5 Year Old Megan

photo Megan's pump is part of her.

Megan was a happy, healthy baby! No ear infections, very few colds and a great disposition. At 20 months old all that CHANGED! My healthy baby was sick-losing weight, dehydrated and weak. I cried SO HARD when my pediatrician told me Megan had diabetes.

Managing a toddler with diabetes is a challenge. Before the introduction of Humalog I can remember sitting at the dinner table with Megan for 2 hours trying to get her to eat enough to match the insulin I had injected. She had many seizures in the middle of the night due to hypoglycemia. The last seizure paralyzed her on the right side of her body for 2 hours. She could not walk or talk for that period of time.

Megan's blood sugar control was pretty good for a kid. Her A1C's ranged from 6.4 to 8.4. But the rigid schedule that she had to adhere to was ruining our relationship but more importantly it was taking away her childhood. The look on Megan's face at a birthday party when she had to have such a small piece of cake with all the icing scraped off. All the mothers looking on and shaking their heads in pity. I was determined to explore ways give my daughter back her childhood and our family a more normal life!

I searched the Internet for options for diabetes care and management. Then I came upon Ellen Ulman's web site CAMELS R FUN/KIDS ARE PUMPING. I read all the information at this site and explored others. I spoke with my pedi-endo about the insulin pump for Megan but he said she was too young and her control was too good.

It took 6 months of talking with my doctor and bringing information to him to convince him that Megan DESERVED a shot at the pump. I asked him-"so what if it doesn't work-we'll throw it in a drawer and try again later!" He finally said YES!!!

Megan got her pump on March 24,1998 at the age of 5. She was very accepting of the pump mostly because I told her she could eat things that she has never been able to eat. This is so true! Like most parents we try to limit exposure to sugar but hey-once in a while let's break out the Pop-Tarts! No problem with the pump! How about the birthday party at 2:00 p.m. Let's have pizza AND birthday cake-a big piece WITH the icing! NO PROBLEM!!

The pump has given Megan and our family a new life-one filled again with spontaneity and fun-even craziness sometimes! Not only are her blood sugars improving but the flexibility is awesome!!

Exercise in a little kid is MUCH more manageable with the pump! If need be you can turn OFF the pump, disconnect or set a temporary basal rate during play! This is a wonderful advantage and you don't have to keep stuffing food down your kid's throat so that they can play hard!

There are down sides to the pump. Your infusion can become dislodged or clogged. This make it essential to test more frequently than on MDI. You are hooked up to a device essentially 24 hours a day. But for Megan the pump is JUST A PART OF HER!!! If you ask Megan she wouldn't give it up for anything!!!! Not even a Beanie Baby!!!

Please feel free to E-mail me at JCunning97@aol.com if you have any questions about young children and the pump. My name is Judy Cunningham.

Update: December 1999:

Unfortunatley we have taken Megan temporarily off the pump. Her little body after 2 years just could not handle the infusions anymore. This is only temporary while her scar tissue heals. She just kept constantly bleeding into the cannula. I thought I would hate injections but it has been a nice break from trying to troubleshoot the pump. We have been using the "poor man's pump" method and sometimes she gets 6 shots a day to eat. But her blood sugars have been better than ever and I am hoping as time goes on and she grows and gets some fat that she can once again use the pump with the great results we had a first.

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