Hear From The Mom Of Ten Year Old Mike
Thanks for telling me your website address again..for about the third time! I think it's great. I especially like that you have an endo in your postings, but the only thing he (she) said that kind of took me back (when we were considering the pump) was his analogy to riding a bike and driving a car. That, frankly, is a pretty thought inspiring statement. Really made me consider whether this "pumping business" would be tougher than I thought. Fortunately we went with our hearts, and NO REGRETS!
My 10 year old son, Mike, went on the Minimed 507 last November. Although our endocrinologist was less than enthusiastic about the thought of putting a 10 year old on a pump (he wanted us to try multiple injections, or the "poor man's pump", and thought we could get the same result that way), he told us if it was what we really wanted, he would help us. That's all we needed to hear! We had done a lot of research, and especially learned from other parents of kid pumpers (the REAL experts!), and we felt this would address a lot of issues we were beginning to run into with our son. Mike hated eating snacks at school, often forgot them, and knowing he would be going to middle school next year, knew he would have no one there to remind him to eat. Problem solved with the pump! No snacks unless you want to eat! We often ran into times when he would want more or less to eat than his planned meal exchanges, and then I would be guessing at how much extra insulin to give, or begging him to eat "just one more exchange" because he already had his shot. Or he would be hungry when he got home from school, but it wasn't his snack time, so I'd either have to tell him no, or he'd have to put up with another shot. And often when he was low at bedtime, especially if he had an active day, it could take up to 4+ exchanges to get ahead of the low for the night...lots of food to eat so late in the day! We all know the constant food issues! With the pump, he eats when, what, and how much food he wants, and I find he is eating a lot less food between meals, and is satisfied with the amount of food he eats at meals. No more food struggles and one less control issue.
It is amazing what a difference the pump has made in our whole family's life. We no longer have to live on a schedule, we can ALL sleep a little later on the weekends, and as parents, we have much more peace of mind knowing that his blood sugars are so much more predictable and stable. We have found that using only one type of insulin (as opposed to mixing with NPH) yields more consistent results, and our frustration level has dropped tremendously. And at those times when his blood sugars are running high (it does still happen!), it can be addressed aggressively and easily with the push of a button...no extra shots or waiting until mealtime to deal with it. It's very empowering. The huge swings that we always lived with have virtually disappeared, the lows are less frequent, and he is recognizing his lows earlier. And we wonder now how we ever felt that a 200 reading "wasn't too bad"!
I often question why doctors are so reluctant to allow children to use pump therapy. Any parent who is diligent with traditional diabetes therapy would certainly be just as diligent with a child on pump therapy. We are still struggling with a few circumstances (like disconnecting for sports), and even though his overall control has improved tremendously, it is still diabetes and we still get thrown some curves. But Mike LOVES his pump and would never willingly go back to shots, and we have no regrets about our decision to put a younger child on a pump. We feel like we have been given a new lease on life, and we are living with a happier, healthier child.
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