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How difficult is the transition to a pump from MDI?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Lynnieg123, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. Lynnieg123

    Lynnieg123 Approved members

    Mar 16, 2011
    I'm thinking of having my daughter try a pump in the summer. It seems it may be easier to work with a pump for school next year than MDI. What is it like to get set up on a pump the first time?
  2. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

    Oct 22, 2005
    We had the easiest transition. The basal was correct (for the most part), the boluses and corrections were correct. We had been counting carbs for years and had a different ratio at every meal.

    It was a blessing as to how easy it was for us.
  3. Yellow Tulip

    Yellow Tulip Approved members

    Jan 14, 2010
    It wasn't too tough for us either. I think what helped is knowing your child's basal patterns. When we were on Lantus, most nights I spent correcting highs between 8pm-12am, and feeding glucose tabs to him after 3am. Once we got the pump, I set variable basal rates and life became much easier.

    I guess my advice is to gather as much information about your child as you can. Also, educate yourself well on what pumps can and cannot do (in general, the details will come later). Do you have a good endo/cde? Our cde was very helpful giving us pros and cons of each pump so we could make an informed decision.

    For my son, getting the pump was the best thing. He loves it. He loves the freedom it gives him. If you decide to go this route, I hope it'll be a smooth transition for you too!
  4. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    It might be more difficult if one is just getting the hang of how insulin works and how to dose for different foods and the like, or it might be easier for a relative newbie to transition from shots to a pump because they aren't so in the habit of doing things a "certain way".:rolleyes:

    I think it really depends on how flexible and adaptable you are, how good your trainer is and how comfortable you are with the user interface of the pump you've selected.

    So it's challenging, but not so hard :cool:
  5. timkris724

    timkris724 Approved members

    Jan 15, 2010
    We switched within 3 months of dx. At the time I was so frustrated but now looking back it was not really the transition to the pump it was still being in the shock and frustration of learning diabetes. I am so glad we got on the pump right away.
  6. swimmom

    swimmom Approved members

    Feb 23, 2007
    We checked a lot more at night (and during the day) than we did on MDI. We needed the additional information to adjust the settings.

    We used Emla cream for all infusion site insertions at first. There was not point in adding discomfort to the stress list. After a while, we started using a cold pack to numb the site and now she doesn't use anything. But at first, I was fine with using the numbing cream to make it all easier for her.
  7. BKKT10

    BKKT10 Approved members

    Jul 2, 2010
    It was difficult for us at first because we really didn't mind MDI- our A1C's were pretty good, Kay didn't complain about shots, and we were just used to using shots as part of our D management. So when we started pumping and things didn't go perfectly, it was frustrating and we honestly wanted to give up and switch back to shots.

    I think, during the initial transition, it is important to keep in contact with your D team/pump trainers, be adaptable to change, and DON'T beat yourself up about some wonky BS #s in the beginning. If you can do those things then the transition will be alot easier!
  8. tiffanie1717

    tiffanie1717 Approved members

    May 16, 2008
    When we switched we had to check a lot with the doctor's office to make changes. I think the other big thing was understanding how the pump works and applying it. I'd say for us it was about 3 weeks of transition, but we LOVE it! It's SO worth it! And now we have the CGM, too, so it's even better! We even get to sleep more! :)
  9. nanhsot

    nanhsot Approved members

    Feb 20, 2010
    It was a horrible and difficult transition for us. His insulin needs doubled and it took months to find the right balance, you can't just double insulin quickly so his numbers were high high high for months. Once we finally figured out his basals things leveled easily. His basal was 13 on Lantus and over 20 on pump, so it wasn't easy making that big of a change, it took some time.

    His A1C went up half a point during that time, but I'm hopeful it will be back down now.

    It's worth it though, so don't let me discourage you. Pumping is awesome! But for some the transition is a rough one.
  10. Traci

    Traci Approved members

    Aug 10, 2006
    We did pump start during the school year...ds's kindergarten year, matter of fact. We switched from MDI to pumping, but I think Lantus to pumping would have been much easier. We had to check bg every two hours (even through the night) and log everything for about two weeks prior to pump start, then had to continue that for about the first month. There's a lot of sleeplessness going on during pump start. It does get better though...or maybe we just get used to operating on very little sleep. ;)
  11. zoomom456

    zoomom456 Approved members

    Jan 19, 2011
    Let me start by saying we LOVE our pump now! We had a rough beginning though. My DS was on prednisone for an autoimmune kidney issue. He was on a very high dose, actually max dose for his weight. This caused him to need 3-4 times the amount of insulin he needs normally. Shortly after he started his pump it was time to taper his prednisone. We did this over the next 16 weeks so his pump had to be constantly adjusted. The first 2 weeks were the hardest because we were sleep deprived and trying to get everything perfect! After the prednisone stopped we got everything hammered out and now feel comfortable tweaking ratios mostly by ourselves.
  12. 5kids4me

    5kids4me Approved members

    Sep 28, 2010
    We started on the Pod 7 months after dx, a couple of days before Thanksgiving. We had a pretty easy start, had very little help from our Endo, but we figured it out pretty quick. Good luck!
  13. heypb

    heypb Approved members

    Oct 6, 2010
    We transitioned our little guy to the pump almost 9 mos after he was dxd. I would describe the experience as intense, but not necessarily difficult. It took about a month to get his numbers consistently into normal range. We were testing a lot more, communicating with the pump team a lot more, and sleeping a lot less.

    We were new to diabetes (we still are) and the pump really made us think differently about how to manage it. We had established a routine, and that routine really changed during the transition.

    There were a few moments where I felt like it wasn't going to work out. But I think that was just because we were exhausted.

    IMO the pump is worth it, even if the transition is a bit rough. I not may have liked the process, but I love the result.
  14. quiltinmom

    quiltinmom Approved members

    Jun 24, 2010
    We're in the middle of the pump transition. We have the pump, but haven't put insulin in it yet.

    From what I've seen, though, the transition depends on what your expectations are. If you think you'll switch to the pump and never have to worry about D again, you're going to be disappointed. But if you see the pump as something that will make D management more cusomizeable, and more convenient in some ways (less in others), then you'll probably be okay.
    If you are prepared for what is involved in the transition, you'll probably get through it a lot easier.

    Hope this helps!
  15. Jakethesnakesmom

    Jakethesnakesmom Approved members

    Mar 16, 2011
    We switched to a pump after about 5 years of MDI - it's been about five months now and I think we're finally getting the night time basals down. We really didn't allow for any transition period (went to school the next day after our education class!), and I have to say for the most part, any problems we have with insulin adjustments seem to be at night getting the basals right as well as site issues showing up then.

    For a smoother transition, you'll probably want to be working with your endo/educator about a month prior to the switch - we sent our son's BG#'s in about a month prior to our pump education so that they could get a better idea of his BG trends.

    I must say my son is enjoying the eating flexibility of the pump; myself, I'm getting a lot less sleep than when we were on MDI - You'll find you need to test more frequently (which I'm finding I probably should have been doing more so when we were on MDI). Best of luck!

    Stephanie, mom of Jacob, age 9
    Dx since 2005, pumping with MM-Revel
  16. Tigerlilly's mom

    Tigerlilly's mom Approved members

    Dec 3, 2007
    I found the transistion easy in terms of his numbers being good etc. My stress level with pump changes etc, was HUGE! It seemed to take me so long to prep his pump and do his pump change for the first few weeks. I was so afraid that I would miss a step or mess up his site.....I look back now and laugh at my stress over this! Now pump changes are so easy and nature. (Tyler hasn't been home for 2 days, so he needed a pump change....I did his pump change today in the backseat of my van in his friends driveway when I dropped his bike off to him:cwds:)

    I think that pump starts vary child to child, family to family.

    I wish you a smooth transisiton!
  17. rdhead

    rdhead Approved members

    Oct 15, 2010
    We are a week and 2 days into pumping. The switch for my son was as easy as breathing. He loves being able to eat whenever he wants without having to take an additional shot.

    That being said it has been a lot of work for me. We are still trying to get his basal right. It's his night time numbers that are affected the most. Right now I'm up about every 2 hours testing, correcting etc. I know it will eventually smooth out so I'm fine with the extra work. I'm just glad my son isn't a light sleeper and is blissfully unaware of the night time goings on.

    It's hard work being a pancreas :D but my son is happier and feels more freedom so to me it's worth every minute of lost sleep.

    As with all things d related it's trial an error. With some there seems to have been no transition time and others seem to have taken months to "get it right." As for the rest of us we seem to fall somewhere in between.

    I wish you a happy and easy pump start. Hopefully you will love it as much as we are beginning to.
  18. momof3sons

    momof3sons Approved members

    Feb 8, 2008
    The first few weeks were rough, but so worth it! We could never go back to shots.

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