Time for me to pick a pump

Okay guys, need your help! Newly diagnosed and my endocrinologist wants to me start researching pump options and pick one. I’ve done a little research but I’m just not sure. I really thought I wanted an a pump without any tubing cause I just can’t imagine being attached to a tube while trying to sleep, shower etc. I feel like my endocrinologist really wants me to get a Medtronic pump though. He was explaining all the benefits they have and it sounds great but I’m just not sure of the tubing. I also was really leaning towards a Dexcom because I love the idea of being able to see my blood sugar on my Apple Watch. I can read all he reviews I want but I want to get the opinions from people who actually use them. So help me out please! Tell me what you use, why you like it, don’t like it, etc. thanks!

Hi Ashley @Aparker2012, you have a few choices and I’ll offer you some of the information I’ve gathered while looking for a replacement pump - there are pros and cons with all, but most importantly you should choose one that “fits” your life; also if important to you, one that your insurance company will accept. I’ve only used Medtronic pumps and they have served me well.
If you are looking for comparability between a pump and continuous glucose monitor [CGM] for “closed loop” and “auto suspend” features, keep in mind that none of the three Dexcom CGM models talk with any Medtronic pump. I’ll only address the three more common suppliers:

  • Insulet OmniPod is tubeless and can be worn in the shower and while swimming. It has the “most bulky” presence and could more easily be dislodged during “intimate play”. Currently it does NOT communicate with CGM. The Omnipotent under development is intended to communicate some features with the G6 Dexcom.

  • Medtronic has three pumps that are compatible with Medtronic CGM and offer a really good “closed loop” with “auto-suspend” features. I’ve been with people who wear these and think they are awesome. All the Medtronic infusion sets I’ve worn have quick release to detach from body very easily and what remains attached to the body is a slight protrusion about the size of a nickle. I can recall only a couple of instances in the past 15 years that an infusion set has become dislodge. I usually up through my neck opening and have the pump in my sleep-shirt pocket; if active, the pump can be suspended and taken off at the infusion site for a few hours without any problem. Some people complain that the two newest pumps are “too bulky”.

  • The Tandem t-slim pump has some really wonderful features, is small yet easy to read and is fully compatible with both the G5 and G6 Dexcom CGM with all wanted features. BTW, the G6 does not need any finger-stick calibrations and both the G5 and the G^ are the only CGM approved by the FDA for insulin dosing without need for a confirmatory finger-stick. Just last week the FDA approved an artificial intelligence program for the t-Slim;

What ever devise / devises you choose, please read the User Manual completely before beginning use and write down any questions. I’ve already read the manuals and where available, have installed “simulators” on my tablet. If you choose a smart pump, be patient while it is studying and learning YOUR body.

All t-Slim pumps have the exclusive capability for software updates over the internet which guarantees that you can always have every available feature. This is important to me because of the Medicare requirement that I wait at least five years between pump replacements; my current pump with 2005 technology is out-of-warranty.

I hope this helps.

Thank you for that! It was super informative. I’m leaning away from the pod now just because it seems like so many pieces to keep track of now. It seems like the new Medtronic mini med has a lot of great features but the t slim being paired up with Dexcom and the ability to update online has me intrigued. I just love the idea of being able to view my blood sugar on my Apple Watch. This is such a big decision and it’s been overwhelming.

Hi Ashley,
My 12 y/o daughter is in the process of picking a pump. Her Dr set her up with 1 week trials of each of the pumps mentioned above. She has quickly learned what she likes/dislikes with each pump.
If your Dr does not offer, you may want to contact the company rep in your area to see if they can offer you a trial. Good Luck!

Being able to see your glucose on your Apple watch is nice, but don’t let that fact alone sway your decision. Coolness factor is if little importance here.

@Lilywhite I’ll have to look into that! Which one is your daughter leaning towards and why if you don’t mind me asking. Just curious.

@Zale I’m not thinking about coolness factor, I just like to be active and I use my watch for workouts and it’s always on me. Being able to just look at my watch and see what’s going on would be super convenient. Do you use a pump? What works for you and why?

Having your BG reading on your watch is actually a great thing. What I meant is, don’t let that be the ONLY thing to sway your decision.

I personally use the 670 and love it, but it’s definitely not a pretty device. Medtronic’s designs are bulky. Personally I will take the bulky Medtronic any day over the cool-looking t:slim, but a lot of people would differ on this. The automatic basals, once you get the hang of it, is the most advanced technology in the treatment of T1D.

Medtronic recently put out a standalone CGM that works with Apple watch, but for whatever reason they did not integrate it with the 670 pump.

She is going with the Tandem. She felt the Omnipod was too bulky and heavy. Meditronics was nice however she did not like having to calibrate every 6 hours. For her the Tandem works the best. It syncs with her Dexcom and she can disconnect when she swims or showers. I’m so glad she was able to trail each one because it is definitely a personal preference and what you are comfortable with. Good Luck!!

Ashley, I love my Omni Pod. It is wireless and tubeless, Good in water up to 25 feet, can put it any where. Dexcom and Omni Pod are working an a combined unit. I have used this pump for 6 years and I really don’t want to change. I don’t need tubes, they would just be another thing to get in the way, I am too active to worry about a tube failing or breaking while I am doing something else, especially when I am sleeping. Don’t need the hassle. Enjoy what ever one you choose. Bye Jan

I think you have got the best advice already, try at least two pumps, call the local sales rep and they will setup. I have had two Minimed/Medtronic pumps, two Animas and now use the Omnipod. I think Medtronic has the best software, and best user interface, but the worst CGM. Animas is no longer in business. Tandem is a nice small pump, integrated with Dexcom G6, so all Dexcom readings are available on the pump screen, this gets back to what is most important, i.e. CGM. The omnipod affords me more locations for the pump and since it inserts for you, I can place it additional spots. Also the omnipod is more discreet and people wont judge and employers wont be able to discriminate. The omnipod PDM handheld device is larger than a pump and since it is not attached, prone to leaving behind. I reviewed the Tandem at the last JDRF Type I nation and believe it offers the best CGM with pump, so dosing is much better and faster. Omnipod is getting the DASH phone app next year and Abbott and a startup pump company are working on a device. The tubes are not ideal and will always catch on something if your not careful. This makes the omnipod the most comfortable. Your insurance will likely make you commit to any pump for a minimum of 3 years, this means you will always be 2 years behind the best option. My plan is to use the omnipod and Freestyle Libre CGM for now and wait for the next generation of closed loop artificial pancreas.

I have an omnipod and dexcom. I love both of them. I had a Medtronic and it was ok but I’m loving the freedom of the omnipod. This is my first summer with it and going swimming is so much better because I don’t have to disconnect and my blood sugars are staying better. As my Endocrinologist said you have to find the pump that fits your life. Yours is probably recommending Medtronic because they get all stuff Medtronic.

I have an omnipod and love it (like you didn’t want tubing). I love that you can wear it in the shower and on average you get three days out of it before you have to switch it out and put a new one on. The other cool thing about is you can adjust your insulin levels for exercise or any other reason by using a temp basal. I have had excellent A1C control since stating this pump 7 years ago. The only downside is sometimes the adhesive doesn’t stick well and then the pump will fall off… omnipod does well with replacing these pumps though or if they default. Good luck in your pump choosing and feel free to ask me any questions you have about the omnipod!

Hi! Omnipod + Dexcom - love it! Okay, I don’t like all the device controllers but like the Dexcom moved from a dedicated device to a smartphone, I’m hoping the fda will approve apps that control your pump. Then I would only have one device to carry.

Regarding the adhesive. Everyone’s skin is different (oil, sweat, etc). I found putting extra adhesive worked best. Skintac or my favorite mastisol. I’ve been on omnipod since the first version - and on Medtronic. Medtronic has the market share due to how they work with insurance companies and their long history. I did not like the tubing - nor the disconnecting to shower etc. all a non issue with the omnipod and Dexcom. Tho! I would be curious to try out the tandem Tslim since you can update the software etc. but again it would be corded. I think animas (rip) was the only cordedpump you could swim with or get wet. Almost tried that.

Also - very rarely does my pod get knocked off. My tubing got snagged or my set ripped out more on Medtronic than omnipod.

Hi, I feel like I’m kind of late in the replies, but here I go. I use a Medtronic pump with a Dexcom CGM. The Medtronic because it was what the doctor I was with at the time recommended. I tried several different infusion sets before I found one that I didn’t break out from. I’ve since had to switch again, and use a different skin barrier than what I started with. The Dexcom, because I broke out from the Medtronic CGM adhesive and I did not get accurate readings from it. This was the first CGM that would suspend if you were low, but on me it kept trying to suspend when I was high and dropping back to normal. It took my doc a year to get me to try the Dex, and I’d never go back. It is Soo much more accurate on me!
Right now, I am up for a pump upgrade and am thinking of trying the T-slim. I like the idea of having a trial run, so I am going to contact my sales rep to see if that is possible. I did a trial with an empty Omnipod, but I broke out even worse from that - - even with a skin barrier. So, unfortunately it is not an option for me.
Hope this helps.

The Tslim pairs with the Dexcom G6 and they are currently in clinical trials for a closed loop system like the 670g. I spoke with a representative from Tandem at the TypeOneNation summit and he said they expect it to be approved and available sometime in late 2019. I switched from the Medtronic to the Tslim because the Tslim offers more IMO. It’s smaller, has a better interface, you can upgrade software (can’t on Medtronic) and it uses the Dexcom CGM (the best on the market).