4 Year Old Malcolm
After two months of Malcolm being on the pump I am ready to tell his story.
Malcolm was diagnosed on December 17, 1996 when he was 2 1/2 yrs old. The news was devastating because it was another burden for him to carry; he was dianosed with a rare form of epilepsy the year before and was on a medication that, we thought, was creating wild mood swings and behavioral issues....the start of insulin showed us that it was the onset of diabetes that was the root of his wild behavior. The introduction of insulin gave us part of our little boy back.
He began his treatment on the standard two shots a day of regular and NPH....and he had to eat all the time, from breakfast to mid-morning snack to lunch to mid-afternoon snack to dinner to before bed-time snack. Trying to get a toddler to eat like that was impossible and his sugars were wild. My van became a travelling grocery (I bought a cooler to keep food in the car !) lots of real junk...you know the feeling insulin is on board and he won't eat the raisins, drink the milk, have the 'healthy' food so give him a candy, anything fast! I talked to his endo team about the wild swings he was having from 40 to 400 in a few hours...never knew how he would do during the night even with middle of the night checks...different everyday ....no patterns.
We switched to lispro and ultralente, comparably a real miracle. No more constant eating and force feeding but the ultralent was very unpredictable. We muddled along for one year on this regimen and Malcolm hit his A1C goals being between 8.2 and 8.0 for the year. But we still had crazy swings so we knew he was not feeling his best. Then with his endos help, going beyond the call of duty!, we began to research putting him on the pump. It was this web site that convinced me to give it a try and all the wonderful people who I contacted trough this page.
Two weeks after Malcolm's 4th birthday he began pumping insulin. These months have been both exhausting and enlightening.... When he first began we had to be so watchful and test so much...a few days we had to test almost hourly to get the basal (background) rates set. Then we had to get new carb to unit ratios set because he only had one type of insulin onboard and no interplay with any long acting insulin. What we got was better control and so much flexibility but more than that we have our happy little fellow back. He cries when I change his site..why? because he doesn't want me to take his pump off!!!!!! And the worries we all had about him pulling out the infusion site????? He wouldn't dream of it because for the first time in his memory he feels GREAT! He wakes up happy and even though he still swings we can correct his bg so fast and with such small doses of insulin which was impossible with shots that he is almost always in target. His first A1C after one month was 7.1
I was surprised at the number because he was not getting those lows and so I thought he would be higher!!!! But the tighter band that he is now getting has been so very benificial....for his health, his personality and his development. He has been off of his epilepsy meds for 4 months now and with the pump we really feel that he has a crack at having a fantastic, normal, childhood. I can only say that the adjustment stage and sleepless nights have been so worth what we have now....a wonderful chap with a real zest for being 4!
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