12 Year Old Sam Tells His Story

I am 12 years old, and my name is Sam. I've been diabetic for about 3 and a half years. For most of that time, I was taking injections. I just recently got a minimed insulin pump. Since then, it's like I got my life back. Before I became a "pumper" I had to carefully manage and count every thing I ate. My glucose readings were still to high. Finally, after a long talk with my docter, we decided I was a very brittle diabetic. Then we decided to get an insulin pump. Now I can eat almost whatever I want, Sleep in without worrying about not taking my shot on time, and it's much easier. At school, I used to have to go to the nurses office, take my shot, get in the back of the lunch line, then explain why I have to take 4 shots a day. Now I count what I ate, press a few buttons, and go on with my normal life. I think the insulin pump is the next best thing to a cure. Any one, especially if they're having blood sugar troubles, should get an insulin pump.

In response to "How do people wear, sleep, shower etc" the answer is -- It's easier than you think! The Minimed is basically clipped to your pants or belt and you can just stuff the tubing down your pant leg. (don't laugh...it works) To sleep I just put it under my pillow. I haven't lost it yet! I use a quick release tubing connector so when I shower I just disconnect it. The water does not make the tape come undone. The Minimed infusion sets come with tape to secure the site but the "kit" only came with two pieces of the tape that secures the safety loop (you'll learn what that is during "installation" so my mom went to a pharmaceutical supply house and ordered a box of Kendall Polyskin II transparent dressing and they work real well.

I use Humalog too and when I first got the pump my pump trainer told me to not take my "N" dose the night before. The start-up transition was easy (once I got over the fear of the unknown!). If you are at all like me...you are going to love the pump.

You still use a sliding scale when you eat. I count the carbs that I eat plus add units if my BS is not where I want it to be. Since I went on the pump my BS which used to average (choke) in the 400's now averages 80-120 (whoopee!)

The best part of all is that you no longer have to hide under the table or be embarrassed when it is time to take your shot. Now I just press some buttons and its done. The only hard part was explaining to my friends why I was wearing a "pager" (I'm 12 years old).

Rough housing with your brothers, friends, etc. can cause trouble if you are not careful. My mom ordered me a sportguard and I'm looking forward to being able to swim without "disconnecting" my cyborg pieces. There is a big difference between Humalog and R. Humalog acts A LOT faster!

The only trouble I had in the beginning was being too low in the morning but after we adjusted the nightime basal rate everything worked out great. I had to get up at 3 in the morning for a week to test but toward the end I didn't even wake up when my mom came in. She just poked my finger and laughed when I started mumbling in my sleep. (My mom is helping me write this).

If there is anything I would have done differently, my mom says "Do it sooner". The pump has made a tremendous difference in my life!

My pump trainer worked with me for three hours before she let me loose on my own. We had a few questions the first week, but we just called and got simple answers.

I was nervous too, but I say GO FOR IT! It's worth it.


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