My sons is 5 and we have not yet opted for a pump. For me having control and seeing what is injected is nice, but my son seem apprehensive also and he is ok with his CGM dexcom 6 and he keeps telling me " NOPE, JUST USE MY PEN." He has met others with a pump also, but any suggestions. I worry what is prevention from accidental overdose if this is possible. Is it a lot of work to learn and keep up with. Any feedback. This is pretty new to use and we want what is best for our son. He has already adjusted to do his own finger pokes 1x daily and only in cases of highs or lows due to the CGM being so accurate. He dials up and gets the insulin pen prepared and he makes everyone aware of his diabetic.
Hi Stacey @staceybartleyandrade, a pump is not a necessity - I managed living quite well with diabetes for 47 years before I got my first pump even though doctors had suggested in the 1970’s that a pump would be good for me.
Now that I’ve used pumps exclusively for the past 18 1/2 years I want to continue. Yes, the pump adds convenience and flexibility I couldn’t achieve with injections and pens - my experience with pens was when 2 unit increments was the smallest possible dosing. I’ve spoken with a pediatric endocrinologist who himself has had diabetes for 52 years who does not use a pump - although he did in the past.
This may sound funny to you as a parent, but I recommend that you respect your son’s wishes. If your family operates more or less on set routine - i.e., meals close to the same time most days, wake-up and bed times consistent, I can see injections working well.
Hi, Stacey @staceybartleyandrade ,
I have to agree with Dennis @Dennis, if your son says “no” to the pump, don’t push it. Let him decide to use a pump when it is appealing to him.
Developmentally your son has been through quite a lot at a very vulnerable psychological age. Without getting too deep into the psychology of it all, it is good for him to feel like he has some “choices” about how diabetes affects his life. Being able to say “no” to the pump right now gives him a bit of control. He needs that right now.
By the way, hugs are really good for 5-year-olds who have diabetes. Hugs and reassurance (e.g., “You’re a good guy. I sure love you!”). Hugs and reassurance make it so much easier to put up with a life of needles and finger-sticks.
I was five when I was diagnosed with diabetes more than 60 years ago. You can do this!
Thank you Bill and Dennis. I truly appreciate the information. I will respect what he wants.
I agree with the responses on here. I have a daughter who is 10 and she decided on her own to try the pump. We have been doing the pen for a year and a half. So we tried it for three weeks and unfortunately, did not have a good experience. Our endo said that it was very rare for this to happen, but it was an experience that has deeply impacted us. We are planning to send the pump back and my daughter has no interest in trying it again. It makes me very sad because I feel like it could have been a good thing, but now I fear that it has tainted the pump idea so badly that she won’t try again. But, it’s ok! She does very well with the pen and it sounds like your 5 year old does as well!! I would follow his lead for sure. Out of all the advice that I was given on here back when we were having pump issues, Dennis’ advice was the most helpful by far. He has a lot of wisdom. (Sounds like Bill does as well)
Keep up the good work! It’s not easy…but this forum is great.
I would say that it also depends on the pump. We have 2 kids with T1D, and our youngest went on the pump first, because our teenager was concerned about it making noise and people noticin him. Ultimately they are both on the Omnipod. We did a free trial of the Medtronic 630, but did NOT like it. It seemed cheaply made, didn’t like the tubed pump, and couldn’t use it with the dexcom to send CGM data to our phones. I could go on about where Dexcom and Omnipod are going with their closed-loop competitor, but the question is about the pump…
You don’t want to force it, but if you could convince your child it’s better, they will appreciate it. The concern about finishing meals, snacks, etc, goes away. Read the noon Sugar Surfing to learn about microbolusing. It’s SOO much more efficient. Both of my boys have had A1Cs under 7.0 for the past year and a half, despite only being diagnosed 2 years ago.
Some things might seem tough initially, but our goal is to extend our kids’ lives and reduce long-term risks of loss of limbs, etc.
I say pump and CGM 100%
I developed T1 at age 5 and now I am 65. Being able to say “no” is important to the diabetic. If he had a friend or support group to meet other people (kids) with the pump, it may give him a new perspective.
I was diagnosed at 12. They had me on syringes for 3 months immediately went to pens and within my first year I was in a pump. Let me tell you, I absolutely HATED medtronics specifically because of the set. You have to inject the needle yourself and it is quite large for someone his age. I eventually got in contact with Omnipod and they sent me a free trial ( it’s just a sticker with the pump but no insulin inside). I wore it for a few hours and immediately was not okay because it was pretty chunky and I was super self conscious about it after only having diabetes for a year and being a teen girl. The longer I wore it the more I became okay with it. Eventually I decided I would give it a try and almost 9 years later here I am still an Omnipod user and have never thought about coming off of it.
My advice is let him wear the trials. Medtronics let us do a trial but this was a long time ago so not sure if they still offer them. Omnipod will 100% send one out as well as 24/7 answer any questions
I wish you and your family the best of luck! Definitely let me know if you have any Omnipod questions
Wow, I am quite impressed with your son and his level of maturity related to his diabetes at such a young age! Although pumping seems to be the way to go, some people have fine control on injections, and prefer not to wear a pump because they don’t want to be bothered with tubing, or they don’t want to carry something else in their pocket, on a belt clip it wherever. There is a tubeless Omnipod but they may not care for its bulk, the fact that it looks like a giant white beetle (at least that’s how I describe it), or may be concerned about forgetting, losing, or breaking the PDM “remote control” which would leave them unable to program and operate the pump.
I switched from shots to a pump a long time ago and have never looked back, but if injections are working just fine then it is really a matter of personal preference. I don’t know much about “parental controls” although I do believe some pumps have them - I’m sure parents on this board can give you great advice on that.
I will say that the nice thing about a pump is history: there were times when I used injections that I couldn’t remember whether or not I had taken my insulin! I eventually learned to make a mental note as I was doing it (“I’m taking my breakfast shot”), which worked - so long as I remembered to do it. With my pump I can take a look at my bolus history to see if I took it, how much, and when.
So talk with your son’s endo and see how his control is. If it’s fine then perhaps pumping is an investment that can wait until later.
In agreement with Erica, I know of something that may help, or hold a child’s interest regarding a T1D kids’ life with an insulin pump. A set of books beginning with “Me & My Money…a child’s story of diabetes.” Three books are in the set. It’s the only story of its kind. In book I, the main character is a T1D presently eight years old dealing with an insulin pump, 4th grade, best friend and her beloved pet, “Money.” They are illustrated chapter books, the longest one being about 130 pages, comparable to reading the novel “Tom Sawyer.” Good luck and God Bless.
Just ordered them for the Kindle! Thanks!
Thank you I will look for them
I’m late to the party, but wanted to say:
- your son is a champ!
- @Dennis and @BillHavins are right, pens are okay and so is his having a choice
- pumps are ultimately better for tighter control, but at your son’s age…
- slightly higher BGs are better than dealing with lows.
If he’s as open and on top of his stuff as you say, he’s fine and will let you know when he’s ready to move to a pump, if ever.
I’m late to the string here as well. I have been a T1D for 18 years now, having been diagnosed at age 39. I resisted the advice from my doctors to get a pump until 3 years ago, when I mistreated for carbs consumed with a pen injection. I ended up in a near coma and my wife had to call the paramedics. When they arrived, they tested by BG and determined that I was at a 19! It was immediately following that episode that I new I had to reconsider using a pump. I have been on a Tandem pump ever since, and can’t believe that I didn’t get on one from day one. Since using a pump, I have had much better control over highs and lows which has been reflected in improved A1C’s. But I do understand how younger T1Ds may feel like a pump limits their activity, especially sports, or draws unwelcome attention to their disease.