injections or pump? unsure mother….
Hello, I am new to this site. And my 9 year old daughter diagnosed with T1D Aug 6, 1205. Right at the end of summer and right before school started. She was terrified of needles but somehow has overcome the fear (not saying that sometimes she does not want to have an injection) but she knows I must do it. She has began to do some herself. I have also brought up the “pump” to her but that scares her. My question is why do some of you prefer the injections rather than the pump? I do not believe in “forcing” my 9 yr old in doing something she does not want to do, I know injections can fully save her life as well as the pump. She is mature for her age, I know the pros and cons of the pump, of having to calibrate the pump every time you carb intake etc… but I want real answers as to why others have a preference? Am I making the right choice for her, after all it is her body.
Im sure you know that there are pros and cons to each. I had a pump for several years but have switched back to needles. I will offer negatives of the pump, im sure someone else will answer with positive feedback to inform as well.
first, 24 hourd a day there is a small iv tube coming from the pump to the body, i got this caught on things and the pump was often in the way of activities such as sports. It cant be worn swimming or in the shower. I had one iv site become infected, yes i likely didnt prep properly but i was a teenager it was bound to happen. Lastly my model had an easy dose button on which allowed for quick dosage of insulin. Twice i awoke with severe hypoglycemia from applying it in my sleep.
The injections guve me better control i believe.
I lived with injections for more than 45 years before switching to a pump; in the 1950’s one shot of NPH each morning, then switching to two injections until the 1970’s starting MDI [using R and N] as an experiment my doctor wanted to try. Since then, insulins have become more refined and predictable acting.
I switched to the pump mostly for convenience and to better fit my lifestyle. Once I have the basal rates properly calculated for different time periods during the day, and have proper carb/insulin rates set for the different meal times the pump makes life easier [for me] as long as I’m reasonably accurate counting carbs. When using a pump, it is much easier to have flexile meal-times; such as an 8 PM dinner meeting as opposed to my usual 5:30 supper.
There is not any need to calibrate the pump every time she has a meal – once the basal rates are saved in the pump [I used multiple based on time of day -the pump allows 9 changes per day]and ca carb/insulin ratio set in the pump for her eating times, you do not need to do any guessing or winging it. I do I do tweak the ratios and basal flow from time-to-time based on analysis of test results and how I’m feeling. My pumps have also let me set three “patterns” that I use for non-standard activity days such as days when I bike ride for 25 miles.
I suggest that you don’t rush her into a pump until she and you get a good feeling about how exercise and food affect her. But in the long run, I recommend a pump especially because she be in school for many more years and will be leading an active life.
I’d tend to agree with Dennis on the subject, and although I don’t have T1D myself, my 17 month old does, we ran MDI’s for the first 2 months but we got her on the pump as soon as possible – for the biggest reason being able to dose down to .05 of a unit was a priority because of her age and size.
I could see the tube on some of the pumps being an issue, my wife and I chose Omnipod so we are fortunate enough to not have any issue as far as the tubing goes – and the pump can stay on during showers and swimming without interrupting the basal – another huge plus due to her age and size.
I’d also mirror Dennis’s comments on the multiple carb ratios that the pump allows as well as the multiple basal rates and ability to suspend that basal if necessary (you can’t do that with levimire, or any other LAI) so lows can become a concern.
Obviously first and foremost, you and your daughter are going to have to do what works for you – there is no “be all to end all” as far as diabetes is concerned….AT LEAST NOT YET…that being said, my personal opinion would be to go with a pump.
pumps scared the heck out of me too. The first one I saw was in the 1980’s and I just said, “No, thank you”. Went on with my daily injections for 20+ more years. The infusion needle looked like a railroad spike to me, and so for a long time, injections were “easier” than the pump.
there’s a good and a bad to everything. Like others said, it’s more what fits your life. It turns out for me that pumping was better for a completely unpredictable lifestyle, skipping meals and multiple time zones when I travel, weeks where I sit and weeks where I am super active at work. I am stubborn so it took a long time. Today, pumping is right for me.
new pumps are easily detached, some are rated as completely waterproof. some just stick to you like a hockey puck, all manufacturers will let you see and some even let you try but they are all the same in concept.
if you like to read, “think like a pancreas” and “Pumping insulin” are 2 great resources and may give you the technical information you are looking for.
Thank you all for your feedback, I can why some have different opinions. Reading through some different postings, many parents choose pumps for their young ones, which makes sense, because they can not verbally voice or alarm them when they feel a “low” or “high”. My 9 year is just starting to feel some differences in her body, I feel these are important and ultimately life saving to her. If she were younger, I probably would already have started the process for the pump, because she does not feel anything during sleep (scares me to death, I dont sleep a wink) however, I check her throughout the night. I have heard stories of individuals accidentally giving themselves insulin through the pump in the night, with her not being able to “feel” her lows all the night, especially when she is being active, makes me also pause and re-think my options. Her father and I have have told her she is not alone in her choice… there are many other’s who are daily injectors like her, but many school aged kids have the pump. Its not until we teenaged kids that we see are MDI. I wonder why that is?
I’ll contribute my experiences with the pump, too. I got a Medtronic Minimed in 2011 and boy was I excited. The first thing I wanted to do was have a regular Mt. Dew with my son, and eventually I did. The convenience of it was awesome. As long as you know your carbs and have your settings right, it’s a great tool. However, finding spots to put it becomes an issue. Do you put it in your stomach or your hip? If your not careful, then you’ll end up with scar tissue build up. Trust me, I have that in my stomach and it’s quite embarrassing. Another thing is when you put your pump in, you have to wonder if the little piece of tubing that stays in your skin is straight or not. I had mine get a little bend in it and therefore, I wasn’t getting insulin. You’ll never get away from taking shots, too. I was told that I should always have a bottle and needle just in case of an emergency. My insurance didn’t cover much of my supplies either, so my out of pocket was high, and thus, the reason why I went back to taking shots. Taking shots is easier for me just because I’ve done it since the beginning. My glucose meter will tell me how much to take based on my carbs just like the pump. The decision is ultimately yours. If it doesn’t work out, you can always go back to your old way.