Thinking about starting on a pump

Hi everyone! I am 23 years old and have had diabetes since I was 9. I'm considering starting a pump, but have several hesitations. I'd really appreciate honest input from anyone and everyone from the Juvenation community. Thanks!


I have good insurance, but what are other costs associated with a pump?

Do you feel that you really do have better glucose control?

How comfortable is it to sleep with a pump?

Does a pump inhibit you in your daily life in any way?

What about the infusion?

What about the risk of infection?

What about long-term usage?

How do you wear a pump when you exercise (if you sweat a lot)



I think that it would give me better control.. or at least the peace of mind that I'm using the best technology to help manage diabetes.

I wouldn't have to worry about carrying around insulin and syringes all of the time

I could use a CGM



Again, I'm just looking for some guidance... thanks!




I am about to receive my 3rd pump in 8 years.  Love it.  The only little problem I have is the tube comes out of my belly sometimes, and this causes me to have high sugars very fast.  I usually know, though, when that happens pretty quickly.  Other than that, I love everything about the pump. No problems sleeping with it at all.  You don't even know you have it on. 

I've had my pump for 3 3/4 years.  I'm 17 and didn't pay for my pump initially, or know any specific numbers associated with costs.  My control is a little more free, I wouldn't say better, but certainly not worse.  Personally, when I was little, the injections kept me on a schedule and pretty good readings.   But as I became a teenager, the pump helped me be more free and keep good readings.

Sleeping with the pump is actually better for me.  Every three days, when I change the site, it gives me a chance to sleep lying on the opposite side of my body.

When I run, everyday, I just clip my pump to my waistline, and I don't even notice it.  During the summer, I do put medical tape or a sticky thing they put over IVs on the site becasue of sweating.

I say get one.  Good luck.

I have good insurance, but what are other costs associated with a pump?  deductible:  my pump cost me $500 out of pocket (durable medical goods)

Do you feel that you really do have better glucose control?   yes - a1c proves it too, dropped a whole point AFTER my basal rates settled down

How comfortable is it to sleep with a pump?  SUCKS, but you can get used to it

Does a pump inhibit you in your daily life in any way? No - helped in more ways than hurt, sex/intimacy was the only area I had to figure out.  I disconnect my pump for that.

What about the risk of infection?  negligible for me

What about long-term usage?  what about long term glucose control?  (offsetting fouls - if you are a football fan)

How do you wear a pump when you exercise (if you sweat a lot)  sweating can cause the infusion site to "unglue" if you are a huge sweat person, you may have to adopt some special techniques for the infusion set.  (site prep, dressings, etc.)  other thaqn that, my pump has been banged, slammed, I have fallen on it and dropped it.  I find it suitable for my lifestyle and able to withstand the abuse I give it.


hope this helps - cheers!



I forgot to mention the insurance.  I have UHC.  It pays 100% for my pump and all of my pump supplies with the exception of the little swabs and I have to replace a box of them about every 3 months, which costs me about 12 - $14.00.  Very economical.

Whew, where to begin!  :)

What the pump costs you will depend on what your insurance will cover.  You should be able to call your insurance company and discuss what the cost would be 1. for the actual insulin pump itself, and 2. what the cost is for the infusion sets, cartridges, adhesive wipes, etc. that you'll need to refill every month or 3.

For me personally, my A1C came down about a point after using the pump for several months.  It takes a while to get the basal rates right, and it will be a lot of trial and error... but once you get it right, it's easy!

I wear PJ pants with pockets, and put the pump in my pocket while sleeping.  I generally don't notice it.  It's like anything else... your body will adjust to it, given time.

I don't think a pump inhibits my life in any "new" way...  I still check bloodsugars, and take insulin... except now, I don't have to whip out a needle.  I can use the "touch bolus" button so that I don't even have to take my pump out to administer insulin.  Other pumps, you can program everything from your meter, so you don't have to touch the pump at all.  It all depends on what you choose to get, and what you think will work with your lifestyle.

I'm sorry, I'm really not sure how to answer your next 3 questions - I have no idea what kind of answer you're looking for there.  Clarification?

I tend to take my pump off when exercising, but that is because it's generally for less than an hour.  There are products out there you can use to wear the pump without it jiggling around (if you're running or doing high-impact stuff).

Hope this helps.  I've been on a pump for 4 years, and love it....  I have better BS control, it allows me to "graze"... haha....   and it's pretty easy to hide under clothing, so it doesn't really get in the way. 

Hi Ally!  I definitely would recommend a pump if your lifestyle is very active, hectic, and maybe unpredictable at times.  I'd also recommend one if you're having a hard time controlling and managing your diabetes on injections.  However, do keep in mind that being on a pump by no means allows you to eat whatever and disregard exercise.  Please, join the group Insulin Pump Therapy for more insight.


I have good insurance, but what are other costs associated with a pump?  If you get the CGM, most insurances will not fully pay for the supplies.  Other than that, good insurances will pay for 80% of the pump itself and then usually cover 100% of the supplies.

Do you feel that you really do have better glucose control?  Since I've been on the pump, I've never had an A1c higher than a 10, but I average about a 7 - 7.5.

How comfortable is it to sleep with a pump?  I got used to it pretty fast.  It is a bit bulky at first.  I usually wear a loose tee to sleep in which I'll clip my pump to the end of it, so when I toss and turn, I can just shift the pump out of the way of whatever side I'm lying on.

Does a pump inhibit you in your daily life in any way?  Not really.  Sometimes, I'll forget I even have it on and then that's when I get careless and either bump it up against something or snag the tubing.  I've only had the site been ripped out once, but it didn't hurt, just sucked.  (You can always look into the OmniPod pump because it doesn't require any tubing.)

What about the infusion?  The infusion is pretty comfortable...You don't even feel it.

What about the risk of infection?  As long as you're cleaning the site location and washing your hands before injecting it and then changing it ever 3 days, it should be fine.  I've cleaned with just soap and water (like after showering) or used rubbing alcohol to clean the area, either way, they both work fine.  I've gone 4 days (5 days max one time) with the same site in a few times (not recommended though) and never have had an infection.

What about long-term usage?  Not sure what you mean about this question, but I've been using the minimed paradigm pump since 2003.  I started on the 511 model and then in 2007, I upgraded to the 522 model.  There has been no known damage so far.  Once, I got tired of using the pump and with an OK from my doctor, I went back to injections for a month...But, this required that I start back on a long-acting insulin along with the short-acting, since you only need a short-acting insulin when on the pump.  It's pretty easy to go back to the pump, but you just have to make sure all of any long-acting insulin in your body is out of your system before putting the pump back on. (They explain that to you when you get your pump.)

How do you wear a pump when you exercise (if you sweat a lot)?  For this, I have a cotton arm/leg band with a cotton pouch attached to it so I can slip the pump in it.  It absorbs the moisture while wearing the pump, plus you don't need to find work out clothes with pockets.


I hope this helps some. 

Best wishes!

Wow-- thank you all so much! I didn't except such thorough and personal insight. I'm really indecisive about the pump right now, so I'm going to let all of this information sit for awhile. I think that moving to a pump is probably the right decision, but I just need to convince myself (with the help of all of your input, of course!).