MDI vs Pumping - How to pick!

As a teenager, I was offered the pump many times by my endo…but I refused. I wasn’t ready for something so “visibly different”.

Back then, there weren’t that many options of pumps out there, and the one being offered was one that came with a wire. I thought to myself “absolutely not”. No way was I going to let diabetes intrude on my life like that. I wanted to be able to just inject what I needed and then be rid of them. Out of sight…out of mind. Years down the line….I think I definitely regret it. In a way, I do and I don’t. I wasn’t mentally in a good place to accept a pump into my life, therefore it was good that I hadn’t wasted the equipment or the time. I believe its something you have to truly be open and ready for. I do wish however, that I had been more open and confident with my diabetes, perhaps then…I would have received the suggestion of a pump with a more open mind.

Fast forward to 2020 and it’s something that’s been weighing on my mind.

After many changes recently my control has been good….but there’s always the thought that I could be doing “better”. My basal rates and my ratio’s change constantly…I’m always feeling like I can’t keep up. I’ve been on every long-lasting insulin you can name…Lantus to Levemir, and now Tresiba.

In all fairness….Tresiba has been a life changer. It’s allowed me a lot smoother days and a longer time in range.

It’s profile is a lot flatter than most background insulin’s so my high and low peaks are a lot less severe.

Saying this, I just can’t seem to find a basal insulin amount that works for all times of my day. If it keeps me steady overnight, I tend to have highs during the day…and if it keeps me steady during the day…I’m waking up low. I met with my doctor a while back and she suggested that the only way to achieve perfect control over my basal requirements is by going onto the pump. This way, I can control exactly how much insulin I’m getting at different times of the day.

I was open to it. So I started doing my research and opening up my mind to accepting a pump into my life. My new found confidence with my diabetes no longer makes me see the pump as an “invasion”. It doesn’t scare me as much as it did when I was younger. Wired or no wire, I’m at the point where I really think I’m ready and I think a change to a pump may really help me. As soon as I made the decision I was suddenly filled with dread and fear...change is scary and it is normal to feel this way.

I found it really helpful to repeatedly ask myself the same questions daily for a while, to make sure I wasn't making any impulse decisions. It's so easy after a bad day to say SCREW THIS and want a change....but it's also easy to get stuck in a rut of patterns that you are too scared to change.

I asked myself the following questions:

Why am I wanting this change?

What do I hope to achieve by changing methods?

How will the change affect my mental health?

How am I feeling with my current methods?

What am I hoping will change?

Am I mentally prepared for the transition period?

During my research and decision making, I also put together a pros and cons list of having an Insulin pump versus MDI. When in doubt...list! This has always helped me in life. The list has helped me gather my thoughts and point me in the right direction for what might be right for me. Take a look and see what I’ve found.

The worst thing about type one diabetes is that there is no rule book. No type one diabetic has the same story, nor do we react the same way to the exact same insulin or regime. What works for you may not work for me, so it’s hard to know what the right answer is when you are trying to make a positive change. It is scary. Deciding between MDI or the pump is ultimately a very personal decision. It depends on your lifestyle, your reasoning, your targets etc. That’s what makes it intimidating. Especially when the slightest change can be scary enough. But I do believe that we understand our own bodies better than anyone... and a good endo should be there to support your decision if you believe you are ready for change or if you are comfortable sticking to what you know. There is no right answer...just a right way to feel, and that's comfortable, happy and confident.

Are you thinking of making a change? Have you tried both methods and found a fave? How are you feeling about it? Please remember that I am not a medical professional. I'm just a type one diabetic writing about her own decision making processes, which may help you make yours. You should consult your doctor before deciding to make any changes, as only you and your endocrinologist know what is best for your diabetes management. You should not make any changes without consulting your doctor. :) C x
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