I haven’t written a blog post on a whim, based on my current feelings for a while! When I started my blog, that was what I often did. But last night, I decided to quit using my insulin pump and go back to injections, so I thought I’d share my reasoning, thoughts, and considerations for doing so.
Last night, sort of on a whim, I decided to inject Tresiba (long acting insulin) and stop using my insulin pump.
Well, last week, it was once again time to change my insulin pump site. I think I sat with everything ready to go for a solid 10-15 minutes before I gained the energy, courage, and drive to release the needle into my leg. I was feeling burnt out of the ritualistic process of changing a site every three days for over a year.
Prior to becoming pregnant, I was doing multiple daily injections of Novolog and Tresiba. But once I found out I was pregnant, I decided to use an insulin pump in order to react quicker to changing blood sugars and to be able to make changes as often as I needed to. I really liked using an insulin pump while I was pregnant, and even during the postpartum period, but now that my baby is older (7 months, I’m not crying) I feel like I have more use of my hands and more freedom to use syringes again.
Not only was I feeling burnt out, I also dislike a pump for these reasons:
- Tubing, enough said
- Being constantly attached to something
- The weight of a pump pulling down my pants
- Being afraid to pull down my pants, iykyk
- Sleeping with a brick
- The constant (every 3 days) site changes
- The uncertainty of a new site
Really, the uncertainty of a new site is what gets me. I literally have anxiety after every site change while waiting to see if it is working or not. Is the cannula bent? Is it bleeding? Why does it hurt? Will it still work, or will my blood sugar start rising?
That’s a lot of negativity. So here are some reasons why I do like using a pump:
- Insulin at the touch of a few buttons
- Discrete in public (but who cares?!)
- Ability to make quick changes
- One type of insulin
See this post that compares the pros/cons of each method in more detail…
You know what I didn’t add to either list? Which provides better/worse control.
I didn’t say if one is better than the other in giving more control because the truth is, management is nearly the same. I’ve had great control using BOTH methods. They’re just different insulin delivery methods, so it doesn’t matter what you use, great control is possible either way. A pump does not = better control. *This MIGHT not be true for little ones with diabetes. A pump might be better for microdosing.*
Here’s how I implemented the change:
- I suspended my insulin pump about 1 hour before my first injection of Tresiba. I have no idea what the real scientific process should look like, but this was my approach.
- I made sure to note when I took Tresiba, so that I create a daily habit of taking it at the same time. This is so important!
- If you use Levemir, check out this blog post on how to split it 3 ways, which is what I had to do (and many others do too).
- MySugr app helps me keep track of all my insulin injections and blood sugars. A pump helps to remember all of this, so I find it important to track when I last took insulin when doing injections. This ensures that I don’t stack insulin or take it twice, etc.
- Of course I waited to make the change until my pump was at nearly 0 units remaining. Insulin is expensive and I didn’t want to waste a single drop.
That’s about all I did while making the change. Did you have a different experience? Any questions?
Again, this is such an individual experience and preference. I hope you use what works best for you!
Just did the same thing a while ago for most of the same reasons. Only thing I would add is that switching back to MDI might be easier if you have a steady basal rate. I had only one basal setting. I wonder how long acting would work if you had multiple different basal rates throughout the day.
Very true! I have the same experience, only one basal rate throughout the day. I think it also depends on what long acting insulin is being used. With Tresiba, I take it once per day and it’s perfect. When I used Levemir, I needed to take it 3 times a day.
Also use Tresiba and tweaking the amount slightly, but transition was seamless. I use a unit or two more at night when I know it’s not going to be a challenge to eat low carb. My basal needs rise, in addition to bolus obviously, when I cheat. And jealous of your a1c. Haven’t been able to get under 5 yet.