Let’s Talk Diabetes: Injections or an Insulin Pump?

083My name is Sabetha. I am a dietetic student/intern, retired college volleyball player, healthy, active 22 y/o. Oh by the way, I have type 1 diabetes.

I don’t want to have diabetes! Why did I get diabetes? I have now had diabetes for 9 years, and on occasions I still find myself wishing I didn’t have diabetes but… I do!

I have discovered how to accept, live with, and control my diabetes (rather than it control me), as well as how to continue with a very active, fun, and full life.

I was diagnosed at the age of 13 (pictured right) and after052 6 months with a full regimen of daily insulin injections I was presented with the option of using an insulin pump.

Injecting or pumping—hmmmm—which route should I pick?

Injections were consisting of at least 4 shots/day (not including shots I had to take for occasional snacks or to correct my glucose levels). I was starting to feel like a pin cushion when you consider I was also pricking my finger to check my blood glucose at least 4-6 times/day also.

Wearing an insulin pump meant I would have an infusion set that delivered the insulin through a tiny tube into my abdominal area whenever I pushed a delivery button on my pump. I would have to change the infusion set every three days (which does involve a quick needle injection). What I immediately realized is that I would have an injection every three days opposed to 4-5 times daily. Ah-ha—freedom from multiple injections/day!

IMG_6187PUMPING wins for me—I’m all in! I have now been wearing my insulin pump for 9 years and believe it is the only way to go for more freedom, flexibility, and better control of my glucose levels.

I need to make this very clear—wearing an insulin pump does not automatically manage or improve your blood glucose levels. I still pay close attention to my intake, know my portions, count carbohydrate grams, and program this information into my pump.

Where are the benefits? My pump calculates how much insulin to deliver based on my carbohydrate intake at meals and I push a button for the insulin delivery—no injections, which I love! My pump also offers many different settings that I can set at varied rates depending on my food, activity, and time schedule. All of the options allow my pump to more closely mimic a real pancreas, making it much easier for me to manage my blood sugars.

Wearing an insulin pump gives me more freedom:

  • To eat the things I want (within reason)
  • Do the activities I want to do
  • Freedom to be ME!