Pump v. Injection


I like gadgets. I run with a Garmin GPS watch (I run with the Forerunner 305 because I like the large display screen). I like spending time in electronics shops looking at new products and computers (which drives Jessica up the wall). I have IPods, an Iphone and am resisting the urge to purchase IPad. But the one gadget I can’t bring myself to want is the insulin pump.

Garmin Forerunner 305

My A1C levels are usually between 6.8 and 7.2. I know they could be better. From all I’ve read and been told by doctors and fellow diabetics, my blood sugar levels would be much better if I used an insulin pump. They would also be better if I paid more attention to what I eat and how much insulin I inject. (I pay so much attention to diet, it’s hard to believe that I could pay more attention… but I could.)

There are many reasons why I haven’t made the technological leap. I worry about running with it attached to me and about the annoyance of carrying the pump around. I’m also uncertain what effect it will have on my training and how long the adjustment period will be. I know it’s doable.  There are athletes on the pump.  US Olympic Skier Kris Freeman uses an OmniPod, but on the other hand Chicago Bears quarterback, Jay Cutler relies on injections.

There are other reasons I chose not-to-pump, some of which are quite ridiculous. But the real underlying reason is that I’m vain. I just don’t want something attached to my body at all times, reminding me I’m not the strong healthy guy I want to be. I know I’m not, but this way I can still look in the mirror without seeing it (of course the occasional bruising gives it away).

I may just need some more convincing, or maybe I’m just not ready yet.

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SethJerry TarpeyASweetLife TeamScott K. JohnsonKatie Hall Recent comment authors
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Michael, I think I’m on the same road as you–walking as you run by, though–and will probably go cyborg before too long. But what you say about the pen is precisely why I don’t use them either. I’m an idiot who wants idiot-proof tech.

Jerry Tarpey
Jerry Tarpey

Michael,   I’ve been pumping a little over a year, been T1 for a little over 40.   The best thing I’ve found about pumping is the stark reduction in the number, types, and intensity of the hypos experienced.  I try to stay busy and active (work full time, run a few times a week, swim when I can, and downhill ski during the winter) and the Lantus, and before that NPH, daily peaks would cause problems at least a few times every week.  I can share some pretty harrowing stories about heading home from work on the NYC subways,… Read more »

Catherine Price


Its true less can go wrong with a syringe but just last week I was using a Apidra pen and couldn’t figure out why my BS wasn’t going down after taking my insulin. The reason was the pen wasn’t working – but it took a few units to get totally stuck so I ….

As I said I’m not there yet but I’m not sure the benefits don’t outweigh the potential problems.


While I marvel at the fine-grained basal and bolus dosing a pump can provide, what bothers me  is all the things that can go wrong. Did I put it in right? Is it broken and, if so, where exactly? This is what I’ve taken away from all the stories I read by people who love their pumps. I just don’t trust the tech. But a syringe is an almost fool-proof–maybe, I should say idiot-proof– technology.

Catherine Price

Thank you all for the support and understanding. I started to consider a pump only recently after feeling I could be in better control of my BS levels especially when running long distances.

I find myself fighting lows and worrying about my BS levels more than about the runs themselves.

It will take time, but I’m sure I will find what is right for me.

Scott K. Johnson
Scott K. Johnson

You know what?  I think it comes down to whatever works best for you.  If things are going alright on injections, and there’s no real trouble spots messing you up, then why mess with it?  But if there are areas where you are having trouble, that a pump might help you, then it doesn’t hurt to take a closer look at it.  There is no “right” answer for managing diabetes.  :-)

Katie Hall
Katie Hall

I have an insulin pump and I absolutly love it. I take it off for most sports but if you are doing lots of long term sports I would concider gettign the omni pod. As for it being a reminder that you are not the healthy guy you want to be thats what the pump is for. Making you the healthiest guy you can be. Pumps are amazing and mine has changed my life. I really hope this helps and dont feel any pressure to get one, if you like how you are right now there is no reason for… Read more »

Jane Kokernak

I have had a pump for almost seven years, and it still, to some degree, effects my wish to think of myself only as a strong person. I am what I think is called a “silent pumper,” and I normally wear my pump under my clothes, because I also want to appear to be the strong person I believe myself to be. And yet, having read your posts before on training and exercise, one thing about the pump that is GREAT and that beats injections hands-down is the ability to turn down your basal rate, which would be the equivalent… Read more »


I’m the same way.  Gadget lover, MDI user.  I do, however, use a Dexcom.  I chose that over a pump without hesitation.  For me, your control depends more on the information you’re reacting to than your method of delivery.  True, I have never experienced the magic of a bolus wizard, and I wish I could dose myself in smaller increments, but I also have no interest in experiencing a kinked infusion set, disconnected tubing, or any of the other (seemingly common) pump issues I read about.  If I lose an insulin pen, it’s no big deal.  And if I can… Read more »

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