Pump or Injections Pros and Cons

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Pump or Injections Pros and ConsWhen I first changed over from injections to pump therapy, my endo told me that I could go back to injections at any time if I didn’t feel that the pump was right for me. Every so often I wonder what it would be like if I took him up on the offer of going back to injections. How would I manage injections around exercise and eating? Would I have the control I have now? I only really think about it when I’m having a bad time with the pump. Take this week for example, I have literally changed my cannula ten times either because it has been bent or it has been inserted into a site that is no good and has clogged up the cannula with blood. At one point, there was also an air bubbles in the lining, which I struggled to see because of the cloudy texture of the new design from Animas. Combining a few of those errors with the feeling of hyperglycemia is a recipe for a change. I think I have to weigh up the pros and cons.

Injections

Pros

  • No pump or cannula attached to me.
  • I would know that insulin has definitely been delivered.
  • Less to carry around when travelling.

Cons

  • More injections could potentially be more painful than the once every two days insertion of the cannula from the pump
  • When I was on injections last time I didn’t feel in control over it at all, but I suppose it was only two weeks.
  • Less flexibility
  • Sudden lows from long lasting insulin

Insulin Pump

Pros

  • Very flexible, I have full control over my basal / bolus as any time of the day.
  • I’m less likely to ever forget to take it anywhere with me.
  • I like that it doesn’t look like a needle.
  • Less injections.
  • When it is working, I know how to use it quite well when I exercise so fewer hypos and hypers.
  • The carb / insulin ratio is a very useful setting.
  • I can take it off for an hour or so each day if I want to.
  • The fact that the pump stores over 100 units of insulin has really come in handy for lost / stolen baggage.

Cons

  • Bent cannulas
  • Draws more attention to diabetes.(But, maybe this could be a pro?)
  • Attached to me all day every day

Maybe I will still speak to my diabetes team at my next appointment in four weeks. However, I think I already know the answer from seeing my comparisons above. It’s obvious that I should stay on the pump if it is working for me 90% of the time. I’m very grateful for the flexibility, but those days when my BG is high, it’s really hard to see the positive in it. Particularly when I have been doing everything I should be doing; checking my blood sugar, rotating sites and calculating insulin etc.

Do you experience anything similar? Are you on pump or injections? What would you do? Can you tell me the pros and cons for you of either one? I know there are text book benefits, but I prefer to hear real experiences from people who are living with it daily. You can email me on [email protected] or you can reach me on social media; Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.

Rowena x

2 COMMENTS

  1. I use injections. I work in a dirty dusty very hot industrial environment and would worry about breaking a pump. I am in the U S and I know people on the pump and have had to pay a few thousand dollars for them and that is with insurance. I guess it’s a matter of preference. I was diagnosed at 41 with type 1 and have been on injections ever since. I have had very few hypos. I can tell when I am going low. I get shakes. Sweating etc… I am lucky my bgs are pretty consistent. If you are more comfortable with the pump you should stick to it. I do exercise and I just make sure my blood sugar is 120 mgdl or above. My blood sugars respond to exercise nicely. I have been over 300 mgdl gone for a 4 mile walk and was 100 mgdl after. I always carry a backpack with my tester and lifesaver candies as well a granola bars just in case. Injections are right for me but like I said if the pump is working for you stick with it. Wishing you the best and I thank you for your inspiration and helpful tips that you provide.

    • Hi Robert. There are lots of different cases you can get to cover the pump to protect it from external damage. Maybe have a chat with one of the pump providers (I use Animas) and they could give you more information about the use of their pumps in an environment where you work. I imagine you’re quite active with this job? It might also help with that.

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