Insulin pump or CGM

I just recently was able to start on the pump again and was able to finally start the dexcom which I have been waiting or years to get…thank you good insurance finally!

The issue I have run into is money. While my insurance is great I can not afford both awesome devices and am struggling on which to keep and which to put to the side for a bit.

I love the control I get on the pump, but I LOVE having the constant information of sugar readings too.

Which would you choose? any opinions would be greatly appreciated in helping me make a decision

1 Like


Do you currently have both devices and have you used both of them?

Assuming so (sounds like it) how accurate do you find the Dexcom when you check/calibrate with the meter? How often are you going low or high and realizing this from the Dexcom and making correction based on Dexcom info (even if you also use a meter for confirmation).

With the pump (also assuming currently on and using it) how many bolus do you do from it per day? How many different basal settings do you have on the pump for a 24 hour period? how often do you run a temp basal on the pump?

EDIT: Also, with the Dexcom, how long does a sensor last for you? Would it make a difference if you had a cheaper alternative for obtaining the transmitters? Are you using the G4 or G5 ?

1 Like

CGM. I can cover my basal needs pretty accurately with a split dose of Levemir though. If I had very variable basal needs, a pump might be a better option.


I’ve never ( in 47+) years used a pump. But for the past 12 years the Dexcom has become indespensible.


@Thomas I find the dexcom fairly accuate with my meter. There are times when it is 5-10 points off in either direction but thats not too often. With the dexcom my numbers seem to be more stable than they were. I feel knmowing my numbers has helped me control my sugars better, especially during the night when I have had bad low episodes in the past. I bolua about 6-8 times a day sometimes less. It depends on the day and what I am doing. If I am working and not being very active I can generally get away with just bolusing when I eat lunch and maybe once in the later afternoon. I have about 6 different basal setting on my pump. I hardly ever run a temp basal on the pump. I have used the extend bolus option a bit though. A sensor is lasting me about 9 days. I need to get skin tac to help keep it on long. It would totally make a huge difference if I could get them cheaper. Right now I am using the dexcom g5

@Scotteric and @docslotnick thanks so much for your opinions. I feel my thinking is right along with yours. Having the dexcom information is too valuable at this point I’m thinking.

1 Like

We find Opsite Flexifix works even better than skintac for the Dex sensor.
$20 on Amazon. One roll lasts forever.
I believe there are two distinct reasons why a sensor stops working.

  1. The sticky becomes loose and it falls off. If this is the reason then the Opsite Flexifix will pretty much solve that problem. We cut a square piece of tape then cut a hole in the middle (for the transmitter to poke through) so the tape looks like a donut then put it over the transmitter. Very effective.
  2. The sensor stops working due to some sort of biochemical something or other I don’t know what but nothing to do with the sticky. Can’t do anything about that. This is quite different person to person but for a given person seems to have a fairly consistent value.

So it sounds like you prefer the Dexcom but if you can stretch out your sensor life and get more time from them (assuming the data is still accurate) that could reduce some of your cost.

For the transmitter, there are threads on this site about the potential to do battery replacement as a cheaper approach to new transmitters.



@Thomas is making a good run at suggesting there might be a way to do both, but in my opinion, if forced to choose, the pump would go and the Dexcom would stay.

If I didn’t have to choose, then both is my choice


I am curious what Cody would pick. Can you ask him?

I know that CGM gives great peace of mind to parents, but I am wondering which one the D teens would pick!

I asked, after a considerable pause and some consternation, he said he would give up the pump before the Dexcom, but it is very very close. Was interesting to me, since I just assumed it would be the Dex by a mile, but in fact it is more like a dead heat.

1 Like

@Thomas thanks for the suggestion of the Opsite Flexifix…I’ll have to try that. Having the sensors last longer would help greatly expense wise.

@Chris I am surprised he chose the dexcom over the pump. I know in my teen years I would have choosen the pump since it is easier to hide, but then again I dealt with HUGE denial and a whole bunch of depression and anxiety then too…thank god those years are over!!

I think if I have to choose (which im hoping I don’t but,) I think keeping the dexcom is the way to go. I had decent control on MDI and was on MDI while pregnant and had great numbers then too and that was tough on its own lol.

I really appreciate the input!! :slight_smile:

I’ll second the Opsite, but in conjunction with SkinTac. I wipe SkinTac on the bottom of the sensor adhesive, then once attached, I wipe it over the top of the adhesive. After about a week I stick on some Opsite. Since doing this I can easily get three weeks from a sensor, and once 40 days. Of course everyone is different.

I’d dump the pump before the CGM. I’ve only had a CGM for about a year. Before that I used to have several dangerously low lows every week, but in the past year I’ve had maybe two. In a year. For a week now I’ve been without my Dexcom while I get the batteries replaced, and in that week I have had, once again, several dangerously low lows. I would take low alerts over a pump any day.

1 Like

You aren’t alone. He really loves the pump for the flexibility in eating. My son has a number of diabetic type issues, but he is too busy to be depressed, and he is in too many sports for denial to work.

i.e. He is a good distance runner and a really good baseball catcher, when his sugars are off his performance suffers, and he really wants to deliver when he competes.

Thankfully, hiding his condition isn’t one of his hangups, he is a proud and sort of loud diabetic. He does his business wherever he needs to and doesn’t feel like he can wait to be more private.

edit - he does get mildly depressed at times, but his yearly dose of diabetic camp really cures that for a while.


Which pump are you using? Along the same lines as what @Thomas was mentioning, it may be possible to keep both.

I just put this up. I had written it a while ago on the private side of the site, but don’t think I had ever posted it publicly (maybe it was and I forgot).

This is a way of reducing the expense of a traditional pump’s infusion sets. I think this will work with most any manually inserted tubed pump infusion set, though I haven’t tried them all.

Everyone, please comment if something needs clarification.

@Tali Have you contacted the pump and Dexcom manufacturers? Many of the manufactures have some kind of program to help with the costs of using the testing and insulin delivery equipment.

Check with you diabetic education nurse and pharmacists to see if you can get contact info for a company sales rep. If that doesn’t work, check out the GoodRx website They offer a savings on on almost everything needed for diabetes.

1 Like

Wow, I couldn’t imagine living without either.

Try contacting your Insulet rep. As I posted yesterday, they’re trying to make cost of entry really cheap. They’ll often send you a PDM and 30 days of pods for free, so you have no upfront costs, and just need to pay for future pods, which aren’t very expensive (depending on insurance, of course).

1 Like

If I had to choose, I’d keep the CGM. I depend on the graphs to show me what my BG is doing so that I can guide it in a good direction, and I depend on the alerts to keep me safe when I am not paying attention. To me those are much more important than the flexible basal and bolus dosing available via a pump.

1 Like