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Better Control on the Pump?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Shopgirl2091, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. Shopgirl2091

    Shopgirl2091 Approved members

    Mar 16, 2013
    HI everyone - just a quick question - I know that most people say they have much better control on the pump, but since starting at the beginning of July I feel like everything has been out of control.

    Sites that fail, insulin that goes bad, bubbles in the pump tubing, I can deal with all of this, but it seems like we are seeing higher numbers more often that we ever did on shots. He is honeymooning, so nothing is predictable, and it seems like things are changing all the time.

    Is this normal and does it just take a while to get things settled down? I want to have the tightest control possible so we have good numbers, and I know with Diabetes nothing is ever perfect but I just want to feel like I am doing the best I can for my child, and that I haven't messed everything up by making the switch from shots to the pump.

    Experience pumpers out there - how long did it take you to feel like you where having better control? Just looking for a light at the end of the tunnel :)
  2. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    For us, the decision to pump was largely based on a desire to give our dd back some greater spontaneity and a more "normal" lifestyle. To make it easier for others to help care for her and for her to begin to manage a bit on her own.

    I can't recall if your A1c went up or down right after the start, but I see you've only been pumping for a few weeks so it's not unexpected that you would still be drilling down on settings.

    As for bad sites and bad insulin, we didn't really see this. And we almost never, well never, actually, have had much of either. Are you sure you've got the insertion down right? And have you tried more that one type of infusion set? Maybe the trouble lies there.

    There was a study posted recently, perhaps by Ellen, about the efficacy of pumping over injections, you might have a look. In the end, you can always go back on shots, but remember that a few weeks is but a blip in the life of a chronic illness. If you think pumping will improve your child's quality of life then it's worth plugging along till you get better results.;)

    ETA http://forums.childrenwithdiabetes.com/showthread.php?t=74155
  3. DavidN

    DavidN Approved members

    Sep 7, 2012
    Our pump launch was frustrating and I suspect our son's A1C went up in the short term. Our adjustment period was at least a month, maybe a bit longer. I'm not sure why, things just didn't really click for us. But we all enjoy the convenience now. Although the summer saw many hiccups with the pool/beach and failing pods. At one point my son said he wanted to go back to MDI but he hasn't brought it up again and I hope he doesn't, but it's his call. The pump has its challenges but for many people the convenience far outweighs those challenges. And then for others, not so much. I hope it gets easier soon.
  4. Debdebdebby13

    Debdebdebby13 Approved members

    Dec 15, 2011
    We love pumping but the "control" isn't necessarily better. I think it is due to her honeymoon waning shortly after we started pumping. Pre-pumping her a1c was 6.7, 3 months into pumping it was 6.3 which I think is because of her honeymoon and too many lows as we tweaked her settings. That was last October. Since then we have consistently been at 6.8.

    We have times where it seems we have great control, like right now, which maybe be because of the new pods?? We haven't been seeing as many spikes, especially crazy highs that we can't make sense of since starting the new pods. I think it might have to do with the clearer IOB feature (clearer to us anyway).

    A couple of weeks ago, we were having crazy swings, despite the pump, from 50s to 450s in the same day. It was stressful to say the least.

    For us it's more about freedom to eat like kids want to eat, which at our house is usually grazing quite a bit, without ever eating much at once. Letting her eat like that MDI turned her into a pin cushion, but with a pump it's ALMOST as easy as it was before, short of carb counting and chasing her down with the PDM to make sure she gets the insulin.
  5. Hstntxag

    Hstntxag Approved members

    Aug 17, 2011
    We are 2 weeks into the pump journey and we are fighting highs overnight because of disconnecting for football each afternoon but are able to get him back in range by bedtime.

    Most of our other highs..we know the reason (food or activity change). We have been very fortunate that we haven't had a site failure (knock on wood) and air in the tubing has been minimal as our CDE taught us how to flick the air out of the reservoir...or as much as possible.

    Honestly? I keep waiting for the other shoe to fall. I haven't wanted to run over the pump with my car yet and minus the inconvenience of having to disconnect, our son likes the freedom of eating when he wants instead of having to take a shot for every single bite between meals.

    His a1C was unusually high in July due to sports adrenaline,vacation eating and avoiding night lows at camp by running him higher...so we are hopeful the pump will help with that. And we tried out the dual wave bolus for the first time the other day for fried okra and dense carbs and it worked like a champ.

    The best advice I received from this board was to not be surprised when novalog all day acts differently than Lantus. We have definitely seen that to be true.

    Honeymooning is tough for sure, but also don't be afraid to be in close contact with your CDE or pump rep trainer to look at the numbers and tweak. No reason for him (and you!) to be miserable.

    Hang in there! I'm in the trenches with you
  6. obtainedmist

    obtainedmist Approved members

    Aug 3, 2010
    It took us a good 8 weeks to get all the bugs out of the system. We adjusted the basals during that period, we got much better at filling the cartridges and inserting the infusion sets and we did some tweaking of the i:c ratios. Give it a bit more time and don't be afraid to tweak those basals based on testing!
  7. Bear

    Bear Approved members

    Apr 9, 2009
  8. StacyMM

    StacyMM Approved members

    Oct 22, 2010
    Pumps don't improve control for us, actually - assuming that you mean 'control' as good a1c. When DD was on a pump a few years ago, her a1c went up. Stayed up about half a point and didn't drop until we went back to MDI.

    Both started pumping this spring and first a1c after a full 3 months went up. DD jumped up .7 and DS went up .6. Now, DS is still honeymooning and insulin needs are increasing so I expected his to go up a bit.

    We consider it a trade for convenience. Kids like the freedoms that come with pumping - snacking is more relaxed without shots, there are no needles and clippers and inject-ease to deal with everywhere, etc - and we really like the customized basals to beat dawn phenomenon. Plus, temp basals are awesome. But better control? Not for us. We really seem to do better on MDI.
  9. sugarmonkey

    sugarmonkey Approved members

    Feb 16, 2008
    I don't know if we'd have better control with MDI or the pump. For us we pump because it's more convenient with a teen. He's able to eat like a normal teen, and it's a godsend for dealing with puberty. I don't think we'd be able to manage the crazy blood sugars of the teen years on MDI.
  10. nebby3

    nebby3 Approved members

    Jun 5, 2007
    When my dd began pumping at she 2, we had better control pretty quickly. But a large part of that was that she was on Nph before. Since she stopped pumping at age 7, our control had only improved which I attribute mostly to coming out of toddlerhood. I think a lot can depend on where you are to start. My friend's dd had so many problems with skin issues on the pump that it was worse for her. Having said which, I would give it a little time to see if things settle down. I do miss the pump, esp when we need temp basals.
  11. missmakaliasmomma

    missmakaliasmomma Approved members

    May 31, 2013
    You sound EXACTLY like me. Mine isn't honeymooning and I can honestly say (at least right now) I can't stand the pump. We've had the same problems as you and the way I think is that if these issues are going to happen forever just because it's a "pump thing" it's something I dont want to deal with.

    My daughters been on the pump for 4 months. She'll be 5 in oct and told me a week ago she wanted to go back to shots. I feel like there are less variables to troubleshoot when on mdi. I still feel like its out of control and no matter what i do, nothing is ever stable. I try like you to have very good control, which h er endo says we are doing, but at times I struggle with the decision to have put her on the pump.

    Her a1c went down but shes had a ridiculous amount of lows because I constantly have to change her basals so I personally think its just lower because of the lows not necessarily from better control.
  12. Darryl

    Darryl Approved members

    May 8, 2008
    The pump gives convenience and precise control of insulin delivery, but if you're looking for technology to help control of blood sugar, the CGM is the answer. It greatly improves control no matter what means of insulin delivery you use.
  13. Mom2Will

    Mom2Will Approved members

    Oct 11, 2007
    I agree with this and want to add that I've read somewhere that Novolog works better in the pump than Humalog. No idea why but something to explore.

    Pumping isn't for everyone and my son has flip-flopped from pumping to MDI and back. Luckily, we have both options available to us and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. CGM is awesome and out of every option available to a Type 1 this would be the investment to make. A1C greatly improved with this little device, pumping or MDI.
  14. AJMom

    AJMom Approved members

    Dec 7, 2011
    DD fought me going to a pump. When her A1C continued to climb over a 6 month period, I made her go on the pump. She chose the omnipod. On day 3 of pumping with insulin - she professed her love of pumping:) I did also start her on the G4 within 4 weeks of starting the pump (told endo we wouldn't pump without the G4 - did Medtronic CGM and it was a nightmare for us).
    Yes - a learning curve, but a better experience then learning MDI IMHO. She had an a1c of 8.9 in Jan - 7.4 in June, started insulin in her Pods the last week of Feb. DD is more confident and relaxed about her D now, or so it seems. She hates when we have pod failures and that upsets her, but she is learning to roll with it and deal with it appropriately.
    For us it is the combo of the Pods and G4.
    Good luck whatever route you take!

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