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Mom needs advice on helping son accept pump

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by BensMomma, May 22, 2010.

  1. BensMomma

    BensMomma New Member

    May 22, 2010
    Hi there,

    My son was diagnosed at age 2. Up until now we've been managing well with the pen delivery system, but as he's aged we're finding that it's not as effective. He's very active in sports and his BG readings are all over the place. Our doctor has been gently pushing for the pump during the last few visits but Ben is adamantly opposed saying that he doesn't want to wear the pump because, "it will always be attached to me reminding me that I'm different than everyone else!" I also think he's scared of change and trying something new. I'm usually all for making him feel empowered when it comes to dealing with his diabetes and the choices he can participate in, but I feel that his health must come first and that it's definitely time to try the pump.

    Has anyone else had this issue with their child? How can I help ease his concerns? Thanks for your replies...
  2. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

    Oct 22, 2005
    You don't say how old your son is, so I am assuming he is around 13.

    Teens want so much to be like others, but in fact each is similar to others and it is a myth that they can be like the other teens.

    According to my son, shots are way more intrusive and make him feel more different than a pump does. The convenience of a pump is incredible and much less of a hassle than shots.

    My son's friends don't say anything about his pump. There are more comments about his height (6'3") than his pump which is neatly kept in his pocket. The tubing looks like the wiring for an mp3 player.

    I think that glasses or braces show that teens are different from each other. So does the difference in weight or height.

    He ought to try it for a while before ruling it out.

    My son was on shots for 9 years. I was able to push the pump because we needed a better tool to manage the sugar. My son has microalbuminuria and having good control is needed. I thought the pump would be a better tool to do this than the shots. If your son's health is put at risk because the sugars can't be controlled with using the pen, I would insist he try it.
  3. swellman

    swellman Approved members

    Jul 30, 2008
    One of the things that really helped going to the pump was his eating habits. Because we gave a shot every time he ate we would tend to eat 3 meals a day and maybe one snack. If we were out and he wanted ice cream we would have to give a shot. Impulse eating when out and about like amusement parks all had to start with a shot. With the pump he can eat pretty much when he wants - not that our eating habits changed all that much - but the perception was that he was more free to eat when he wanted and perception is everything.;)

    Also, we use a tubeless pump and, for us since our son is really private and/or embarrassed about the whole diabetes thing, it has a really low visible profile. In other words it's really difficult to know he's even wearing a pump - which we told him .... a lot. The PDM (pump controller) looks like either a fat cell phone or an mp3 player. The only "visible" aspect about daily care is testing now.

    We told him "Trust us, dude, the pump will be way better than shots." Fortunately he believed us and, even more fortunately, it turned out to be true for us.
  4. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    May 19, 2008
    I think both methods have advantages and disadvantages. If you have both available, you can choose either. With my toddler, the convincing line from the endo to us was, "Buy it, get it, figure it out. Try it. If you don't like it, put it in the closet."

    If it is important to you that you look at pumping but you want it to be his decision, which is fair, just make it clear to yourself and to him that owning the thing does not mean it has to be used. And using the thing doesn't mean it has to always be used, plenty of people go back and forth depending on their situation.

    Good luck.
  5. joan

    joan Approved members

    Aug 31, 2009
    My son was also diagnosed at a young age and never wanted a pump. He really doesn't like change and did not want anything attached to him 24/7. He tried a few pumps but did not like them. Last summer( age 16 ) after being a counselor at a d camp he came home wanting a pump ( almost all the kids had pumps and he was the odd man out) He now wears the pump but also gets lantus so he can remove his pump whenever he wants. Good Luck.
  6. wilf

    wilf Approved members

    Aug 27, 2007
    How old is he?

    If he's in his teens, then you certainly don't want to be pushing too hard or you'll create a much bigger problem than you have right now. It is his body, his life, his choice.

    There are things you can do to improve an insulin regimen on shots, and if you son is adamantly against pumping and in his teens I'd suggest you explore those instead.
  7. JaxDad

    JaxDad Approved members

    May 24, 2010
    Hi Ben's mom,
    I'm with Wilf here. Yes, he's your son and that makes you responsible for him....for now, and there is no doubt that you want what's best for him...for ever. But what is that? A pump? Not necessarily - everyone knows what's best for Ben is better BG control. And that's what you're after; you're just looking to the pump to provide it because that's one of the marketing points for pumps.

    So it's my suggestion that if your son doesn't want a pump to drop the pump idea for now and address the issue that you, Ben and his doctors agree on; better control is needed.

    Start with the undeniable premise that Ben's BG needs to be addressed with Ben and, more importantly, BY Ben.

    If Ben is a teen - as others as well as myself are guessing - then he's naturally going to rebel against you and against D no matter what. Some of that rebellion may be what's behind his numbers being off now.

    My belief is that your best bet for success here is to give Ben:
    1.) the respect of making his own decision about how to handle his disease
    2.) the responsibility of working through how to do it with the guidance of you and his doctors

    This is an opportunity for him to prove to himself - and you - just how "adult" he is becoming. It will be much better for him to prove himself right for not opting for the pump, than to prove you and the doctors wrong for insisting he get one.

    Sorry Mom, I know this isn't the advice you asked for; but it's the best advice I can give.
  8. chbarnes

    chbarnes Approved members

    Jul 5, 2008
    It might help if he was around others who wear a pump. Could your CDE or your local JDRF chapter steer you toward some teens with pumps. The selling point is the extra freedom he has to exercise, to eat, to sleep in, etc. I understand, to look at a pump it looks like it ties you down, but in reality it gives you greater freedom (that's not to say there aren't those who do a fantastic job with shots).
    I have talked to lots of teens and young adults who have never worn a pump who tell me lots of reasons why they don't want to. I rarely talk to someone who actually tried a pump and didn't like it.

  9. kem25

    kem25 Approved members

    Jun 3, 2010
    My son started pumping when he was 13. It took a while for him to warm up to the idea too. He really doesn't like change. He had to warm up to using his stomach instead of his legs (because his legs needed a break). He had to warm up to the idea of changing his infusion set type (because he started workng out and had more muscle). What worked for us is calling the pump manufacturer and asking for help. You'll never guess what they did... it worked like a charm. ;) They sent out a rep to come to our home who was so helpful, who wore a pump just like my son's, who was young, and cute and blond and.... yes, female! There's been several times he's had problems since he started pumping and I've done the same thing every time. Yep, it works like a charm. I leave the room when she comes over and my son turns into jelly, willing and eager to try anything new. Hope this helps!!!!

  10. 2type1s

    2type1s Approved members

    Nov 23, 2008
    All I can say is after my daughter's switched to pumps they were mad they waited so long! me too! i like the suggestion of trying it, and seeing how it goes. many people switch off for the summer. if he's opposed to tubing, he could try the pod. I know several football players who prefer it for ease and low profile!
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Approved members

    Nov 20, 2007
    Reading this, the main issue I see is that you have less control of his diabetes, which makes sense if he is entering his teen years. So I think one approach would be to look at his ratios, lead time, patterns etc, and try to get better control that way first. If your ratios are off, just going on a pump is not going to make things all better. If he is very active that could be a place to look at for improvement. Is he going really low with exercise? What methods do you use to deal with sports and diabetes?

    I don't know if you have tried this or not, but have you used syringes instead of the pens? Some people find better success with syringes than pens. Just a thought.
  12. Marcia

    Marcia Approved members

    Feb 22, 2007
    Hey, we are Upstate, too! Does your son have the opportunity to go to camp to see other guys his age who live with pumps? When Abbey started puberty, her BG's were all over the place and the pump gave us the flexibility to adjust different basal rates throughout the day to meet her needs. It is an adjustment to be attached to something 24/7, but the freedom it allows for eating and activity (or lack of) is something Ab won't go without. At his age, he really needs to be on board with the idea. Change is hard.

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