Ashley, I’m so impressed with your maturity and thoughtful questions (I saw your diagnosis post too). First of all, pumping is considered the gold standard of diabetes care, and the flexibility and control it provides are worth any potential drawbacks.
Initially, I was freaked out at the idea of having something attached to me 24/7 but it honestly hasn’t been an issue. My pump fits nicely in a pants pocket, but for the most part I wear it clipped to the center part of my bra. I’m guessing you’re slimmer than I am so that may feel bulky to you, but a pocket would be super easy. Since most people carry a cell phone in their pockets, a pump wouldn’t feel like a big deal.
I love that the pump allows me to be spontaneous. If I haven’t eaten and someone suggests a hike, I can simply reduce the amount of basal insulin I’ll receive and then exercise without going low (of course, I always carry glucose tablets or Smarties just in case).
I’ve been with Animas for about 15 years. I currently wear the Ping because I really like being able to bolus directly from my meter, rather than having to get the pump out. The newer Vibe doesn’t let you bolus from the meter. It’s a bigger deal to me since my pump is usually on my bra. I’ve been wearing my infusion sites in my upper thigh for the past year or so, after mostly using my abdomen or even the backs of my arms. Now, I mostly reserve my stomach area for my CGMS (I hope you get one of those too; the Dexcom G5 is a game changer–directly communicates with iPhones!).
My husband is a Type 2 diabetic but also wears a CGMS and just started pumping in January. He didn’t like the idea of wearing a pump (and he’s a big baby about any kind of medical stuff!), but within two weeks he told me he LOVED the pump in that it made everything so much more convenient and his control immediate improved.
I chose Animas because it only holds 200 units of insulin, and I’m very insulin sensitive, so I use about 28 units per day. The Animas was (is?) the smallest pump on the market and I liked that it was the least bulky.
My husband chose the Tandem Flex because he uses a ton of insulin each day and it holds 400 units. Initially, I was jealous of his pump because it’s got a full color touch screen, and seems lower profile. But now that we’ve changed sites side by side, I know the Tandem pumps wouldn’t work for me.
I can do a full site change in about 45 seconds. The Tandem is SO SLOW! It takes him about five minutes to do a site change. That may not be an issue for you but I’m way too impatient for that. Plus, I’ve found myself changing sites in bathrooms, in my car, at outdoor events, etc over the 15 years I’ve been pumping.
No matter which pump you choose, I always think any pump is better than no pump.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any other questions!