed the Pod to give me the basal insulin I need. I manage the G6 with my iPhone which is always in my pocket anyway. I don’t find wearing the two devices cumbersome at all, and I am NOT a big person (5’2", 118 lbs.) Tubeless pumping is the only way I would go, and the combination of the two systems works well for me.


@SherryAnn - How often do you forget to take the PDM with you when you leave the house? That would be my #1 reason for not choosing Omnipod


I don’t feel as worried nor am I of the thought you have to read about using a pump before you get one. First I have to say most teenagers are quick learners, a few lows like we all get will be the teaching experience especially if it’s in the middle of a class. And in the long run I think a pump gives you better control than without. I didn’t know much about pumps at all before I got one, my endo who was also a type 1 had been bugging me to get one and a few years later I decided to go ahead and try it. I hardly knew much about it. Just that she was a type 1 and loved it.

I think teenagers are fickle, there are some out there that pay a lot of attention and some that don’t, sometimes you just jump in and learn. Youth is good at that. Maybe the better control of a pump is just what he needs.


I did find the priming of the Tandem much longer than my Minimed/Medtronic at first. But after 4 years, I don’t even think about it. I just take care of trash and sharp disposal while it fills. Also depend on which tube length I am using at the time. I fortunately still have some longer tubes left for the times I use my leg.


are we talking a process that exceeds 5 minutes, Sally?


Never timed it but yeah probably. As with everything I deal with, with my diabetes, it is what it is. But I will say, holy cow, this pump is so darn cool. This predictive low suspend is so great! I love it and am looking forward to next years download!


The pumps are so much faster and easier than boiling water to sterilize a glass syringe back in 1968 when I was 8 yrs. old. I learned how to do all of that as a kid! I believe a kid could use a pump just as successfully as taking shots. No, pump companies do not let us try out the pumps. The 670G M. does not work with me due to allergic reaction to sensor adhesive backing and did not improve my BG or A1Cs. Unfortunately, setting this system up takes way more than the 30 day return (training alone took more than 30 days to get) and I am now fighting company to just return and take it off my insurance. Try the adhesive on each part (sensors, tubing, Pod, etc) to see if you can wear them. I now wear an OmniPod (was allergic to it’s adhesive about 5 years ago, but am fine now that they changed it). Insurance is the problem, in my opinion, not the pump because if you have a problem with a pump you are stuck with it for 4-5 years due to insurance. Beware of companies and read the “fine print”. I love the OmniPod! I have been on pumps for 27 years.


In the decade since I have started with OmniPod, I cannot think of a time I forgot the PDM. Just as most of us would not go on a trip without a glucose monitor, taking the PDM with me when I am out and about is just habit. If I leave the house just to work in the yard or to take a short walk in the neighborhood, I do not take the PDM with me. If I run to the grocery store or ride my bike for a fair distance – outside of the immediate neighborhood – then the PDM comes with me. It easily fits in my bike bag along with snacks and my phone. As a woman, I have the advantage of carrying a purse, so throwing in the PDM is no problem. Since we are in Wisconsin right now, I am forced to walk in the mall for exercise. I take the PDM and simply put it into a pocket since I do not want to lug a purse around with me when I exercise. The PDM is small enough that it easily fits in a jacket or sweatshirt pocket. I would rather occasionally carry the PDM than to be tethered with a tube to a pump that MUST be with me at all times. The Pod is waterproof, so I can shower with it, swim with it, and do any other activity I want without ever being without a constant drip (basal) of insulin. I know that OmniPod is not for everyone, but I have found it discreet, convenient, and reliable.


I am still of the (somewhat old school belief) that pumps are safer for type A personalities who are more likely to fall into line and do whats necessary to manage them. I’m hesitant about kids. Its not that they can’t manage them. But, I had the same conversation with a pharmacist in town (who had a nephew with type 1). She and I sorta thought that it wasn’t a bad idea for a young person to ‘work their way up’ to a pump. Just because there is value in having a comfort level working without a pump and how will they know what benefit the hardware brings if they haven’t gotten to know their body without one. I worry that too many people are on pumps, now. some people report higher incidence of death for diabetics on pumps. I guess that is in line with my experience - that pumps are high maintenance and become dangerous if you aren’t really thoughtful in their management. But, everybody’s different.

@Jim_in_Calgary, That also really bothered me when I started on an Omnipod. I didn’t like how it was detached. But, in hindsight, it hasn’t been an issue. I more often forget the supplies to change the POD. I sometimes worry that someone will steal my purse with the receiver in it. That would be bad if it happened out of town. I have just resolved to lay down my life and fight to the death if anyone tries to take my purse. I will kill for it. But, its probably more of an issue for men, who dont even have the convenience of a purse. I dont know what they do.


I travel through life with this day-pack. Not the most convenient but I have what I need.

Since I live in earthquake country, I carry with me a week’s worth of diabetes supplies and my other medications. I also often take my laptop computer, a stainless coffee cup, and glucose tablets.

I think your point applies to diabetes management in general, whether using MDI or a pump. Pumps have more points of failure but I’ve been bitten by the classic MDI failure of mixing up the long and short acting insulins.

I think the type A personality, in general, likely does better whether using a pump or MDI. Curiosity, knowledge, and persistence are key attributes in managing diabetes well.

I think medical professionals should weight heavily the expressed treatment mode preference of the person with diabetes. Making someone earn credibility with MDI before a pump is allowed is a bad idea, I think.

I agree that general diabetes knowledge is important but withholding a pump until a certain level of knowledge is demonstrated just rubs me the wrong way. Learning by doing is a viable way to learn. Younger children, of course, must give way to the parent’s preference since the parents play such a crucial role.


I think it depends on who decides whether someone has an adequate knowledge to get the pump and how good their knowledge actually is. Most of the time, I only use my doctors to refill prescriptions. It might be my fault, but they don’t really know what my abilities are outside of checking the hba1c, which is not always a great indicator of knowledge because people’s circumstances are different. It’s also viewed differently by different doctors. I went to my primary doctor for an infection once and she started to give me a hard time about an hba1c of 7.2 because it was outside of the normal range. When doctors control access to new technology, and many of us have deep mental scars regarding doctors, it presents a challenge where we have to shop around for a doctor who will listen.

In my case, my hba1c was 9 before starting the pump. A few doctors tried to tell me that I didn’t have the knowledge or discipline to make a pump work. One told me I was a type 2 who should go off insulin. They didn’t understand what I was saying or listen to my difficulty, just wrote me off as non-compliant, even though I was doing my utmost best to comply. Finally, I found an endocrinologist who was far more laissez-faire, who said we might as well try it. 3 months later, I had an hba1c of 8.4, which was better than it had been in years, and now it is 5.6, which never happened before.

I understand pumps are expensive and there should be people who check patients for understanding and motivation, but when that responsibility falls on ordinary doctors, there is a potential for them to hold this new technology hostage from the people who could most benefit because most doctors know less about diabetes than we do, and they all know less about our individual bodies and habits than we do. I honestly don’t know what’s the best solution for that.


Its interesting that you guys feel that way. I feel like I had the complete opposite experience, meaning (if anything) I feel ‘pushed’ into new tech, just for the sake of it. I think it has led me to be at great risk, where there was no benefit. Its interesting, your alternate perspective. I dont think that I would have been in a good position to recognize ‘bad tech’ without having first experienced ‘no tech.’


I’ve have NEVER been pushed into ANY tech by an endo. I have been the pro-active one in that relationship, including having to drop a jerk-of-an-endo in order to get my first pump. I told the next endo that I wanted a pump. I had one within 4 weeks.


I grew up in the silicon valley, so I was always surrounded by the latest technology EXCEPT when it came to diabetes. The technology has never been a problem for me as we were always using something new (I still remember when my mom bought her first ever laptop; it was 2000 dollars and had 4 gigabytes of memory). My learning curve with the pump was almost entirely learning how my body responded, but everybody has different experiences, which is why I don’t know if theres an easy solution.


LOL! That’s not bad. My first computer was $2,500, monochrome, DOS, 20 Meg drive, 8086 processor, 16-bit bus, floppy drive, and 256K memory. It was a dog! LOL


My dad told me some fun stuff about the tech industry in Britain in the 80s, and it is unimaginable to me. The world changed so fast, but then again, I guess it was no faster than earlier generations who got to see the advancements in photography, radio, transportation, etc. I’m always interested to see what comes next.


My first endo was a dictator and said the only pump his office used was the Medtronic 630G and the Dexcom G5 end of discussion. The training I got was from the rep in his office and was very detailed. He did sliding scale based upon what your current cgm reading was, but that didnt’ really help much. I fired him and went to another endo who was very hands on and we work together as a team. I decided to switch to the Omnipod and G6. The training wasn’t as detailed, but since I already was a pumper, it didn’t need to be. Coming from the 630 to the Omnipod was very liberating! I’ve been on it for a few months and absolutely love not being tethered and having to disconnect for showers and the like! I’ve forgotten the PDM only once, but that was ok because I keep backup pens at work, so I just bolused using the pens. So as a man, I cary my phone for the G6 in one pocket, the PDM for the Omnipod in my other pocket and have supplies at home and at work. (I use the Contour Next that came with the 630G and have two of them - one at work and one at home) . If you have any questions, please ask.


@Dave44 @BeckyZ

I’ve got you both beat. My first microcomputer (the PC hadn’t been invented yet) was an Apple II Plus. It had a total of 16kB of RAM, the microprocessor was an 8 bit MOS 6502 operating at 1MHz, and I had the newly released Apple 5.25" floppy drive