Alexander - Pumping at Age 2

April 21, 1995, the day started out like all of the others, until my 8 1/2 month old son showed signs of the stomach flu. By noon Alexander was vomiting on a regular basis, and I had been in contact with his pediatrician's office twice that morning handling the situation. We did everything the nurses suggested however Alexander didn't show any improvement, so by mid afternoon after talking with the nurse several more times we headed for the doctor's office to see one of our doctor's associates. She sent us to the hospital for IV fluids, and assured us that we would only be there overnight. To say the least we were quite shocked when the doctors came in and told us that our infant son had just been diagnosed with DKA, and he was being admitted to ICU as we spoke. After 72 hours of critical condition Alexander was upgraded to stable condition, and with every tear he cried we rejoiced. Within the week he was transferred to St. Louis Children's Hospital, 3 hours away from our home. His doctors were, and continue to be wonderful.

We had our good times and bad times with his control, first using two types of diluted insulin and later changing to three types of full strength insulin and a minimum of four injections per day. His numbers read like a roller coaster having some days that were great and then others that were terrible. Then while discussing his numbers with one of his doctors in June of 96 the topic of an insulin pump came up. My husband and I were very excited about starting Alexander on pump therapy, and had wonderful support from our family and all of Alexander's doctors. In August of 1996, less than one month after his second birthday Alexander started on his pump. We were told that it could take several months to see positive results, but within the first week I could see positive changes in Alexander. His pump was the best present we received that year. Here was an active 2 year old who now had more freedom with meal times, and could sleep later in the morning, or take longer naps.

Alexander is enrolled in preschool now, and all of his classmates are aware of the fact that he has diabetes and that he wears a pump so that he doesn't have to have injections. His classmates don't appear to mind when Alexander needs to have a snack and it isn't their snack time, or if his snack is different from the snack they are having. His teachers have told us that his classmates will tell others that they must not touch Alexander's pump, and will then tell them why he has the pump.

Everyone with diabetes knows that you have ups and downs, and yes we still do have difficult days, but starting Alexander on pump therapy when he was a toddler is the best decision that my husband and I along with the doctors could have made for Alexander, and we have no regrets.

Jayne Custodio

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