Which pump to pick?!

My Dr told me yesterday that I need to get an insulin pump. I was diagnosed 4 years ago with Type 1. I’m VERY active, I have my first triathlon in June…a marathon…and a 10k. I need something that will work with swimming too. I was thinking of the Omnipod, but can you do sit ups if it’s on your back? Can you lay on your stomach and do yoga…agggghhhhh HELP! I dont have much body fat so I am weirded out, does it work ok in muscle. Is it a needle that just stays in your skin at all times? Pain doesn’t bother me and needles don’t either…I’m REALLY well controlled, just some extreme lows sometimes

Diabetes is LAME!


HI Justina,
Here are some references that may help you in your selection process:

I am on the Minimed 515, but this year I hope to change pumps. I am debating between the Animas Ping and the Omnipod.

It does not go into the muscle - just into the subcutaneous tissue like your current injections do. Most users start out with a cannula type system - meaning that there is an introducer needle to get the cannula or infusion set into your skin, but then the needle comes out and the plastic/teflon type cannula (similar to an IV) stays in. However some people have absorption issues or reactions to the cannulas, and move onto a needle based infusion set.

Here’s another, fairly recent, thread

I’ve been on the MM for 15 years, so I’m prejudiced - but when I just got a new pump I went with the new MM again for many of the reasons you posted, I just didn’t like having that bulky thing (the trial fake omnipod) stuck to me.
I do situps with the MM infusion stuck in my butt (although I usually use it in my abs). No problem with yoga.
I used to just take off the pump when swimming, give myself a 0.5u bolus, then take it off - as long as I was moving and getting some exercise in the water (vs lazing about in a hot tub), I never had much trouble with BG going up for that 0.5-1 hr.
Bad shoulders, so I don’t swim anymore though.
Not sure what to do about a tri, at least not one where you end the swim in a different place than you start, so you’d need someone to transport the pump for you. Or, use a water proof case. When I kayak I just put the pump in my bra and it handles the damp just fine (that was the last one I had that they hoped would be water proof, they don’t even make that pretense anymore, so not sure how good that would be for the Revel).
As far as body fat, they have some very short infusion sets for folks like you.

I am on the Revel - not waterproof - but “water resistant” are the words they use. They do not advocate swimming with it obviously, but they said it can get wet acidentally, and I have a friend who has jumped in the pool and forgot she had it on, with no issues.


I’d definitely check out the omnipod group. I used to use MM and switched to the omnipod b/c it was waterproof so that I could have better control during triathlons (and swim training). I think the pod is great and I have much better control over my post-swim glucose now that I’ve got insulin delivery during the swim too.
Every pump will have pros and cons, so I’d just read all that you can about the different models, and see if you can demo any of them from your endo. You can get a free pod to try from their website (it’s a fake pod that won’t inject, but will give you the “feel” of wearing one).
No insulin pump will work well in muscle. They all inject into the subcutaneous fatty layers (just like needle injections that you’re currently using).
And like Jennifer said, it’s not a needle that stays in (unless you pick that particular type of infusion set…and there are plenty of folks on here that prefer them over regular canula infusion sets). Most, including the omnipod, use a small flexible canula that works like an IV, except it’s not in a vein, it’s just under the skin into the fatty tissue.

My son is on the OMNIPOD. Love it! He can swim w/it on too. He can shower w/it w/out having to disconnect at all. Very good for an active person… he bikes a lot. I highly recomend it so far and he is still new to it… 4/20 was his start date. Love the things you can do w/a pump… suspend basals for biking… extend… know the IOB… give temp basals… Any pump can do these things… find one that suits your lifestyle. My son wanted the Pod since it is tubeless and he is a teen so that was important to him. He also likes that it can go on more places than a regular pump. No pump is perfect. That is why I say… pick the one that fits you best. You will love it.

Maybe a bit off topic, but if you are well controlled and content with MDI, under what circumstances does a doctor decide that you NEED to be on a pump?

My doctor has suggested a couple of times that I go on one. He pointed me to some material and suggested that I get some information.

As my a1c’s dropped, he sort stopped mentioning the pump at all.

There are things you can do using a pump that you can’t do MDI though. I know someone who the Doc won’t let go on a pump because she isn’t below an A1C of 9. I don’t get that either… you can be in better control w/ pump. I bet on a pump your numbers would be even better but sounds like you are doing awesome and comfortable w/ MDI so great! Everyone is so different they have to do what they feel comfortable with and what makes their life easier and happier. Glad you are doing well.
But if you want to talk pumps…I am so happy w/my son’s Omnipod. My niece is on the Animas Ping and she like that better…she thinks the Omnipod looks like a leech! I say… it is a Tick… (since it does tick!) Best of health to you!

After months of reading and looking at the pros and cons of the different pumps out there for myself I’ve just recently started using the Animas Ping after 21 years of MDI. Even tho I’m fairly new at this,(and far from an expert) my initial concerns was it always being attached… but I’ve adjusted to this fairly quickly and already starting to see improvements with lesser lows and no more Lantus frustrations of trying different combinations.

Other reasons why I went with the Ping is because functionality with the meter and that it is also waterproof and I liked the infusion sets. Also when traveling they will provide you with a backup.

For the infusion sets I’ve tried different types 90 vs 30 degrees. When I’m more active i’ll tape the tubing and use liquid bandaid there are many options, there is only a needle when you insert.

Like Katsz said pick the one that fits you best!

We have to use the Liquid bandaid stuff too and sometimes tape if things are getting loose. So I do think that all pumps have simular problems to deal with. My son loves the way the omnipod has auto-insertion and is really quick with it. It is also water proof…but w/ any of them after a lot of swimming the adhesive can get soggy and come loose. The ping is nice that you don’t have to have the meter to dose. The Pod can’t do anything w/out the meter/brain…other than give the basal. The pod hasn’t been trouble free but wow… still a big big improvement to the MDI method for him. The programs that come with these pumps are phenomenal too. They really help you to keep track and to make management decisions. (the last pod I didn’t use skintac and it isn’t doing so well…that stuff is great)

Thanks!..Omni or Ping?!

I’m injecting 5 times a day now…It’s hard to go on long runs, swim, bike carrying a big bag with insulin and glucose tabs. He also said that it would probably help with my lows.

I just want to be healthy!!

You still will need to cary spare supplies (such as a spare set and a syringe to get insulin out of your insulin reservoir in an emergency), and glucose tabs on a pump.

Thee are so many good suggestions previously for you, so I won’t duplicate the info. But I wanted to tell comment regarding your concerns with being a lean individual. I am a very thin person. I have always been on a Mini Med pump…two versions. I use their 13 mm silhouette set. I am able to use them almost anywhere without pain. I had used the 17mm as it was their only length at one point. They could be quite painful at times. But now, I have no problems.

"I was thinking of the Omnipod, but can you do sit ups if it’s on your back? " No

"My Dr told me yesterday that I need to get an insulin pump. " Simply put, this is baloney. No one who is ambulatory and intellectually capable of managing their BG using MDI needs an insulin pump.

There have been many studies that have established that pump use does not produce statistically significant improvements in BG management, and the cost effectiveness is far worse than that of MDI using modern basal/bolus insulins.

A pump can be a convenience for some people, in some situations but it’s more important for a person with type 1 to be able to manage BG well and in a manner that is reliable. The Omnipod’s primary advantages are is the elimination of tubing and the simplicity of changing the base. Vigorous exercise that applies direct pressure to the site of the baseplate is still likely to compromise the injection site.

While pumps have come a long way, NONE of the pumps on the market today can be used in the manner that you describe without detaching them. Add to that the need to do BG measurements, which requires carrying a meter or using a CGMS, and the advantages of using a pump vs using a pen during periods of extended, intense exercise disappear.

The core question is - How well are you able to manage your BG using syringes and MDI? Is your averaged annual A1C well under 7? If not, using a pump in lieu of syringes may not be the best choice for your diabetes given your specific exercise requirements.

The Animas Ping is a waterproof pump, so they claim, I got one of these as I canoe alot, but have not been in swimming with it yet. I take it off to shower. I’m finding the best place for the canula , at the moment is in my abdomen but it does leave what they call pump bumps. It’s not painful but can get a little uncomfortable should you get it in a nerve or if it’s left in a bit too long normal time being 3-5 days.Having said this nobody who is controlling their BS well has to go on a pump and it’s your body if you don’t want to go on then don’t,I’m still out as to whether or not I will stay on the pump as I feel very tied to it and my BS were relatively well under control with pens.

How do you do Basal differences or suspend Basal w/MDI??? When my son was MDI we could not. He was on one dose of Lantus a night that carried him till the next night. He loves to bike… He would go low 100% of the time while biking when he was on Lantus…now that he is on the Pod we just suspend the basal and he seems to stay at the same number as when he started or a little lower but now scary low. Yes… YES… the Pod has its problems… i think most pumps do… but just today… after a pod fail… I asked him… is it worth it still to you? Do you want to stay w/ the Pod or try a different pump? (he is still in trial period). He said… it is totally worth it. We have a pool…he swims w/it on and all has been good so far. However…wrestling w/his brother…not so much! He ripped the pod off of the adhesive!!! I really hope someday they really make an artifical pancreas or Smart insulin.

Pumps don’t use basal (long duration) insulin. Their “basal” coverage is done using rapid action insulin.

The whole point of using long duration like Lantus is that their slow, even delivery profiles are used to cover the basal metabolism needs of the body that are independent of diet and exercise. Basal insulins, if the dosage has been properly determined, are never suspended. Unfortunately, too many doctors and too many persons with type 1 diabetes have never taken the time to determine the proper basal insulin dosage for that individual.

MDI, if done properly, doesn’t use just basal insulin. That’s an antiquated treatment plan that was abandoned by knowledgable health care professionals back in in the 1970’s, when it became clear that NPH insulins’ delivery profile wasn’t adequate for regulating BG outside a clinical environment.

Modern MDI uses a long duration insulin, typically Lantus for basla coverage, and a rapid insulin such as Humalog to “cover” meals. Snacks are used to compensate for activity and a sliding scale bolus calculation is used for correction boluses.

One note about Lantus - it’s duration isn’t 24 hours. To get even delivery of Lantus over a period of 24 hours, the basal dose needs to be divide in half, and taken as two doses at least 8 hours apart. It’s possible to accomplish the same type of even basal coverage using NPH insulin, however the less even delivery profile of NPH requires more than two doses per day, and in most individuals, the timing may not coincide with their meal schedule.

If the basal dose is correct, and an individual does not eat or participate in strenuous activity, the basal insulin should permit the individual to go for at least 8 hours without experiencing a “low”.

Like I originally said, “No one who is ambulatory and intellectually capable of managing their BG using MDI needs an insulin pump.” A young child may not be capable of this level of management, but most parents are - it’s a matter of time and effort rather than anything else.

If it seems to be too difficult, consider this - regardless of the delivery technology, eventually your child will need to know how to manage his insulin, diet and exercise. Using a pump without understanding how to do this management properly can result in very rapid BG swings from hypoglycemic to hyperglycemic, and long term, can result in an escalating pattern of overeating, overdosing and obesity.

“No one who is ambulatory and intellectually capable of managing their BG using MDI needs an insulin pump.”

No ■■■■. You are rude and condescending. My doctor told me that was his opinion, and I respect what he has to say. I don’t HAVE to do anything. I take NPH twice a day and Humalog three times a day…five shots in my stomach everyday. It gets to be a bit much, I’m not scared to try new things…so what if I end up hating it?! I can always go back. I can’t change my insulin in the middle of a run now…I can’t eat a late dinner with my friends. I miss little things like that. Maybe this will free me up a little?