Type 1 - Connect

 View Only
  • 1.  Pumps V's Insulin Pens

    Posted 22-06-2020 13:38

    I am a Type 1 diabetic and was diagnosed approx. 16 yrs ago when I was about 50. I have always used insulin pens but now considering the option of using a pump.


    I have looked at this option on and off for a few years but never really convinced that there was a big enough advantage over pens due to a number of factors, such as,... cumbersome devices having to be inserted and carried, issues with these devices whilst sleeping (I toss and turn a lot during the night), added costs for consumables particularly high if I went to CGM, still requires input information similar to injecting with pens, have body hair which would be a hinderance for adhesive tapes to stick which I have been told I would have to shave the area each time I would need to insert a cannula which over time is too intrusive, etc, etc.


    I'm sure most who have converted to a pump have faced issues, if so can anyone convince me to change consideing the concerns I have or likewise anyone that has changed to a pump and not satisfied.




    Best Regards,



  • 2.  RE: Pumps V's Insulin Pens

    Posted 23-06-2020 07:56

    Hi Warren
    i have been on a Pump since 2004 and recently started using the CGM.
    the biggest benefit of a pump for me was that it allowed me to be more active. This in turn improved my general health and happiness. On insulin pens I would often suffer hypos if I did unexpected exercise or strenuous exercise. I recall one day at the beach when I was caught in a slight rip and by the time I got to the beach I passed out - very scary.
    the insulin pump allowed me to take up road cycling and I enjoyed it so much that I would ride my bike 35km to work and back each day. 

    i now Referee football and the intensity sometimes results in low BGLs but I don't go as low as I used to when using the long acting insulin and humalog in pens. I find it is much easier to manage unexpected activity and diabetes no longer rules my life.

    the CGM is another step forward. My HBA1C was always pretty good - around 7 - but with the CGM it is now around 6.

    yes, it costs more. I don't really have a solution for that.

    i only insert a new cannula every 4 days (supposed to be 3) and that is much fewer injections than I had on pens. With CGM I test my BGLs more frequently (ironic) to keep the system calibrated.

    You get used to the hair issues and after a while I find that it doesn't grow back as thick after being pulled out with the adhesive - sounds worse than it is. The best advice I can give you is to remove adhesives yourself. I got my wife to 'help' once and lost a heap of skin - faster isn't always better.

    At the end of the day it is a personal decision but the other day when I was speaking to my endocrinologist he told me that if he ever got diabetes, that he would adopt exactly the treatment regime that I follow. He is active like me so maybe that's a factor.

    good luck on the journey. Hope this helps.



  • 3.  RE: Pumps V's Insulin Pens

    Posted 23-06-2020 08:20

    Hi Warren,  

    Good morning.   I was diagnosed at the age of 38.  I was initially told I was type 2.  With my age, my weight 60kgs (I'm 5'6") I didn't really think this was an accurate diagnosis, plus there was a steady stream of Type 1's throughout my family.  I was advised to see a nutritionist who gave a me a diet sheet to follow, but within months I was skin and bone and still presenting very high BSL's.   Meds next, they didn't agree with my tummy so they eventually put me on insulin.  - that whole sorry story took nearly a year.   It wasn't until I had major emergency surgery that the endocrinologist laughed when I told him I was type 2.   He ensured that my medical records recorded type 1 not 2 as he said it would affect me getting some help (ie a free pump with health fund etc)!  Once I was on needles, I gained a little weight and had so much more control.   When my DE suggested a pump, I was reluctant as it had been a bit of a journey getting settled with the needles and constant finger pricks.  (I'm a bit anal and was testing far too many times a day).   

    Needless to say my DE persuaded me 9 years ago to try the pump.   She has had her daughter from the age of 11 months on a pump who is now well into her teens.  What she doesn't know isn't worth knowing.    It made my transition very smooth.   I hear of people having pump holidays and going back to needles for a couple of weeks.  I couldn't even bear the thought.   I absolutely LOVE 💓 my pump.  My control is far greater with really great hba1cs each quarter.    

    I hear your concerns about having it attached to you all the time and that concerned me too, especially at night, but I just clip it into the waste band of my pjs and to be honest I just forget about it.   I am a restless sleeper too.   As far as the hairy bit is concerned, I'm not sure about that bit, but it would only need to be a tiny area you shave.  

    Consumables are pricey (especially with no concessions other than an NDSS card) and now that I am using the guardian 3 CGM it is even higher.  I'm hanging out for the next round of assistance for diabetics.   CGM is brilliant, again another cannula, but it is all worth it.   I only have two finger pricks a day now to calibrate the sensor/transmitter.   I like to think of it like a well oiled machine.  My blood glucose meter blue tooth's my readings to my pump and my CGM blue tooth's to my pump.   I have my readings there On the screen 24/7.   (It takes 280 readings each day).   Once you have your pump set  to your specific requirements, it's just a case of pressing a couple of buttons to get the correct amount of insulin each time you bolus.     I was never a great carb counter before but now it comes as second nature.    

    My reasons for CGM despite the price is that I am unaware of my hypos until  down in the very low 2's.  The alarms are clever, wake me up from a deep sleep and the  suspend on low function is wonderful so I don't have those crashing hypos now. .    I'm currently using a Medtronic 640g pump and am due my change in April next year.   Can't wait to get the new one as it has an auto function to release insulin if you have a high reading too and I believe no calibrations so no finger pricks (I could be wrong there)   

    Sorry, I rambled on, but it's a worth a try.   If you don't like it you can always revert back to the needles.   

    Would love to hear how you go if you decide to become a pumper.  


    Jane. 😁


  • 4.  RE: Pumps V's Insulin Pens

    Posted 25-06-2020 18:30
    Hi Jane
    I was very interested in your detailed reply to Warren. Don't have a pump and not seriously considering one in the near future, but the information you provided was just great. I have also appreciated others who have talked about their love affairs with their pumps and answered my questions. It is great to have all this feedback from pumpers. You can never learn too much about diabetes related technology and what it has to offer. I hope you continue to reap the benefits of your pump and thanks for all your contributions.


  • 5.  RE: Pumps V's Insulin Pens

    Posted 23-06-2020 20:55
    Hi Warren
    A couple of years ago I got a young diabetic specialist and he said to me. Why are you not taken a pump, that is better for you. 
    I thought about it and the next time when I saw my Diabetic specialist, the one who I always got, and I asked her. 
    She said to me, don't go that way. There is still a lot to learn and there is it is more complicated then you think, you are doing fine with your pens. Keep going the way you go now. Don't think about it. I had already diabetes since 1971. So I did not think about it anymore. Maybe it is different for younger people.
    I use 2 different pens, one for slow working insulin and one for fast working insulin. I'm doing Ok, minus the hick ups now and then.
    With the pump, you still get the needle in your body. 
    I wish you all the best.  

  • 6.  RE: Pumps V's Insulin Pens

    Posted 26-06-2020 13:00
    If you have private health insurance and don't have any out of pocket when getting a pump. Then you owe it to yourself to give it a try, what have you got to loose.

    I'm on my second pump now and do not use CGM - A well tuned Basal rate keeps my BG  flatlined once each Bolus has run out. (Its relatively easy for me to make this happen because my basal rates are very very high and bolus ratio is very low which all together means that for me 1-3 units overdose on bolus or 10 units over 24hrs for Basal  is nothing more than a rounding error.

    The Pumps have brought into focus interesting facts about my T1;
    If I fast for 48hrs - My Basal Rate needs are reduced by 35% at hour 36 to stop me hypo'ing during day 2.
    If I do regular exercise (2-3 30min bike rides that raise a sweat per day) - Basal rates needs are reduced by 35% on day 2 and last 24hr if I do no rides.
    Weight loss 30-40% basal reduction per 10(ish)kg

    Tossing and turning while asleep was actually my biggest concern before getting the pump, turned out to be a non event, I clip it to my t-shirt sometimes, but mostly I just let it follow me around the bed all night :-)

    Yes I do shave my belly, it's of no concern to me at all. The canualla really sticks well on a shaved surface. Sweating is the real enemy of the adhesive however.


  • 7.  RE: Pumps V's Insulin Pens

    Posted 26-06-2020 16:07

    Thanks Rochelle.    Glad you found the info helpful.  Maybe one of these days.....

    Richard just about the private health and no outgoings with the pump.  I had to pay my hospital excess for my pumps but that's all.  I believe a colleague of mine struggled to get a pump until she had private health for a year.   I suppose it depends on which fund you are in and your level of fund.  I'm hoping next year when I'm
    due my next pump that I still qualify as I've cancelled my extras and now only have top hospital cover.    I never used the extras.  

    Richard if you don't mind me asking what kind of cover do you have.  I'm with BUPA and with all the medical 💩 I've had in my life in the last 17 years, they have been absolutely amazing.    




  • 8.  RE: Pumps V's Insulin Pens

    Posted 26-06-2020 18:55
    Also Richard thank you for giving me a reminder to contact my health fund to see if I’m still eligible for my pump change in April 2021. Yay, I am despite changing my cover.

    Thanks again.

    😄 Jane

  • 9.  RE: Pumps V's Insulin Pens

    Posted 29-06-2020 18:11

    Thanks Richard for your comments as they certainly build me with a bit more confidence and reassurance. I will be looking at the Medtronic 670G tomorrow so it will be interesting to see what I think of it.




    Best Regards,