ALL Type 1 diabetics must inject or infuse insulin to stay alive. Current options are via a syringe (or a pen like needle) or infused using an insulin pump.
Adele was on shots for about 1 1/2 years before getting her pump. The pump has it's benefits and it's drawbacks, but for us we wouldn't go back to shots.
The pump is not an artificial pancreas. It will not automatically back off when blood sugar goes low or automatically give more insulin when blood sugar is high. It gives a very small amount of insulin every 3 minutes. This continuous insulin infusion is called your basal insulin. These basals are programmed in the pump by the user. A 24 hour clock enables you to program specific insulin amounts for the entire day.
Adele's basals are currently: 0.225 units/hour between midnight and 5 am, then 0.475 u/h until 9 am, then 0.225 u/h until 8:30 pm and 0.475 u/h until midnight. How did we come up with these? Through trial and error and with the help of the diabetes nurse.
Every time Adele eats she needs a "shot" of insulin to cover this food. The pump enables us to give her a "shot" of insulin at any time during the day without a needle. This is called a bolus. An infusion site (small flexible plastic tube inserted under the skin) is the doorway through which her body will receive the insulin.
Adele's pump is part of her now. It's an extension of her body since it is worn 24/7.