Almost Pumping

Hey there!

I cannot wait to get pumping with my medtronic pump... two weeks! I was diagnosed with T1 a few months ago and cannot wait to learn the ropes.

Do you have any suggestions? Is there anything you wish you had known before you began pumping?

Thanks a billion!


I can tell you that there are good and bad things: the best is better control; the worst is a tube hanging off your body.

Overall, I like the better control, but I do get upset when I take off my shirt and sport my insert sight.  

I have found that I have GREAT control with the pump and FAR better freedom.  For me, that is the best part!  You do have to monitor how your body responds to the site and sometimes you have to redo the site site if you have injected  incorrectly.

You have taken a great step iin better control!

Good luck and keep the "force: with you!


My advice would be to take the online training before you go to your actual in-person training. It really does help drill into your head all the ins and outs of pumping.

Pumps are great.  It takes a little work but is totally worth it to feel better, have freedom to sleep in and eat whatever you want whenever you want.  You can easily  correct a slightly high blood sugar.  Stuff I'd recommend:

* John Walsh's book "Pumping Insulin" is a great resource.

* The first few days with your pump try to wear your most comfortable clothes with pockets.  

* Also in the first few days try to eat meals that are easy to carb count.  That will help you get basal rate set more quickly.  

* The first day or 2 with a pump you feel like an alien.  It doesn't take long to get used to it.  It reminds me of carrying a phone or ipod.

* Periodically fast to test your pump's basal rates.

* Learn to use the dual and square wave boluses, which makes eating pizza SO much easier.

* The first time you do an infusion set change on your own, expect to be a little nervous.  If something gets screwed up, no big deal, just try it again.  Over time you'll be able to change your infusion set when you're half asleep.

* Be adventurous in choosing places on your body to do the infusion sites.  If you exclusively use your stomach or some other part of your body you'll overuse the skin.  

* If you get no delivery alarms, hit muscle with the infusion sets, or have painful infustion sets, call the Minimed # on the back of your pump and ask them to send samples of different sets.  There are a few different styles that work better for different body types.

* Keep insulin and a syringes around and take them with you on trips.  Bring extra pump supplies when you go on a trip.  

Let us know how it goes.

Congrats on getting your pump! I hope you like it!!

Theres only a few things I wish I knew when I had started the pump 6 years ago...

1. You scar super easily!

2. If you hit a muscle or vein, you will cry! pick areas where you have plenty of fat and wont hit muscles and veins.

3. It allows you to be more free and you don't have to live life on a schedule.

And again, congrats!

It takes a little to get used to wearing it, but it kind of becomes a part of you after a bit. I was just back on injections for a couple of days becasue mine broke and I kept feeling for it, and thinking oh, i need to take a bolus. . . oh ya, no pump =P I really like only having to insert the site once every 3 days, so much better than all of those shots. Veins hurt like melanie said, and they bleed a lot, so if you hit one, grab some kleenex first then pull it out. Don't be afraid to move your site around to see where it works best for you. I think the biggest shock for me when I went on the pump after 10 years was how fast I went high. Novolog only lasts 2 hours for me, so if my pump site kinks off, which is does if i hit a muscle, I go high fast. After my first really bad episode of ketones, I started changing my pump earlier in the day and checking my blood sugar a couple hours after just to make sure it was working. Overall, I love my pump, hope everything goes well, good luck! =)

I think Jennagrant's suggestions are great. Superb in fact.

I would add a couple things to the list.

- You can actually go longer than 3 days. Docs don't recommend it because of the activity of the insulin as it stays out at room temp, but I routinely get away with 4 or even 5 days when I need to (ie road trips, outdoor activities, travel).

- Try to keep a spare vial, infusion set, and reservoir at your work the first couple weeks. If you get the tubing caught on something and yank out the infusion set, you'll want that backup (no big deal about the yanking BTW... happens to the best).

- Try a few kinds of infusion sets. I used Silhouette for about a year. I couldn't last past 3days without getting pretty inflamed at the site and I had firm bumps for many days. No one told me it was easy to switch. Minimed will give you samples if you ask. I use the Mio now and its awesome for me. Find what fits for you.

-Adhesives. Try them. There's a whole world of adhesives for applying, covering, and removing the infusion sets. Ask and search on this site and you'll get tons of info. Adhesives like SkinTac are insanely useful when you're a heavy sweating, exerciser, or like to hop in a jacuzzi.

LAST POINT!!! You are way smarter about your body than most doctors you will meet. If it doesn't feel right or you are concerned, ask until you get an answer or solution that satisfies you. (ie inflamed infusion sites, insulin not working as it should, unexpected high/low, rashes, hives, mood swings, bad taste in mouth, increased hunger, thirst, pain)

You are very smart for starting early on the pump path in my opinion.

Best of everything to you!