I started using an insulin pump, after 14 years of being on shots, about 8 months ago. I'm having a hard time adjusting to it and have been thinking about going back to shots for several reasons. But I'm curious about other people's experiences with the pump that may have led you to leaving it behind.
Although this may just be a coincidence, I've been sicker while on the pump that I've ever felt in my entire life. Some of my health problems have been growing worse over time, of course, and maybe the pump has nothing to do with how a multitude of health issues have taken me down and out. My reason for starting the pump and cgms was to help me catch and prevent all the lows I was having. I've got hypoglycemia unawareness, no doubt related to years of striving for very tight control of my blood sugars, with lots of highs and lows always. I thought the pump and cgm would help me finally gain some moderate control over my blood sugars. Instead, the never-ending statistics I get from my pump show only that those blood sugars of mine are always all over the place, with little consistency from day to day or meal to meal. I've been accused by the reps of not watching carefully enough for bubbles, for using bad sites, for basically "doing it wrong," but no matter what I do to correct my mistakes, my blood sugars are still as spastic as ever.
The pump feels like an annoying extra limb to me. I'm constantly dropping it, bumping things into it, getting tangled in it. It seems like it's yelling at me constantly - vibrating about highs, lows, errors, bad sensors, end of sensor, meter now, by god you'd better meter soon, etc etc etc 24/7. The whole process of infusion sites seems like a huge chore every three days. The cgm itself is a nightmare - I'm always dealing with it not working right, either beeping when it shouldn't or not beeping when it should. If I'm lucky, it's probably catching about 50-60% of my lows right now. This is the only reason I'm still trying to get this pump to work out for me, in hopes that it'll catch my lows.
Environmentally, it feels like I've got a much higher ecological footprint with the pump's many supplies than I ever did with just needles. I can't believe the amount of materials and packaging that's required to throw away using these devices. Yes, I was one of those diabetics who used their needles repeatedly in order to save money and cut down on waste.
There has been speculation by my md's that maybe there's an absorption problem going on that's causing my sugars so fluctuate so widely. It's hard to know based on the lack of info from the period before I was using the cgms, when I wasn't so good at being able to tell when I was high or low. I suspect that perhaps my sugars have always varied like this.
I suspect I may be dealing with autonomic neuropathy now and that this is what has finally taken me out of the workplace, pump or no pump. But I'm curious if there are others who haven't loved the pump. I don't know any other type 1s, and the only info I ever get is through the advertising and pump trainers who swear up and down that the pump is the only way to go. I am mostly too tired or too brain-fogged to research this online anymore. I'd appreciate anyone who can tell me about their growing pains with the pump.