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My Child Decided to Get a Pump Because . . .

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by mamattorney, May 16, 2013.

  1. mamattorney

    mamattorney Approved members

    Apr 9, 2013
    So my daughter, who was originally chomping at the bit to get a pump, has settled into a pretty uneventful routine of MDI. Sometimes she thinks twice about eating because she doesn't want a shot, but most times she'll get the additional shot and eat as she likes.

    But, all in all, she's pretty content and the desire for a pump has definitely moved out of the forefront of her mind.

    If I were the one with diabetes, I think the pump would be a no brainer, it just seems so much easier - no syringes, fewer injections, more spontaneity when eating, etc. But, then I read about pump failures, kinked tubing, etc and I think - that's not very likely with Lantus. So pumps come with their own set of problems beyond the obvious - I have this medical device attached to my body issue - I suppose.

    I know my daughter and she's a people pleaser, and this needs to be her decision - not mine. I can't talk about it too much or it will influence her decision and that's not my goal. We have her first 3 month endo appointment in a couple of weeks and I'd like to discuss pump therapy at this one so we won't have to wait another 3 months (this is also linked to her personality; she wants to hear the info from a medical person; I'm not good enough - so if i said "let's look into it" 6 weeks after our appointment, she'd say - the doctor didn't tell us to do that).

    I was hoping that I could get a little anecdotal evidence as to why your child wanted to make the jump from MDI to the pump and maybe some info (for me) as to how often you have unexpected complications due to pump use.

    I'm looking to share kids' opinions with her. Kids who were old enough to make the decision (not, say, a preschooler). I just want to share them with her to give her some ideas to chew on.

    Also, and this may sound crazy, but since she's not in the true throws of puberty yet (at least insulin wise), but has anyone started pump therapy "untethered"? Lantus is working fine for us and in my crazy mind, I thought maybe hooking up to bolus only would be a way to ease her into the kid benefits of pump use (fewer injections, easier to have dessert if we didn't count it with dinner) and, then, when lantus starts not working as well during puberty and she needs different basals at different times of day, it could be less of a big deal to be hooked up day and night. Just a thought . . .
  2. Helenmomofsporty13yearold

    Helenmomofsporty13yearold Approved members

    Oct 5, 2008
    DD was not interested in the pump until she was 12. The pump does not guarantee better A1C's, DD's are actually better on MDI. The pump's advantage for us is the ability to manage the 12am-4am time when BG's often drops a lot from activity.

    You have to carry more stuff around with you like extra sites and if you are going to be away from home for a bit....batteries, insulin and reservoirs. Unexplained highs are much more of a pain as you have more variables like site failures and pump failures to address.

    If the child is happy on MDI, let her be.
  3. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    If I understand your situation correctly you have a 10 year old, two months into dx and she's coping well with her new life with diabetes. As the previous poster said, if she's happy then why feel that you have to rush into anything? In time she may want to pump, as her insulin needs progress you may feel she can have better management with a pump, but there's no rush - sadly, her diabetes isn't going anywhere.
  4. Annapolis Mom

    Annapolis Mom Approved members

    Dec 15, 2008
    We waited over four years to move to the pump. My daughter was nervous about it and the endo and I agreed that we should wait until she was begging for it before we made the transition. That way, she would have the commitment to go through any of the difficulties that might come with the transition.

    As it turned out, there were no difficulties. She loved the pump and it worked well from the start. She's on the omnipod and I don't know if it's just us, but it seems like the omnipod doesn't have the same problems liked kinked tubing or bad insertions (because there's no tubing and the insertion is automatic).

    However, it is entirely possible that the reason it's going so well is that we waited so long. We were entirely used to diabetes, knew how her body reacted to all possible situations, and she had spent four years doing shots so she knew how nice it was to give them up.

    So, I don't know what the take-away is here. On the one hand we love the pump. On the other hand we're glad we waited.

    There's so much to figure out with diabetes. This is just one of the many things, although it is a big thing. Good luck with your decision. One nice thing about having to think so many things through is that you become really, really close with your child.
  5. nanhsot

    nanhsot Approved members

    Feb 20, 2010
    Freedom to eat, immediately after eating often.
    Knowing IOB, exactly.
    Less supplies to lug around. Grab meter and go. (I disagree with another reply that you need to carry more, our experience has been the opposite, it's sooo much easier to not have to remember to bring insulin, keep it cool, carry needles, etc. For long trips the needs are the same, you have to bring supplies, it's no more or less trouble. His meter is always stocked with a battery and one needle, so he's good to go with just that).

    From ME:
    basals are the biggest advantage to pumping in my opinion, being able to turn it off when low, or raise it when sick, customizing night time needs, etc.
    Pump does the work/calculating, and keeps track of how much insulin is left working, factors that into corrections and deducts in the event of lows.
    No set time for a shot, for whatever reason that night time lantus always came at a bad time, when he was out and about with friends, or playing a sport.

    Every so often my son will decide he's sick of site changes, carrying a pump in his pocket, etc. He's lasted about half a day each time he decided to go back to MDI, literally!
  6. mamattorney

    mamattorney Approved members

    Apr 9, 2013
    I think you are all correct and I will just let the situation be.

    I think I am too influenced by the negatives of MDI as I see them. I am still mourning the "hey let's get dairy queen!" surprise on a nice summer evening. We did that once on a warm spring night and it was just so dampened (to me) by the conversation that followed the screaming and excitement.

    Me: Kaylee, what would you like.
    K: I'd like a mini m&m blizzard.
    Me: OK, let's look it up.

    2 minutes later . . .

    Me: Alright, XX carbs.
    Why don't you check your BG, and I'll get the shot ready

    3 minutes later . . shot given

    Me: OK - everyone in the car!

    Let's go get our spontaneous Dairy Queen! Sigh.

    With a pump, I could look up the amount in the car on the way, program it in and it would still feel spontaneous.

    But, you all are absolutely right - if it doesn't bother her, I can't let it bother me.
  7. dzirbel

    dzirbel Approved members

    Jun 24, 2011
    My daughter started her pump just shy of 1 yr after DX, she was 9. We didn't even discuss a pump until about 6 months after DX and then she was sure the only pump she would consider was the Omnipod.

    For us I think the timing was right. She was fine with MDI and could care less about needing another injection for a dessert or something. We were coming out of the honeymoon phase right around pump startup so it worked in our favor to be able to do temp a temp basal, etc. I do think it's easier to travel with a pump on a daily basis.

    Same was true for a cgm. She was not going to wear one, until just a few months ago. Then she couldn't wait to get the new DEX. Looking back...I would have rather had the DEX first...it is an invaluable tool.

    I would let her be.
  8. KatieSue

    KatieSue Approved members

    Oct 5, 2010
    My daughter was diagnosed at 13. She had a friend from Polo who is also Type 1 come visit her in the hospital and he showed her is his pump. That was it she wanted a pump. It took us about 7 or 8 months to get up and running on the omnipod.

    That said her friend shortly after that went back to MDI for a couple of years because he was having a bunch of issues with getting sites to stay, he's a very thin, lean kid. So whatever works for you.

    We had a few issues with pods early on, she ripped off 3 or 4. That hasn't happened in years now. I think she just wasn't used to them at the time and now she kind of knows they're there. We don't get a lot of problems, we had one last week where the cannula came out and she was in the 400's but that's pretty rare.

    As for the spontaneous trip to Dairy Queen that all does get easier. After a while you just remember how many carbs things have. Or you can make yourself a cheat sheet. So they do become more spontaneous and less planned out ahead of time. I can't remember the last time we really looked anything up, but then my kiddo is the worlds pickiest eater so tends to eat a lot of the same kinds of foods.
  9. Mimi

    Mimi Approved members

    Dec 19, 2008
    I agree with everyone else, let her decide when the time is right. It's one of the things she can be in control of with d. Our kids have to take insulin, how to take that insulin should be their choice (when they are of an age to make that choice).

    DD#1 waited almost three years before she wanted to try pumping. She is very happy with it and wouldn't give it up.

    Now with DD#2 (dx 4 years later) one of the first things she said was "I want a pump" because we had just finished our first year with her sister pumping. It's now 5 months later and she's saying she doesn't want anything to do with a pump. :rolleyes:

    I think she's settled in and accepted things the way they are. We'll see how she feels in another 6 months when we can actually get a pump. ;)
  10. quiltinmom

    quiltinmom Approved members

    Jun 24, 2010
    Maybe she just wants to get used to her new life before starting another new thing. We waited to pump until nearly 2 years after DX, and I was glad for that time on MDI. And now we love the pump.

    We rarely have pump problems, bad sites, etc. Sometimes we'll have a few weeks with a string of problems, but most of the time it works like it should (i.e. our problem is more human error than pump error).

    Starting untethered isnt' a bad idea, if she is more comfortable that way. But wait until she's ready. I think you'll know when the time is right, and whether you should wait for her to be "begging" for it or if she might need a little bit of coaxing to try it out at first.
  11. DavidN

    DavidN Approved members

    Sep 7, 2012
    Ditto all of this ^^^^
  12. redrider

    redrider New Member

    May 16, 2013
    I was diagnosed at seven. It took three years before I was doing everything myself, and then I realized how much work it was. My endo recommended waiting a while to get out of honeymoon, too, so it wasn't hard to wait. It then took a year or two to convince the insurance agency that I needed a pump. By then I was DESPERATE to have fewer 'pokes'.
    I had several problems my first year with a minimed with sites that enter at a 90 degree angle. I was very skinny and the catheter would get lodged in the muscle layer and clog. I eventually switched to one that goes in at 45 and that cleared up a lot of problems.
    Starting on a pump is hard work. Getting used to having something on your body 24/7 is hard. You have to train your brain to be careful of the area on your body where you keep the pump, and until that happens, you end up knocking it off a lot.
    My recommendation is, wait until she wants one. If you go into it and she doesn't want a pump, she won't be willing to work at it to make it work.
  13. Stefanie S.

    Stefanie S. Approved members

    Sep 21, 2012
    My older daughter wanted a pump because she was tired of people staring at her giving shots and because the lantus brought her to tears every night.

    The little one agreed because we bribed her with Rainbow Dash from Build-a-bear. Watching big sister stop getting shots helped too. She is enjoying the freedom to eat on less of a schedule. Not a fan of site changes.
  14. nanhsot

    nanhsot Approved members

    Feb 20, 2010
    My son didn't really want one either, but since he was hospitalized at diagnosis and we had long met our deductible, our MD advised us just to order it and have it for when he was ready. By the time it arrived, he said he wanted to try it, and never looked back. So I would consider getting it within the year if your deductible was met by a hospital stay, saves you a lot of money. We're looking to buy a new one and my out of pocket costs are pretty steep.
  15. liasmommy2000

    liasmommy2000 Approved members

    Oct 31, 2006
    DD was just seven and we mostly made the decision. However it was six month process, including having Animas come to our house and let her try an insertion set to see how it felt. None of us are jump into it people, we are slow adapters lol.

    I think for her it was just the thought of no more shots and snacking (she loves to snack) being easier. By that time she no longer minded shots. However once she had that pump, when she does need the rare shot (and it IS rare), she doesn't like. She kind of cringes a minute and says she doesn't like it. She's thirteen now and there have been a couple of times she's complained about her pump. I've told her she's free to try shots again for a while and each time she's looked at me like I'm crazy. When she's complaining about the pump, she's really complaining about having diabetes and knows we can't do anything about that. So she sticks with the pump.

    ETA-bad sites happen on occasion. Maybe a couple of times a year, the first few years she had very few. The last couple they have increased. However hormones and all probably don't help and make it seem worse.
  16. Megnyc

    Megnyc Approved members

    Nov 8, 2012
    I can't really address the transition from MDI to a pump since I pumped from the start.

    But in terms of problems with pumping I don't think you have that much to be concerned about. What I do is I keep 3 or 4 syringes and alcohol wipes in my meter case. If I am ever out and have a pulled site or an unexplained high I just use the syringe to take insulin from my reservoir and inject it. So that way you are actually probably caring less then you do with MDI. All I have is my pump and meter case with me. I have spare sets in my book bag and car but if I am just going out for a bit I don't bring one with me.

    In my experience highs caused by pump problems are pretty distinctive and easily managed with either a site change and bolus or a simple injection.

    If MDI is working for her I wouldn't hesitate to continue what you are doing but I think at least looking at the available pumps would be a good idea :cwds:
  17. ecs1516

    ecs1516 Approved members

    Dec 11, 2007

    I have to say we have the Animas Ping and never look up food items in the pump. Too me it is a pain. Much easier looking up on my smart phone. After a while we just know the carbs to most stuff and don't have to look it up anymore. We used to have the Cozmo and it had food diary too but many foods are not in these databases. I trust looking it up on the smartphone (iPhone) I have better.
  18. caspi

    caspi Approved members

    Oct 11, 2006
    You guys are just a few months into this so whether it was a pump or MDI, it's still going to be a bit of a hassle, for lack of a better word, when it comes to eating out in the beginning. To be totally honest with you we didn't eat out for MONTHS after dx. :eek: It was just very overwhelming to me. In time you learn to kind of go with the flow and you can be spontaneous. There are times we don't prebolus for ice creams or shakes or whatever it might be and you know what? That's OK. :cwds:

    If your daughter is happy right now with MDI, I wouldn't push it. The GOOD news is that she has options in the future should she wish to try pumping. My son actually went from MDI to the Omnipod and then took a 9 month break and went back to MDI and is now back to pumping again. I just follow his lead. ;)
  19. ecs1516

    ecs1516 Approved members

    Dec 11, 2007
    I agree we don't prebolus for shakes or high fat ice creams. Because of the fat that is where we have to do an extended bolus on the pump.
  20. Jakethesnakesmom

    Jakethesnakesmom Approved members

    Mar 16, 2011
    We didn't get a pump until about five years in. We waited until my son expressed an interest in getting a pump, and thought it would just make management more convenient. Two years later, he decided to go back to MDI for the following reasons: he was tired of having "something attached to him" at all times and, due to a lot of soccer he was having to disconnect the pump quite a bit, or the sites would get kinked easily (causing some crazy numbers).

    I'd say the biggest advantage we miss in pumping is the convenience in bolusing. As far as basal, Lantus is working great for us and his numbers over the past month after we switched have actually been way more stable than when pumping. There are so many pros and cons of each - I think my son feels good about being able to make that choice himself.

    Stephanie, Mom to Jacob, age 11
    Dx since 2005
    Pumping with MM for two years
    Back on MDI (Lantus, Humalog) for the time being

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