I wanted this blog to be about my family's experience with my son's Type 1 Diabetes. My family is more than just diabetes, but I want this blog to be focused on how it affects our family. I hope other T1D parents find it helpful, and that my family and friends find it informative.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

My Pump Fantasy

Well we are 9 weeks into being a T1D family.  I am both surprised it's been that long, and also shocked that 10 weeks ago we didn't have a clue it was coming. 

Numbers are more stable at meal times, the times that doctors want me testing Johnny.  According to the excel sheets he looks like we are managing his diabetes well.  But I don't feel that way.  The issue I am having is that between the times we are "supposed" to check Johnny's blood glucose, he can have HUGE spikes in his BG.  When he spikes it makes him agitated and irritable.  Like 3 year olds need a reason to be difficult, he is practically impossible to be around when he is high.  If I discipline him for all his actions when he is high, he would just sit in time out the entire time, multiple times a day.  He is mad, yelling, demanding, defiant, and sometimes flat out mean.  Yet because his numbers are correct 4 times a day we technically are doing well???  It isn't working for me, and that is selfish because the truth is it isn't working for him most importantly! 

So what do we do about this?  I am not sure but I need to find out.  I have guesses but none are based on medical advice so until I see his Endo about it Thursday I will just keep an open mind.  We had to lower his long lasting insulin a few weeks ago because he was waking up too close to hypoglycemic numbers.  Maybe there is another isulin option that will work better during the day and not at night so that he stays lower during the day and doesn't go low at night?


The Pump. 


I don't want to see the pump as a magical device that is going to solve all my problems, but it sure sounds like it will!  I was hesitant to put Johnny on a pump until he was older because I wanted him to really understand what it is and why he should be happy to do that instead of multiple shots.  But, now I don't know if waiting is really what is best for him.

Here is a short explanation of what "I" understand the pump to be.  I could be wrong, and will find out more in a few days.
1) It replaces the need for injections of fast and long lasting insulin by providing small doses of fast acting insulin in smaller doses all day and night, with the ability to release larger quantities as needed when carbs are consumed.
2) Johnny can eat whenever he is hungry.  He will not need to wait the 2 hours between meals and snacks.  If he isn't hungry at snack time he can skip it with out going low,  (Currently, if he skips a snack because he was napping, playing, or just didn't want to eat he will be too low by meal time.)
3) Because the pump is always connected to him we can give small corrections of insulin ANYTIME he is high, like these between meal spikes! 
4) We can disconnect or adjust his background insulin to be less when he is or has been very active.  Often when I give him his back ground insulin now, I have no idea that later that afternoon he will be swimming or playing hard at the park, it is so unpredictable.  But with the pump, the background insulin is giving throughout the day, so I can adjust it daily depending on his activity.
5) Less intimidating for others.  What I mean is I know the thought of watching Johnny makes other people nervous because of the needles.  No one that doesn't have to give multiple injections to a toddler really wants to sign up for that.  However, reality is that John and I are going to need to be able to count on others to help us take care of Johnny.  He will need to go to school and not have mom show up for each meal and snack.  He will need to be able to play at a friends house, or visit grandma, or stay home with a baby sitter.  I think having a pump, a small computer that his caretaker just types a number into is a lot more attractive to people than an injection is, and therefor will create a wider support system for our family with less room for errors.  Maybe I am wrong, but it makes sense to me.

There are downsides to a pump, however I really haven't met anyone who didn't think life on the pump wasn't much easier to manage than shots... especially mothers of T1D toddlers.  I think we are heading down that road.  What I know for sure is that all the moms have warned me that it is a very rocky start.  Lots of bad numbers for 4-10 weeks while the correct insulin is worked out (mostly trial and error) so I need to be mentally prepared for that.  I remember that was really difficult to handle with Johnny and we only experienced it for about a week.  Knowledge is power though, so if I KNOW to expect it... I hope I will handle it better. 

Fingers crossed that all my pump fantasies will come true.

1 comment:

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