Insulin Pump vs MDI (multiple daily injections)
Since going on a pump vacation last week I’ve come up with a list of pros and cons between being on the pump vs doing MDI via insulin pens. I’m emphasizing that I’ve only ever used insulin pens in the almost 6 years since my diagnosis because I can’t compare to having to deal with vials and syringes.
Pump-Always having a battery operated pancreas attached with the exception of showering or swimming.
MDI-Bruises and dots in my tummy from the 5 times a day giving injections. I’ve forgotten how that can happen especially when getting back into the habit of how to do injections again.
Pump-While swimming always having to check hourly on BGs and reattach and program pump to give the amount of insulin I would be getting during that time I’m disconnected from it.
MDI-Forgetting about the heat and leaving insulin pens in a place of extreme heat causing it to gel/become less potent and BGs to in turn rise and not be able to come down for hours on end. (In my case it was an extremely hot car for about 2 or so hours and it took 12 hours for the light bulb to kick on before I realized why I couldn’t get lower than 290’s.)
Pump-Tubing that gets tangled on door handles or other odd ball things you would never think of and pull infusion site from their snug place on your physical being.
MDI-Remembering to give injections every 12 hours of slow/long acting insulin.
Pump-Trying to wear dresses/skirts/fitted clothing/work out clothing/anything without pockets. There are only so many places to try and hide the pump when wearing any of these things and none of those places are convenient or discreet places to get to or do so.
MDI-Having to always carry or have my insulin pen nearby in case I want a snack or meal.
Pump-Even more supplies to store: infusion sets, reservoirs, batteries.
MDI-Having to use long acting insulin which is therefore already in my system so when being very physically active I end up dropping and having to consume unwanted calories and eat more fast acting glucose of some kind.
Pump-Extensive cost of pump itself and all the supplies including insulin to go along with it.
MDI-Not being able to use temporary basal rates for high fat content or slower acting carbs; work outs/extensive physical activity.
Pump-There really is more freedom to snacking and eating because the pump is just there and does some of the thinking for me and there is no searching around for an insulin pen. Just program and enjoy. Same goes for correcting high BGs.
MDI-Freedom to wear whatever I want and not feel frumpy or frustrated that there is no place to put a bulky battery operated pancreas with long tubing.
Pump-I don’t have to dig around my purse searching for my insulin and then when in public people don’t see me shooting up.
MDI-No remembering to reattach to something after showering or swimming.
Pump-Middle of the night high corrections are so much easier.
MDI-Sleeping without an attachment is so nice!
No having to stash a pump in a cool dry protected place while at the beach. No worrying about sand or water or anything else damaging a very expensive medical device.
I know my Pros list isn’t as long, but I think you get the picture of the Pros under my Cons list as well. I’m not really sure that one outweighs the other in my opinion. They are the choices I have in order to stay alive, I’m thankful that I have had the opportunity to be on the pump for the past 15 months. As hard as it was adjusting to it in the beginning I have learned to like it, to an extent. If I stay on it or go back to MDI when the warranty is up in 4 more years, we will see. That all depends on where we are at with having kids and of course financially. I have to admit that I almost cried when I reattached to my pump after vacation. It was bittersweet.