Pump Issues

Hey everyone, I've had diabetes for 4 years and I've always been on needles. I'm thinking about getting a pump, but kinda scared on the complications that come along with it and everything. I would love some advice or information on the different types of pumps and how they affect you. Thanks :]

How could you be tried being a dart board!!! Just kidding. LOL Good Luck on your pump quest!!!

"Complications" is kind of a scary word for most of us, particularly those with a long duration of diabetes. But I think you're just saying it looks like it might be more complicated than injections. There are some new things to learn, but since your life depends on it, that's a very strong motivation to learn quickly. Very likely, it will take less than a week to learn the basics, and then you can start to learn about the special features of your pump model. You won't need those special features to get started, but you will probably want to learn about some of them as soon as you're comfortable with the basics. Keep in mind that an insulin pump is just another (better) way of delivering insulin. Each different model has different features, and you need to read about them to help you choose the model you want. Your choice is very likely to be based on which pump's features appeal to you the most. Oh yes, cost and insurance coverage will also be in the picture. I don't think switching from injections to a pump is a big deal - I used injections for 52 years, and now it's been almost 15 years since I started pumping, and I'm getting ready to replace my third pump.

I wish you success in choosing the right pump for you, and getting started on it. It's not difficult! Thousands have done it before you.

Tom Beatson


Shannon, the pump can be a little more complicated than injections at first, but in the long run, it makes life so much more easier, in my opinion.  When I was ready for my pump (after 8 years of injections), I had a local representative from the pump company come to my house and train me on how to use it.  For the first three days, the pump was just filled with saline so it was only for practice (and I still had to give shots).  After 3 days, I felt comfortable using the handheld mechanism, and I had all my basal levels and carb to insulin ratio pre-programmed, so I was ready to go.  I have been very happy so far.  The pump allows me to bolus at smaller increments and it eliminates the 4+ shots per day.  However, when I first started the pump, I did have a lot of lows, which my doctor and I were able to eliminate by tweaking my basal dosages through the day.

Good luck, and keep us all posted.  I am using the Omnipod, by the way.

Hi Shannon,

Tom brings up a good point - the pumps available now are all pretty similar in performance; the decision you make will most likely be based on which features are most attractive to you.  You can call the pump companies (or visit their websites) to request an information packet - which will help you learn what features each has, and what will work for you.

There are plenty of us here on Juvenation who use pumps, so if you ever have questions - feel free to ask!  We're all here to help each other.  :)


at first the pump can be very confusing and complicated but after a month or two it will be something you will never forget. don't you think it's better a shot every 2-3 days rather than 6 times a day? i would suggest minimed :) good luck

Thanks for your advice/information everyone! It helped me see things from a different perspective.

I was taking injections for 7 years before I switched to a pump, which I have been on for 10 years now. When you say "complications" it's kind of a complicated word. lol.

From managing your diabetes, the pump is really a good way to go. You have much tighter control over the amount of insulin you give through out the day and for food. And, if someone unexpectedly invites you out for coffee, you can get a baguette and not have to worry about not having needles and insulin with you. It lets you be more spontaneous without sacrificing your diabetes management.

From actually living with a pump, here a couple things that bugged me at first.

1. Sleeping with it.

Now, I was 12 when I first got my pump, but this took a little getting used to. I wasn't sure how to do it at first and I was paranoid that I was going to tangle myself of and pull the infusion out. My doctor told me to use pajamas with a pocket and keep it in there. That so did not work. It was like sleeping on a rock. I now have a carrier on a cord that I wear around my neck and my pump, I named it Eli, just chills out next to me. No trouble at all.

2. Water

Pumps are generally not waterproof, so this got a little tricky. It's easy to disconnect for showers, but things like water parks and trips to the beach can get a little complicated. Still totally doable, but you just have to cough up the extra money to rent the storage locker at the parks and go back every hour or so to take some more insulin.

3. Clothes

If you are a big dress-wearer, you may need to go shopping. It's a little harder to wear certain clothes with the pump. Having a waistband or pockets is the most convenient, but sometimes that is just not what you want to wear. There are tricky ways to wear/hide your pump, but it usually takes a little experimenting.

These are just the first couple things that came to mind, but they just took a little getting used to. It like wearing a watch, kinda bugs you for a day, then you don't notice it, then you feel naked without it. I love my pump, I have a MiniMed, and there is no way I'd go back to injections!

Best of luck with your decision!

I would say there are less complications with insulin pumps rather than more. There is a learning curve, but there was one when you were first diagnosed also. I would recommend looking at all the pump options out there and putting a spreadsheet together with all of the features/benifets that each pump offers and rank them on importance, some features are more important to you than to me. Many people have their opinions about one pump or another, some have had problems with one company or another, but I believe it is up to the consumer to make an educated choice of what they are looking at getting before they make the purchase. I have been very satisfied with my pump and the pump company, and would recommend them to just about anyone. 

After 25 years on MDI since age 2, I went on the pump about 2 years ago. You would have to give me a cure or pry it from my cold dead hands before I would go back to shots!

This one is a little biased, of course (Animas put it together), but this chart compares some features of the main pumps out there.



The animas link above is a little dated. Since the new MM 523/723 devices came out they also have .025u/H incriminate on basal rates. I can't comment on some of the other comparisons made, Minimed has done the same thing at 


if i could combine animas, minimed, omnipod, and cozmo i would have a SUPER PUMP.

At first the pump can be overwhelming but once you get the hang of it, it is GREAT!!! I have had one for 10 years now and my 5 year old has also had one for 2 years now. I would never go back to shots again. I have so much better control with my pump than I ever did after 20 years on shots.  It is worth looking into and most companys will let you have a trial period where you wear it for a few days with saline in it. This website is a great resource for you to get opinions on the different pumps out there. We both have Medtronic Paradigm 522's and I love them and have no complaints. Good luck!

Hi All, I have a question. my two year old daughter just started on the animas ping about three weeks ago, I was wondering how long it takes to get your bg under control? She has good numbers in the morning but,after breakfast she seems to run high. it's very frustrating and really considering going back to injections.

Hi Doreen, I can understand your frustration, but stick with it!  Figuring out basal rates can take a while for some people, whereas with others, they get it right from the start.  Also, as your trainer about setting a slightly higher insulin to carb ratio for breakfast; maybe this would help with the highs.  In my case, I have about six different basal rates throughout the day and my dinnertime I:C ratio is slightly lower than breakfast and lunch.

Keep in mind, too, that as your daughter grows up, her needs will change so constant monitoring is important.

Most of all, if your unsure, check with your doctor or CDE before making any changes.  Best of luck! 

Hey Doreen,

The fine tuning is always a bit tricky, as multiple people have told you. Every person is different and need different amounts of insulin at different time. Then you have things like the dawn phenomena there to mess it all up too. 

Personally, I my BG swings up a little at ~3 am, but not that bad. But even if I have a great number at 8 am, say 100, by 10 am, whether I eat carbs, protein, or not at all, I will still be up over 200. For me, it is not food related or carb ratio related, it's just what happens. I adjust my basal a bit and while I am still working it out, it is getting better. Also, this didn't always happen to me. You will never find a "perfect" setting that you never have to change. As I have gotten older, my sleeping patterns and eating patterns have changed, and I had to adjust my basal to account for it.  I've been T1 for 17 years, since age 6.

Don't give up. The pump is an adjustment and takes a little time to find what is really going to work. Since your daughter is so young, that probably makes it a little more challenging because techniques like fasting to help find out where she swings high/low probably don't work well. But I really believe it will make you and your daughter's life better.

Best of Luck!

Thanks for the links to the pump comparison charts. I'm still not sure what kind of pump I want, though I'm leaning towards an Animas. However, what's a CGM? It says MiniMed has it built in, while Animas does not. Again, I appreciate all the help, so thanks :]

cgm = continuous glucose monitor

animas does not currently have theirs built in with their pump, but their next generation pumps are expected to have it.