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My 3 year old son has diabetes type 1

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by DaddysLittleStar, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. DaddysLittleStar

    DaddysLittleStar New Member

    Feb 10, 2016
    Hi there
    My name is Frankie I am the father of a 3 year old son who has just been diagnosed with diabetes type 1 in the last couple days. It's been a shock but all I want now is the best for my son like any other parent would. I have less then a day to choose between a insulin pump or the insulin injection pen, Can anyone give me any advice from previous experiences with there own children would be much appreciated!

  2. msschiel

    msschiel Approved members

    Oct 21, 2013
    Welcome to the club that no one wants to have to join! There are a great bunch of people here that I have learned more from than the dr's that we see. My son was nearly 11 when diagnosed so I can't give any advice on pumping or MDI, but we just started pumping in November, 2 years after diagnosis and it does have its perks which outweigh the drawbacks by a lot. It is overwhelming at first, but then it just becomes part of daily life.

    Remember, there are no dumb questions, especially when it comes to diabetes!
  3. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

    Nov 17, 2005
    Hi. I'm sorry of the recent diagnosis. We have all been in your shoes.
    I have two kids with T1D, my first one was 4 when diagnosed and I can say that the pump was a lifesaver for us because she was a grazer, eating here and there. Instead of multiple shots, we were able to just use the pump. We used the Animas Ping which was great because it also had the remote control. All the pumps are good, some have more bells and whistles, but they all do the same thing. I find this helpful in comparing the various pumps:

  4. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    You should not be forced to make a decision about a pump at this time. I hope it was just a misunderstanding between you and the Dr.

    Most people start with injections or pens, learn a bit about how insulin works and how to dose it and then, if they want to, transition to a pump. Not everyone does but no one should be expected make that decision in a rush.
  5. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

    Nov 17, 2005
    ^^ This.
    I missed that you were possibly being pressured to make a decision.
    We did shots for about 6 months (insurance wouldn't allow pump for 6 months), and by then we were more than ready to start pumping. If you aren't comfortable making a decision now, let the doctors know.
  6. njswede

    njswede Approved members

    Feb 9, 2015
    Welcome to this crappy club! The bad news is that it's a pain in the butt. The good news is that a normal and happy life is possible, albeit with a lot of hard work.

    It's a bit unusual to suggest a pump that early. Typically they want you to go with shots for at least 6 months. The main reason for that is that pumps and sites fail (a lot, unfortunately) and you have to be confident enough to give shots in your sleep (quite literally, ask me how I know!).

    I'd strongly suggest going with shots and manual calculations for a while at least. It gives you a better understanding for how the whole thing works.

    Hang in there and don't panic!
  7. sszyszkiewicz

    sszyszkiewicz Approved members

    Dec 24, 2013
    Sorry about that Dad! However you start, you have a learning curve to go around one way or the other. Throw yourself into the education.

    With toddlers many quickly move on to a pump because of its ability to give small doses of insulin (you would be amazed at how much a tiny drop of this stuff can make such big differences).
  8. quiltinmom

    quiltinmom Approved members

    Jun 24, 2010

    Frankie, my heart goes out to you and your family! Type 1 is something few people understand, outside of those who have it or whose children have it. I hope we can be a support to you as you settle into a new normal way of life. It can be tough with the little ones. But we are here for you.

    We did shots for about a year and a half, then we got a pump. Shots are simpler in many ways, and help you get the hang of things before you need to learn the nuances of pumping. One thing at a time. I would probably recommend choosing the pens for now, and you can look into getting a pump once the ground stops spinning. And you need to check what your insurance rules are. Some companies won't pay for a pump until a certain amount of time past diagnosis.

    Good luck!
  9. Lakeman

    Lakeman Approved members

    Nov 10, 2010
    I'm sorry for your diagnoses.

    We have done both MDI and pump.

    MDI allows you to have nothing connected and complete freedom between injections. But MDI only allows you to give a half unit as the smallest amount. There will be times when you would like to bring a number down by less than what a half unit would do and you won't be able to on MDI. For a smaller child this is usually more of an issue. With a pump you will be able to give really small doses and correct more often.

    If it were me and I had a small child I would choose the pump first. I think the whole thing where they make you learn on MDI first is stupid but most people have that experience.
  10. rgcainmd

    rgcainmd Approved members

    Feb 6, 2014
    I agree with the above wholeheartedly!
  11. barbiduleny

    barbiduleny Approved members

    Nov 28, 2015
    Sorry for your diagnosis. It is really overwhelming at first.

    I am relative newbie here and a little ahead of you as our 4 y.o. soon was diagnosed last June, so can share our experience.

    Seems surprising to me it would be an either or choice, as you always need a pen as a back up and there is a learning curve to the pump. Sounds like the question is more: do you want a pump right away?
    If that's what it is, I would recommend you ask for the pump now.

    We got a pump for our son 3 months in and it's helped a lot in many ways:
    - many calculations are done automatically for you which limits the risk of mistakes
    - you have much more granular control to the doses injected which is very, very helpful at their age and stage. As others have said here, the MDI only works in 1/2 or even full units (for slow acting insulin) and that was too much for us.
    - like many others here we have an animas ping. it comes with a remote/glucometer for the pump. It's very neat when you are out and about to not have to break out the whole kit and do an injection.

    On the downside, the pump sets can be frustratingly unreliable and we regularly have to replace a brand one set that's not working.

    I would inquire about a CGM at the same time. I really that the combo CGM + Pump puts us in much better control of our son's condition.
  12. Sari

    Sari Approved members

    May 19, 2006
    My son was 22 month old at diagnosis and we left the hospital with a Medtronic Pump. Still use Medtronic to this day.
    It allows for small doses with our kids being so little and like someone else said, my son is a grazer and we don't have to do multiple injections.
    Good luck to you and your family. What ever your decision, as long as you are there for your son and treat him like a regular little boy that happens to have to count carbs, you can't go wrong.
  13. jenm999

    jenm999 Approved members

    Apr 30, 2014
    I'm very sorry to welcome you to our club, but know you'll do great - you're already seeking education and support which are both so critical for success and mental health.

    We did MDI for several months (about six - not dictated by insurance, just how long our team required for us to jump through all the pump hoops). The truth is that MDI is like driving stick. It's really good to know and you learn a lot about insulin therapy doing it manually. But pumps are rapidly becoming the standard of care, just like automatic transmissions, and if you have the option I'd probably take it.

    All pumps are great and they each seems to have one annoying thing and one huge advantage. If I were in your shoes I'd probably choose the Ping because it can dose very small amounts, and has a remote which can make bolusing less invasive for your kiddo when sleeping or playing. It is also waterproof. But you can't go wrong, so don't sweat this decision too much. There are no bad pumps.

    Again, good luck and welcome.
  14. cdninct

    cdninct Approved members

    Jul 29, 2011
    I agree, too. We figured out how to use syringes in a couple of days at diagnosis when we were overwhelmed with the newness of it all, so I'm not sure why it takes 6 months for anyone to master the process enough to"prove" that they can handle the pump. And, yes, there is a lot of fancy advanced stuff you can do with a pump, but you can do the basic stuff, equivalent to what you can do with a pen, using only the basic pump functions.

    My son was 2.5 at diagnosis, and we were offered a pump right away. I wanted him on the pump, but my husband wasn't ready for it, so we used syringes for 5 months before my husband changed his mind and we started pumping.

    Life became much easier in so many respects when we started on the pump. We didn't have to carry insulin, syringes, etc. around with us all the time. We didn't have to always choose between having to give a toddler another shot because he wanted more food than we had planned for or denying him extra carbs. He could snack when he wanted to without chasing him around to give him a shot, which was important because he was a real grazer as a preschooler. We could work in tiny increments, rather than having to work with the whole- or half-unit options on the different pens (and even a half unit can make a massive difference in a small child, especially a newly-diagnosed one).

    Having said all that, pens work fine. Pumps work fine. Syringes work fine. There is no wrong way to "do" diabetes. Many people are happy using any of these methods of insulin delivery. Moreover, if you choose the pump option, you can always change your mind and shelve the pump for a few weeks or months or years if it is not working for you (plus most, if not all, pump companies will allow you to return the pump within a certain timeframe if it is not working for you). Likewise, if you choose the pens, there is no reason why you can't ask the endo to switch over to pumping in 3 months, or 6 months, or 1 year if you change your mind. You do not have to make a permanent, unalterable decision tomorrow!
  15. Team Cailin

    Team Cailin Approved members

    Feb 21, 2015
    I understand your pain and confusion all at once. My daughter was 13 months old when we found out. We did the pen an needles for 6 months just to get use to this new world. Our Endo recommended that DD get a pump but to not use the CGM until we get use to the pump and it's settings. Medtronic ha's helped us out a lot and my DD started her CGM today. We have been really in love with the data. We might finally be able to get her a1c down more. I say talk to your endo and insurance to see if they will work with you and get the basics of insulin:carb ratios down. Either way you go it's a step closer to handling the D better.
  16. andiej

    andiej Approved members

    Dec 30, 2013
    Aww firstly want to say how sorry you have to be here, but there is plenty of support around and I promise it gets easier. For us the Pump was game changing, my son hated injections and loves his pump, yes it gives us better control than MDI but it's the improvement to quality of life he really appreciates, less regimented eating patterns, just pressing a button when you need insulin etc. Good luck whatever you decide :)
  17. kail

    kail Approved members

    May 18, 2014
    I'm so sorry for you and your son. Its a real kick in the gut when you first find out and so much to deal with at once. My daughter was diagnosed 2 months after turning 3 and it has been a little over 2 years now. I agree with the others that choosing a pump should be available at any time and that it shouldn't be a decision that is final. I don't see any reason that some doctors/insurance requires people to be on injections for months but if you wanted to wait a short time before deciding, I can't see how that would be an issue. I completely agree with the others that being able to give tiny doses is a huge advantage of the pump. We had a very tough time with this at the beginning. She rarely ate more than 30-35 grams of carbs per meal but 0.5u humalog was just a little bit too much for 30g. Its what we used but we had to be ready with a snack 2 hours later and sometimes she hit low before that. As her insulin resistance grew it became a little more manageable. We still are not on a pump although I know we will someday. At the time my husband just couldn't face dealing with a device hanging off of her all the time. It seemed too hard to manage that pump hanging off her while she was running around, rolling and wrestling with sibling, jumping on trampoline, dealing with toileting etc etc. I know many (if not everyone :p) will completely disagree and I'm not saying that it is really difficult as we opted not to do it right away and have no experience with it. We did opt for a dexcom CGM after I finally talked her endo and my husband into that one and we have had that for a year which has been life changing and I would never live without it. For the insulin we generally use syringes but I also use a pen for when we are out and for the middle of the night corrections. Otherwise we find syringes easier to pull up a smaller dose and we routinely dose her with increments like .75u or 1.25 etc. Our lantus dose is 4.25 for example and although it certainly isn't exactly accurate if we had some way to measure it but 4 is way to little and 4.5 is way too much and so we do our best to give 4.25 and it works. I know people that were only given full unit pens so be sure they at least give you a half unit pen if you don't do syringes. Good luck
  18. nebby3

    nebby3 Approved members

    Jun 5, 2007
    I'm happy with MDI now with an almost 14yo but I loved loved loved having the pump with a toddler. Being able to give minute doses is priceless.
  19. Joseph

    Joseph Approved members

    Dec 20, 2013
    Personally, I would wait until the honey moon is over.

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