Pump options

Need suggestions from those of you who know the reality, not just the advice you get in the endo office. My 10-year-old daughter was diagnosed 6 months ago. We are headed to pump class on Oct. 19th. She has her eyes on one or two pumps after meeting kids at camp who were pumping, but I honestly don't know which ones she is excited about. Wondering what you can tell me about your pump experiences. Which ones work the best, which ones do you like the best, which infusion sets are most comfortable. She's a fairly thin, very active, extremely independent kid. She also thinks she wants a CGM, but it sounds like the technology isn't quite tuned yet... thoughts?

Dear Maya's Mom,

I use the medtronic minimed with CGM, although I haven't been using the CGM too much since august because I have been running so much and the sweat has frequently soaked the sensor.  Many folks have different brands between their CGM's and their pumps, but because mine is the same brand, I can refer to just the pumpfor all my info. 

CGM sure sounds like a great thing, doesn't it?  but having one, you need to know a couple limitations.  CGM stands for continual glucose meter, but it is not a blood glucose.  Blood Glucose is still the best way to know what your sugar is.  A CGM measures the glucose of the interstitial fluid, which tends to be about 15 minutes behind reality and upwards of 20% difference in readings(meaning a CGM of 80, could actually be a BG of 60).  Also, when Maya gets a CGM, that doesn't mean the end of finger pokes, she will still need to poke at least 2 or 3 times a day to calibrate the CGM.  Benefits?  Well, it is great at show trending (is my sugar going up or down?) and it can map changes during times that you may be curious about (like overnight).  Also, there is a really satisfactory feeling in being able to look down and ask, 'How am I doing?' and be rewarded with a good number.  Knowing a glucose like that might drive Maya to be thinking positively about self-care, which is important for any child who NEEDS to grow up into an adult who can take care of herself.

CGM is great, but I think the pump is the real winner.  My medtronic doesn't memorize carb values of various foods like some pumps do, but I see that extravagance as hardly worth it.  Better to train her mind on how to calculate the carbs in foods than rely on some standard set by a dietician and a programmer you never met.  The ability to vary the amount of basal insulin that the body receives over the course of the day is great because it brings us that much closer to normal coverage.   Also, my pump keeps track of active insulin, so if I take 5 units to bring my BG of 300 down and then I check my BG two hours later and I get like 260, the pump calculates how much of my previous 5 unit dose is still active and suggests a new bolus based on insulin active.  I.e., pump calculates I have 2.3 units still active and says to bring a 260 to normal limits I would need 3 units, so pump suggests I need 0.7 units. 

Good luck, I hope it does as much for Maya as it does for me.  I wish I had your kind of choices back in 1982.  :)



i just started on the medtronic mini-med 722 yesterday. i love it so much. no problems and it doesnt hurt when u insert the infusion set. my friends have the same pump and they have no complaints. its just a great pump over-all =) i wish your daughter the best of luck with her pump.


My son has the Animas Ping.  We love it! 

I have used both the Medtronic 722 and also the Animas Ping. They are both great pumps. I truly like the Animas one a little more than I did the Medtronic, even though I have a different Continuous Glucose Monitor in place. If you look at my blog I have a review of the two different pumps. Again, they are both excellent pumps.

I have had a Minimed Paradigm 722 for two and a half years now, and I really like it. It definitely allows you tighter control, and for an active kid, that would be a pro. Things to think about are, tubing or no tubing? I like being able to disconnect and only have the site on, as opposed to having the entire thing on you all the time (even in the pool, shower, etc.) like the Omnipod. I was pretty thin when I went on the pump but you can get different lengths of cannulas (the tiny part of the tube that stays under the skin) and different insertion angles. I use a 90 degree 6 mm cannula. However if she is really thin, you could get an angled cannula to avoid "no delivery" issues that can occur if the cannula is too long.

A good thing about the Minimed pumps is that they have a CGM to go with, but it's an option. When I went on the pump it was REALLY not fine tuned, people told me their CGM alarms would go off at all hours and give them really "off" readings. But we decided getting the Minimed would be good so that if I ever wanted to try the CGM, I could get the Medtronic one that goes right with the pump, instead of adding a whole other system. I'm still not on a CGM because you have to do finger sticks anyway, and the readings still aren't totally accurate. Plus the insurance, or lack thereof. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely times I say "man, if I had a CGM, I totally would have caught that (low/high)". But I'm going to wait until the technology has developed more--- which hopefully shouldn't be too long!! :)

Oh, and I also picked the Minimed pump because you can get "skins" for it. I'm not kidding. http://medtronic.skinit.com/  All the pumps we looked at were great, and for some reason that appealed to me.

Hope this helps! If you have any other questions shoot me a message and I'll be glad to help you out.

I just got my pump yesterday and will start pumping next week. I got the 522 what is the difference in the 722 and the 522 does anyone know? I spent alot of money on this and just want to know if I got the best? I got the cgm also. Wish me luck. I think I will love it.

The only difference between the 522 and 722 is that the 722 holds 300 units of Insulin while the 522 holds less. I forget how much, maybe 170 or so.

I"m in a pool 25+ hours a week teaching swim. I originally went with animas to make that happen for waterproof reasons. But i love my animas ping so much. I won't be switching pumps anytime soon. 

thanks so much, I guess the 522 is just what I need esp since I am just starting out with type1. Thanks

well i have a minimed pump and i love it. i got mine when i was 10 and it is so easy to work. also, minimed pumps come in cool colors and skins with diffrent designs on them. everyone asks if it's an iPod so it doesn't really look like a machine. minimed does CGM so i think you should go for Minimed!

I have had both Minimed and Animas pumps.  I prefer the minimed because I feel more comfortable with it.  I had nothing but problems with my Animas pump.  I got it because I teach swim classes and am in the pool a lot and it says it is waterproof.  However, there were many times when I would give myself insulin and the site would leak.  I tried different sites, I even sent the tubing, site, everything in to be checked and they never could tell me what was wrong.  So, not knowing how much insulin I was giving myself got old.  I then called Medtronic again and they told me that their pump was just as waterproof as the Animas pump.  The only reason they didn't keep the "waterproof" logo on their pump was because if you drop it or hit it on something and it gets a crack in it that you can't see, the water will damage it.  I use the Quickset as the insertion device and love it.  I hate using 45 degree angles and prefer 90 because I know I did it right.  However, now that I have a CGM I am getting better at the 45 degree angles.  I agree with what everyone is saying that the CGM isn't completely fine tuned but it does help to be able to look down and know where you are.  Plus, you have to get a new transmitter every year anyway so hopefully the technology will keep getting better.  I hope this helps.  There isn't anything flashy about the Minimed but I feel like it is "old reliable" which is more important to me.  Good Luck!

Chris, we are just getting ready to select a pump too and I am leaning toward the Animas Ping because you can use the meter remote to control the pump - you don't actually have to push pump buttons (and stop your kid from playing, etc.) So for me, it seems appealling to just be able to turn down a basal rate while he's playing or bolus just before he runs away from the table.

Hi Chris,

Clay is on the Omnipod and we have been really happy with it.  The first month took a little getting used to, but after that things have been great.  Clay is also very thin and very active (swimming and soccer) and the pod has been really great because it is tubing-less.  As of right now, I don't think it is CGM compatible but we heard that they are coming out with one soon, as well as making the pod size smaller.  Good luck with your decision!

OK. Back from pump class and I feel like I know more than I did before (and Maya definitely does as well), but feel further away from a decision on which one. At least we are now convinced she wants one! Our endo office isn't very keen on the OmniPod, but Maya loved it. She even came home with one to stick on (without the insertion) to see what it feels like to have it on for a while. She loves that the insertion is "automatic" and that there isn't any tubing. I love the remote/wireless nature of the programming. I guess because it's the newest, there isn't as much support for its use, but I asked the rep outright why our office isn't so excited about it. He tried to be PC and said something about the politics of it, but I want to make sure it's not more than that. She liked the Ping also, but isn't quite as excited about it. Our plan is to do the saline trial week with both since they are so incredibly different, but thought I might get some more feedback on how to make a decision. I'm a little nervous that if we go with the OmniPod, we won't get the support from the clinic that we would with another. They are the best around and we definitely don't want to leave... thoughts???