MI or Pump

I have been a Multiple injection guy for 13 years  what do you do or have any of you switched from one to the other and found it better or worse.

i am a pumper. i was MDI for 10 years, and pump for almost 11. i had good control on both. i switched for convenience sake. i was tired of carrying syringes and insulin and supplies with me, with the pump i don't carry anything other than my tester. i prefer the pump. i like to keep things simple and easy. however, if for some reason i ever had to go back to MDI, i know i would be able to have good control with it.

I have tried two different pumps and several different infusion sets and my body didn't like any of them:(  While the pump did work for me, I absolutely loved it!  It did all the work for you practically!  I always carried extra supplies for the pump just in case.....If I had the choice, I would definitely be a pump wearer!! 

I also use a pump.  I was on MDI for the first 19 years, then went on a Deltec Cozmo pump, and am now using an Animas Ping.  The convenience and flexibility it provides can't be beat.  Plus, it does my math for me!  :)

I've been on MDI for just over 16years now. I took a break from Oct 17, 2009-Dec 24, 2009 and tried the pump. I used the Animas Ping, like Kim does, and while I liked the actual pump..it wasn't the treatment method for me. Long story short, the pump wasn't for my lifestyle and my control was worse on the pump, so I got rid of it and went back to shots. Will be looking at the pump in a year, but likely not to actually try it again until I am wanting to start a family(but that's only a maybe..I might just stick with shots, I prefer and LOVE my needles).

Hey Joe - I was a human dart board (aka MDI) for 40 years prior to giving the pump a go :).  My A1C's with MDI were in the 7% range - not sure what yours are with your method of control.  I decided to try pumping after a friend of mine who'd only been Type 1 for 10 years, bugged me about giving pumping a try.  I managed to luck in on having the use of 2 different pump manufacturers all for free (I don't think they do this anymore - but never hurts to ask) - and ended up purchasing an Animas 2020 pump a few years ago.  I managed to lower my A1C down to 5.8% but seem to be holding steady lately at 6% which is good for me as I'm trying to keep it under 7% to avoid less complications in the future. One nice thing with the pump I find, is less hypos then I had with MDI.  Also, less fluctuations with BG's (blood glucose).  More steady, but it takes time to tweak out the programming for setting up basal etc, but it's all worth it.

I'm actually taking a pump vacation right now - since April - went back to MDI.  I wanted to see if I could attain the same control as I do with my insulin pump - and also wanted to try Levemir (I was using Lantus prior to pump for my basal insulin).  So far, I think the pump experience has made me more aware of how to use my MDI method better (like C says above).  Tho' I do miss the pump for those times when --- oops - forgot to take my Levemir (I inject every 12 hours rather then just at night - too many hypos if I do shot in one solid lump).  Also, with the pump experience under my belt, I've managed to tweak my basal rate (Levemir/Lantus) so I don't have hypos in the night/a.m. - that was one of the reasons for my going onto the pump.

I'll be back on the pump maybe after the summertime - once I've had my A1C done.

What is making you think about going onto the pump if you don't mind me asking?

Anyway, you can read more about my hiatus from the pump (and my other droll words on life with diabetes) where I blog about it at Diabetes1.org as well.

i am just thinking about options i need to get better A1c.  and i have herd both sides and everyone seem to like the pump better but it just seems so restrictive you always have somthing in you you always are carying it around.  i am a person who does physical activity and am out side with animals where i manage our school farm and i also teach agricultal classes.  so i am basicly just looking for somthing new i have been doing the same thing since i was 15 and i would like to find out if there is a better way. 

I've been on MDI since '91. Starting the pump right now (I've been considering for a few years now so I'm finally starting to take the plunge). The reasons I decided to switch were due to my lows. Super bad with Lantus. I get them during bedtime which scares me and my boyfriend. Also, no matter how hard you try and even though I have had okay A1Cs, the fluctuations aren't good...thats why I decided to switch. The pump makes it easy but at the same time you must be even more proactive with your control. At least in my case. Although I test 6 times (even more now) a day, the fact is (I found this out by being on the CGM for an entire week) your numbers rise and decline throughout the day. I can't adjust my basal on lantus (ie: certain times of day you need more insulin and other times you don't) so thats why I decided to switch. I haven't been hooked up to the pump yet (I'm still going through all my training with medtonic and what have you) however, I feel that any change is good for control because I've been more concious about what i've been eating and how insulin affects it. I'm seriously considering going back to diet prior to lantus/humalog (I was on NPH and Reg..ugh) and the diet was basically slightly restricted but it helped with peaks and stuff. And I gained a lot of weight when I started Lantus/humalog because I could FINALLY eat all the bad stuff my body wasn't used to.  I'm realising that although the pump is there to change basal rates and boluses, it isn't your pancreas. You must be proactive with whatever method works for you. Although MDI worked for me, i knew I could get even better control on the pump..which is why I decided to swtich. anywho long story short, you won't know until you try. Take Batts for example, the pump didn't work for her and she decided to go back on MDI since her A1C was lower on it. More Power to her! Do what you and your endo feel best doing!

oh and I felt the same way about having something attached to me but the pumps now are super small (i couldn't even feel it and i'm pretty lean) so you won't know until you try them out. and nobody notices them. I had a super huge CGM stuck to me for a week and nobody even noticed.

[quote user="joebuffington"]

i am just thinking about options i need to get better A1c.  and i have herd both sides and everyone seem to like the pump better but it just seems so restrictive you always have somthing in you you always are carying it around.  i am a person who does physical activity and am out side with animals where i manage our school farm and i also teach agricultal classes.  so i am basicly just looking for somthing new i have been doing the same thing since i was 15 and i would like to find out if there is a better way. 


being a guy with a pump..it's not a big deal...generally, you don't wear skirts or dresses and need to find a spot to keep it! being a girl on the pump is harder. one thing i didn't like was being attached 24/7, because after 16years i'm not used to that(and unlike my cellphone or ipod..i can't leave it at home or in my purse) and also because i had a LOT of problems finding places to put it. it took me 3hours to find an outfit to wear to my xmas staff party and 3hours to find an outfit to wear everytime i went out dancing or somewhere fancy...usually it ended up in me sobbing for the last hour of it(which i don't do very often, i hate crying) and then giving up and wearing jeans or work pants instead of a dress or skirt. i had all the accessories like the thigh-thing and the leg-thing but they weren't comfortable nor fit well.


you can do a 3 month trial on the pump like i did and get your money back if you decide not to continue it, so if you're really thinking about it...do a saline trial to get used to the sets, etc and then do a 3month trial?

Hi Joe. I did MDI for about 40 years. Actually, before they did more than 1 injection a day. I decided to start pumping because of my kidney transplant. I didn't care if I liked pumping or not, I wanted the best control possible to get the longest life out of the kidney my cousin gave me. Much to my amazement, I loved it! I was very concerned about being "tied" to something all the time but didn't find it any more inconvenient than wearing sunglasses (except my pump didn't fog up when coming in from the cold). It does take some work, but it also allows a lot of flexibility. You can skip meals, tailor basal rates much better than with lantus or levemir, and can sleep in without worrying about getting up to take your shot.

I had no problems wearing it either. I usually wore it in the side band of my bra (probably not an option for you, but you never know lol) but I would also wear it in a pocket or with the clip. With a bit of ingenuity you can find a way to wear it comfortably. It was free floating while I slept and I never had a problem



Was MDI for 20 years and been a pumper for 10. I love the pump and cannot imagine going back to frequent shots. I have much better control with a pump and love the convenience and freedom it gives me. It is not for everyone though.

I used MDI for 61.5 years and started pumping in 2007. I had A1c's below 6.0 for several years before pumping, but I had far too many swings from hogh to low. the swings caused me to have the beginning stages of retinopathy and neuropathy. A diabetic can have complications even when the A1c is very good, the roller coaster type of control can cause this. After pumping for a few months my swings were much less frequent and all the complications have disappeared. Now I have been type 1 for 64 years and I currently have no complications.

Hey Richard - what you said about your complications "disappearing" is intriguing to me.  I have mild non-proliferative retinopathy, and my opthamologist has told me that while it can improve (and has already, actually...woo!), it will never completely go away.  Have you been told something different?

Kim, my retinopathy was very mild. If it had been much worse I am sure it would not have completely disappeared, just like your doctor said. If your retinopathy has improved, and was not all that bad in the first place, then it may completely disappear like mine did. My ophthamologist told me he could not see any diabetes damage in my eyes after I had been pumping for 3 months. We are all different though, so we cannot jump to conclusions. i hope yours will continue improving and, hopefully, disappear.

Richard - mine is very mild, as well.  One to two spots in each eye.  Thanks - I hope so too!

I have been diabetic for over 42 years and went on the pump in 2000.  My reason was too many lows, as my body would dump insulin when it wanted and I was getting too busy to keep up with MDI. I also have hypoglycemiaunawareness.  I am glad. It is as much of a battle of MDI, but has, to me, multiple advantages:

1) up to 12 different amounts per day

2) small amounts of insulin in my body at one time so less chance of hypos.

3) ability to work with my crazy schedule and not having to carry needles around

4) flexibility when sick or having surgery

It is a personal choice and you have to learn a whole new way of managing and have to be ready to count carbs, as without that you have nothing and the pump is a waste of time and energy..


Good Luck


Batts, I either wear pants or skirts, no more dresses, too much trouble..I agree the thigh holster and other gadgets do not help hide the bump from the pump..