To Pump or not to Pump?

Hi there

I have been a type 1 diabetic since 1996. I have good control on Humalog and Lantus injections however a friend recently went to a pump and loves it, but it does have its downfalls…

Any advice or opinions would be great

Thanks in advance


Hi Russ,
There was a similar topic posted recently by a fellow in the UK. Check it out here.

I was diagnosed in 1994 and have been using a pump since 1998. I honestly could never go back to multiple injection therapy and achieve the same level of control as I have with the pump. I also believe going back to being tied to a schedule based on my long-acting insulin would be unpleasant, to say the least.

The cons: Weight gain (at first- very controllable though through more careful diet and exercise), issues with the infusion sets (rarely), cost of supplies, being dependent on a machine that can break, and having the infusion set in you at all times.

I believe the freedom and level of control you can have with a pump simply cannot be matched with injection therapy.

There was a similar topic earlier today, but more about fear HERE Take a look.

For me, the pros are the freedom, fewer injections, easier control and over time, my A1c has improved dramatically.

Cons: Oneless put them quite well above… I did break a pump in July, and the replacement process was a pain, but I would NEVER return to syringes.

Really there are no major cons. You will get used to having your pump connected to your body within the first couple of weeks, rotating infusion sites takes a bit longer. Once you have mastered all the little things that come up (basically life) and how to deal with them you will ask yourself how you made it this long without a pump.

I love my pump and would never go back to injections. Don’t really see any major cons to it. Good luck in finding what works best for you.

I am waiting for my pump, a little nervous, so far only con is that my insurance only pays half of the cost, hope it is worth it, good luck on deciding

Hey Russell,
I’ve been diabetic since 1993 and just started on the pump 4 weeks ago. It took me 7 years to decide to start on insulin pump therapy so don’t feel rushed into making a decision either way. Two things finally pushed me over the edge and made me decide to pump.
#1- I found out that my coworker was is a type 1 diabetic and was using one. #2 - I started to develop “dawn phenomenon.” The great thing about the pump is that you can taylor your insulin to your body. I get high’s at certian times of the day and lows at other times. With my pump it’s calculated down to .25 of a unit of humnulog. It’s been truly amazing to see my blood sugars between 89-120 80% of the time. I saw numbers like that less than 40% of the time before the pump. I can also exercise now without worrying about eating carbs and calories to cover a post-workout low.

I think that onless had a great answer for the cons of the pump. Also consider that you’ll have to check your blood sugar double what you’re doing now. I would check 3-4 times a day. Now i check 10-13 times a day and the first couple of weeks are the trickiest with choosing the right pump for you and working out your hourly humulog rates. Good luck and remember if you dont like it, you can always go back to the Lantus.

I forgot about that one! I test my blood sugar a lot more with the pump too. Although I don’t consider it a con, outside of the fact that test strips are kind of expensive and my forearms look like I got blasted with tiny shrapnel.

Guys thank you so much, you have all really helped.

I was only thinking there would be downfalls in the sense that there is something attached to you 24/7 and I thought bed time might be uncomfortable as well as beach activities, gym, running etc.

I watched a youtube vid and this guy said you can disconnect a pump for about an hour with no real problems but any longer wouldn’t be advised, so at bed time he said to tuck it into your boxer shorts or pajamas… so I’ve gotta start wearing something to bed if I go with a pump…lol

I just wanna add that as a new user of this site I am overwhelmed at the speed and friendliness of your responses… Friends for ever

Cheers guys :slight_smile:

If you use the longer tubing, you can just put the pump under your pillow when you sleep. There will be plenty of tubing so you won’t get tangled in it or otherwise have issues with moving in your sleep.

I use the shorter tubing and clip it to my boxers at night. You can disconnect the pump for an hour but when I do that I still take a correction bolus, unless I did something strenuous during the disconnect period.

One more thing about a pump that I haven’t seen mentioned in this thread is their more modern features, such as the bolus wizard. You can set target blood sugars for certain times of the day, tell the pump what your carb to insulin ratio is, and then when you eat or have high blood sugar all you need to do is tell it what your blood glucose is, how many carbs are in the meal (if eating) and it does the rest. Some tweaking is needed on your part sometimes, but it takes a lot of the guesswork out of the equation. With a good doctor or other diabetes practitioner familiar with the pump, you can really nail this one down well.

My pump also connects to a CGMS, which reads my blood (actually interstitial fluid) glucose every 5 seconds, and sends an average every 5 minutes to my pump. The pump can tell you what your levels are, although not quite as accurately as doing a blood test on your meter. More importantly, it can accurately tell you if your blood sugar is moving up or down and how quickly it is doing so.

Good luck and feel free to hit me up if you have any other questions.

Solid advice and very much appreciated. It certainly sounds like you’d never look back and thats good to know.

The general opinion is positive so I will certainly be making moves towards getting one. I shall letcha know how that goes. I’m not aware of a long wait for one here in Perth and my health insurance covers the full cost so I really have nothing to lose.

Once again everyone has been great…thanks heaps

I don’t know if the Omnipod is available where you are but I am on it and LOVE the fact that I never have to worry about tubing. I can change clothes, shower, and sleep in the nude without a second thought…almost like I wasn’t even on a pump :slight_smile:

Hi Julie

I’ve just Googled the Omnipod and it looks awesome. I’ll be sure to follow that up and see if its available here in Perth.

I love the no tubing idea!!

Cheers :slight_smile:

People have posted a lot of videos on YouTube about it now.

Russell: I don’t know if my two cents is late for the party but, here goes: I have been a T1 for 28 years and just went on the Minimed 722 a year ago this past May…Let me tell you, what a difference! To be honest, I am still figuring Bolus/Basal rates to get “perfect” control (if there is such a thing) BUT my numbers are leaps and bounds better than they were. I am finally down to an AIC of 7.0 (from 8,2) and I’m working on the magic 6.5 (as we all do). Yes, there are cons to everything, I thought the Pump would be cumbersome (it’s not), the tubing has caught me up from time to time (like tonight in a seat belt) but compared to 8 shots a day, I’ll take tucking my tubing into my pants anyday (most people who see my pump think it’s just a beeper anyway). There are Pump classes and info sessions offered most everywhere, ask your endo for a good referral and GOOD LUCK with however you choose to go!

Hi Russell
I really haven’t found a downfall to my pump. Less sticks. I really don’t pay much attention to it unless it’s bolus time or beeps getting empty. I can’t eat regular meal times at work, the pump gives me the flexibility to delay or skip meals if necessary. I realize eating regular would be the better idea but not always possible. I disconnect to swim or whatever for an hour or so and bolus a little if necessary. The site says put even in the shower.