Pump or No Pump?


(blehxmanda) #1

I need help! Doing daily injections with the pens is alright even though I occasionally draw blood. I dislike the fact of having something attached to me (referring to the pump), but I’ve been talking to different people and they said that the pump changed their lives. Help me, please!


(angivan) #2

I did shots for 18 years, and have pumped for the last 14. It did change my life, and I would not give it up unless I had to. Here are the main benefits of pumping:

Ability to set different basal (baseline) rates for different times of day - great for overnight or dawn phenomenon.
Ability to set different bolus (meal) ratios for different mealtimes.
Ability to dial down insulin delivery before/during exercise so you don’t have to eat beforehand.
Calculate bolus doses based on just entering number of carbs.
Deliver boluses over time, or partly up front and the rest over time (think pizza).
One big stick about every 3 days versus lots of little sticks every day.
Ability to bolus for even the smallest amount of carb - as little as 0.1 units at a time, even as low as 0.025 with some pumps.

There are some drawbacks though…

Need to religiously check BG a bare minimum of 4x/day, ideally 6-10x/day, every single day. This is because only fast-acting insulin is used, so no background insulin if there is an issue with your pump infusion site. This can get you in big trouble fast if you’re not on top of it.
You can’t just “eat whatever you want” with a pump. It’s still important to count your carbs very carefully, and keep them at a reasonable level to minimize BG swings.
The pump is just a tool for delivering insulin in more precise and customizable ways, nothing more.


(allisonhurt) #3

I personally think that I can control my blood sugars better with the pump. I have been on pump for 5 years and on shots for 1 year and right when i was diagnosed all that i had to do was check my blood sugar.


(carmelor) #4

Hi blehxmanda, I thought the same thing and I didn’t want to give up the control of doing the injection myself as it is rare that I felt any discomfort. I finally did it and I’ve been on my omnipod for almost 2 months now. My doctors were constantly telling me that I would do great on a pump and it is true. I am doing better but I think the reason I am doing better is the fact that I am checking my bg on average 8 times a day. I have been diabetic for 25 years and it was hard to switch. I went from using 120 to 150 units a day down to an average of 85 a day. Whether you are diabetic for a year or 10 years eventually you may become complaisant and not do what you need to do. The most basic is checking your bg often and counting your carbs accurately.

The reason I chose the omnipod was I did not want the tube. I love being able to wear it, not worry about water, can use many different infusion sites as I dislike using my abdomen for which is what everyone says is the best and most comfortable (not for me). There are some down sides, if you have issues with the adhesive and possibly ripping it off which I have done twice. Hope that helps


(system) #5

I was known for refusing to go to an endo referral because I heard he made all of his patients go on pumps. Then, I had to sell a different endo on the idea of letting me go on a pump. So, I guess I’m saying I’ve straddled both ends of the spectrum about wanting and not wanting a pump. What I saw you mention is that you don’t want to be attached to anything. Is there anything you’re hoping to gain from going on a pump? A for your concern, it’s legitimate. Specifically, is it more that you’re concerned about the durability of the product? Intimacy? The inconvenience? I have a lower psych threshold, but I remember being really frightened of my pump, the tubing, and the infusion set for a good month or so. And, I’m not going to lie and say that infusion set change day in the shower isn’t my favorite when it’s just my skin and only my skin that I’m scrub-a-dubbing. And, I’m also not going to lie and say that my didn’t life radically improve with the addition of pump therapy/analog insulins/carb counting (they happened pretty close to each other). Back to your potential concerns…if it’s durability, they’re tough little guys. I’ve dropped mine countless times on bathroom counters, missed the bed when I was tossing it across the room, fallen on it when I trip going up stairs, etc. And with the tubing, most of us pumpers have caught it accidentally on a door knob. It tugs and lets you know it’s there, but it doesn’t usually hurt. If something hurts, something is probably wrong, and you easily pop in a new infusion set. And another note on the tubing, I like it because I can detach from the pump easily, too. If it’s intimacy, I think knowing that the other person might be a little freaked out by it helps. Unless they’re into dissecting frogs, neurosurgery, etc, it’s understandable that they might be a little concerned by it. Especially if they think there’s a potential to hurt you. When it’s appropriate, I’ve tried to explain the basics of the machine and physically slap the infusion set really hard to show them that it doesn’t hurt, etc. There’s racier forums out there that address some things along those lines, too. In my heart, if they care about you, they should want you to stick around longer and be thankful and knowledgeable in your diabetes care. And if it’s at all about overall convenience, for me, hands down the pump is more convenient. If you do your long acting insulin in the morning, when was the last time that you slept in? Or literally reached inside your bloodstream and turned off the long acting insulin to help you not go low on a hike?The pump can basically do that. And this just might be a me thing, but I used to forget to grab my insulin all the time. It turned into a few funny breaking into my mother’s home so I could still go camping moments. With the pump, you have about 200 units with you, it’s attached, it doesn’t get left on the kitchen counter. I also made my pump choice partially based off of that forgetful tendency, too. I also like to be discreet and “hide” my equipment so that factored into my pump decision, as well. Overall, I would encourage you to evaluate what you really hate about your current regimen and what you really wished for your life and diabetes care. See if a pump can help with both of those. And you sometimes draw blood? Are you a phlebotomist or are you getting those really annoying and painful capillary “knicks” with injections? The “knicks” can still happen with infusion sets, but you’re changing your set about every 3 days instead of multiple injections a day, so the odds are in your favor :slight_smile:


(neve) #6

Hey there…so i used to wear a pump i was diagnosted at 12 years old and got a pump at 14. Im 28 now and ditched the pump for over a year now. I had good a1c’s with the pump but also had good a1c’s without it. I am doing injections and honestly it has been easier for me. I hated having a little friend attached to me and having people ask what it was. I just couldnt deal with the pump after years and years using it. The pump gives you freedom to eat what you want. But going back to injections gave me the freedom to not constantly remind myself i have diabetes by having a lil thing hanging on my hip 24/7. I think its all a choice. Its worth the try if you never been on a pump and you always have the option to go back to injections. You never know untill you try. I am glad i tried and i know what i am most happy with! :slight_smile:


(system) #7

I think that I’d still ask what, if anything, are you trying to change in your life besides preventing the drawing of blood with pen injections? Most pumpers can write you a sonnet, top 20 hit, or heavily weighted on the pro’s pro/con list. And, most of these pros were not their original reason for choosing IPT. And, it is a very personal, and at times expensive and thinking intensive, choice. Rather than throw all of the advantage darts of IPT at you and see if one of them hits your bullseye, I’d still ask what would you like to be even better, healthier, or more convenient in your life. Some are cursed with diabetes, yet blessed with not having varying insulin needs, high insulin sensitivity, a chaotic schedule, a body that responds unpredictably to exercise and hormone fluctuations, an unorganized mind forced to live with an injection clock, multiple time zones, or the scary one we whisper called long-term complications. If all is well in your life and you can’t imagine a better one, changing your therapy might not be the best choice. For what you mentioned that you don’t like, again, with the “drawing of blood,” if it’s capillary knicks, you’ll have fewer. If it’s for lab panels, it’s probably the same, although you may be happier with the results. And if it’s finger pricks, those stay and may need to increase, unless you layer on a sensor, too. I think I spoke to the “attachment” issue, as well. I hide all of my gadgets under my clothes and no one is the wiser. As a personal challenge of my expertise and discretion, I worked several full time positions with my devices concealed like this. If you asked my co-workers if I had diabetes, they’d say, “No.” Sure, you can hide in a bathroom stall and give a few clicks, but those pens aren’t exactly discreet hanging out of your bicep or abs seated on a plane or at a desk. They’re nice for a clothes off “who has diabetes game,” but I ironically didn’t find them as invisible as being attached to something. I can check my blood sugar and dose from my handbag and my silly “my little secret” charade was a success. Good luck. Share how it all unfolds for you.