Which works better for you? Pump or pen/syringes?

I have been on a minimed pump for the past 6 years.  I have always loved it.  In the first couple of years of having it, I thought it was the best thing for me.  The past couple of summers have been really rough for me.  I've been really active:  swimming, dance, track, softball...the list goes on and on.  My first complication I began to have with my pump was the fact that the sites would constantly fall off and my blood sugar would run high and I would start spilling keytones, causing me to sit out of my activity.  Now it seems like everytime I change my site something goes wrong, and I'm still going high.  I can correct with a syringe without a problem and my blood sugar and keytones go back to normal.  I switched to the pump in the first place because I was scared of needles...but now my fear has gone away.  I also feel really attached to my pump...and I don't particulary like that.  I am in highschool and I get easily offended when people see my pump.  Many times they are like "ew..whats that!?..are you some diseased animal?"  It gets quickly annoying.  I try to hide my pump, but it gets kind of complicated.  I've been talking it over with my mom and we first agreed that I could switch back to shots when I started college.  I am entering my sophmore year in highschool and my mom has now agreed that when I go see my doctor next month that I can mention switching to shots or maybe the pen.  I know a few people at my school that use the pen, but now that it is summer I won't see them.  What exactly is the pen?  And how does it work?  I can't decided which I want to be on.  Did any of your doctors let you have like a trial with the pen like they do with the pump?  I'm a little clueless......haha :)

     The pen is almost the same as doing regular injections;  it's more convenient.  It is just the packaging that the insulin comes in that is slightly different.  The oen doesn't have to be kept refrigerated all the time, so you can carry it with you wherever you go.  Every time you need to do an injection all you have to do is attach the pen needle.  That what I used for many years until I switched to the Omnipod this past March.

You have to decide what you think will work best for you. As far as the sights falling out on the pump have you tried different types of infusion sets? What kind of pump do you have? I used a pen before going on the pump. I personally didn't like the pen because tehy seemed to break too often for me. Something where the end of the pen wouldn't let you push down on it. There are ways to hide your pump in your clothes which I am sure you are aware off. I know that you have been told this before but, what other people think or say, they say it because they have no idea what your pump is. Tell them that it is what you need to live and that you don't appreicate them asking if you are a diseased animal. If they don't get the hint then they probably never will. I would just think real hard about what YOU want to do. It's not really up to your parents or our doctor. It should be up to you. Any more questions just ask.


I've tried the pen once..but we didn't get along. I've continued with my syringes and prefer it. The difference between the pen and syringes, is that you simple turn a dial until it's drawn out the amount of insulin you wanna take and then press a button once you inject to push the insulin in. Between the two, I didn't notice it any easier or quicker to use the pen. So since I didn't like the pen, it was easy for me to switch back to syringes and manually drawing out the insulin.

I keep my insulin on me 24/7..the only time I put it in the fridge is if it's my extra insulin or unopened packages, or it's an extremely hot week or I'm camping(then it's in a baggie in the cooler). Otherwise I keep it at room temperture while I use it.

I'm thinking about doing a trial on the pump, but only so I can honestly say the pump isn't for me. I have the same issues you're having now with being attached to something.

Unlike the pump, the pen is easy to switch to and from..especially if you have insurance to cover the cost. It's pretty much the same as syringes and I dont see why your endo wouldn't allow you a month or two on the pen to see how you like it.

taylor, you should look into getting the omnipod. I have been on it for about 2 months now and it is so great. it has changed my life honestly. there is no tubing so it never gets in the way and you just use a small pdm that looks like an i-pod or cell phone or something. it is very discreet and nobody ever asks me what I am doing because in this technological age nobody thinks twice about you dialing something into a pdm. it works great with swimming and sports. the only thing that I know that you can't do while on the omnipod is get in a hot tub because it changes the temp of the insulin.

I use the paradime 522 pump..and I've tried all of the infusion sets that go with it.  The one I'm on now is the only one that will work.  The others fall off quicker or cause me to bleed more than normal.  I hide my pump in my clothes often, however, it is complicated to go to partys or hang out with friends like that.  I always feel unnormal and I just don't like it too much.

Im using the pen right how and it is sooo easy. It is very simple because you dont have to measure anything out yourself.  you just dial it up (and you can get it so it does half units) and press in the end of the pen. I'm in high school right now and no one even knows that i carry it around all day.  I just keep it in my bag.  I am thinking of switching to the omnipod in just a few months. I want a pump and the omnipod seems to be the most convenient.

So is the pen easier than regular syringes?

     I personally like the pens better than syringes.  They're easier to carry with you.

What about the cost of the pen?  How much more does it cost than regular syringes?  and how do you replace the needle? is it complicated?

     The pens are the same cost as the vials for most insurances.  The pen needle just needs to be attached to the top of the pen.  It's all very basic.  You'd get used to it in no time.

They are super easy to use!  Once you are shown once, you will have no problems using it:)

Thanks guys! You have been a lot of help. :)  I'm going to see my endro in about 19 days and I'm gonna talk to him about switching over to the pen.  thanks for the support!

oh no is she doing ok?


Highs like this happen to everyone, so don't feel bad.  It's a good idea to check her for keytones again and keep monitoring her to make sure her blood sugar goes down.  I'll bet there was a lot of junk food at the party and maybe the carbs digested more slowly because of the fat content of junk food (was there pizza at the party?)  Anyway, good luck and remember, you can always call the hospital and see what they say if her blood sugar doesn't come down or if she has keytones.  That's what they're there for, after all.  Hope she feels better soon!



As was said before, highs like this do happen and not to worry.

The problem that high blood sugar and keytones present is that it goes hand-in-hand with dehydration. Dehydration becomes the real issue here. The blood vessels in the body become so constricted that the necessary insulin is not serving its purpose, hence why your daughter's blood sugar went up after giving her insulin. What you need to do in this case is feed her lots and lots of water. Check blood sugars and give insulin every half hour to hour. If you do not flush out the keytones and rehydrate your blood vessels than the body will begin to enter what is called "diabetic Ketoacidosis". 

The water is very important, so make sure she is drinking lots of it when you have keytones. Now, if it gets to a point that she cannot drink anymore water because she has gotten sick or feels as though she is too sick to hold anything, then it is time to go to the hospital. The first thing the hospital will do is hook you to an IV that will give you water and insulin. This will also be a long stay, so I would recommend doing everything you can before resorting to the hospital. 

Keep in mind to that after an episode like this you should still test for keytones for about 24 hours after you test negative. Many times you my still have keytones in your body and they just didn't show up on the last test.

I hope you all the best. Take care.



Yes, teach her now that ice cream has a super high fat content.  It is one of the most difficult things for me to bolus for.  I've mastered pizza and some others but ice cream is a real challenge.  I love birthday parties and if there is dq ice cream cake I'm going to have some.  Live and learn from this one.  Next time try to test her bg at 2 and 4 hrs after eating the ice cream.  You did everthing you could and should be proud of that.


Sorry this happened! Even though I "know what to do" if I'm that high, I sometimes call the endo on call anyways to talk it through if my BG isn't coming down. It makes me feel better and sometimes they have an insulin amount suggestion that helps...

Sorry to hear.  She will be ok - these things happen and like pp said, ice cream is tricky to bolus for.  I disagree with the person who said to "give insulin every half hour to hour"  - if you do that, you run the risk of stacking the insulin and potentially causing a serious low.

As long as she had her correct basal insulin, she most likely will not test positive for large amounts of ketones. 

Thanks for the advice everyone. She came down to 130 about 3:30. We tested her keytones when she awoke and didn't detect any. It was not a good night for sleep. I didn't get to sleep until after 5 am. I seem to be running on adrenalin lately. 3 hours of fitful sleep.