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@Kaimana04 hi Chanel,
12 is a tough age… to old to ignore she’s different from her peers… too young to see the future the way you do.
it is much easier (in insurance terms) to go from a pump to pens. I would try to understand everything I could about why she’s choosing to go back to pens, and then I would probably comly with her wishes.
if I had to guess? I’d bet that she’s uncomfortable with wearing a computer mouse taped to the back of her arm, and tired of answering questions, and maybe one of her peers made fun of her for wearing it.
in our peer group, we pumpers “joke” about the choice you have for pump style. We callously joke that your choice is between “A pager or a tumor” meaning you have to wear a clumsy piece of hardware on your belt that looks like a passe prehistoric (pre-smartphone anyway) technology, or you tape this lump to your backside or arm. Truth be told: Both are uncomfortable. but in this world I don’t get to choose what’s “better” what’s better is no hardware and no diabetes… I do get to choose which one stinks less… and a pump stinks less than shots for me, and btw, the pager stinks less than the tumor for me as well.
choosing between pumping and MDI is like picking a finger you want cut off… there is no good answer that doesn’t hurt.
anyway it’s likely that the pump represents a unpleasant reminder that she is sick, and it may be a very uncomfortable topic. try to understand that a 12 year old can’t get “forever” and even “chronic illness” may be a impossible concept right now. a therapist may be helpful to your daughter if possible.
hope you can navigate this and find peace. good luck.
As a long time T1 and a mother of a T1, plus I’m an RN, CDE I’d recommend letting your daughter go on a long acting basal insulin like Tresiba or Toujeo (once a day injection). Then have her use her Novolog Flexpen at meals.
When she’s old enough perhaps she’ll want to try Afrezza a meal times
Make sure she continues to use the CGM. Also, fyi when the Dexcom G6 is released it will communicate with the Apple Watch.
Hello. I have two now young adult children who were diagnosed in 2008. They both still use pens and my daughter (21) is on a CGM. Her numbers are great (6.5). The CGM is a great help. As you said it is her disease and as hard as it is for us to give them autonomy it’s important to have them manage it themselves.
Thanks so much your response was very helpful. Yesterday we took off her pump and jumped back to lantis and novolog!
Hi wow I didn’t realize there were so many different insuluns! She is back on lantis and novolg.
I know you said you’ve already made the switch back to MDI, and if that’s what she wants then that is fine. However, does she know any other diabetics her age, specifically anyone else that wears a pump? Quite honestly, I started on a pump when I was 15 mostly because a lot of the other kids at diabetes camp had pumps and I thought it was “so cool”. I’m still pumping 18 years later and have never once gone back to injections.
Although pumps are supposed to be “the” treatment plan for Type 1 diabetics, some people do fine without them. I believe there are some professional athletes who prefer injections to damaging a pump (despite those multi million dollar salaries, but I digress), and swimmers prefer injections for obvious reasons. Even if she’s not a super athlete like these, injections may work week for her.
Hi unfortunately she doesn’t know any other person with type 1 diabetes…i think that’s making it much harder for her!! I’m trying to get her to join a forum because since I don’t know any other t1d this has been so good for me but she is hesitant.
Summer is coming. There are diabetes camps where having diabetes is the norm. I suggest to see if thee is a camp near you. Contact with others might be a good thing for her.
Hello Chanel @Kaimana04 ,
Ultimately and realistically I believe that your daughter’s and, at her age, your decision about whether to use a pump should be with what devices she has better diabetes management - and secondarily with which she will effectively work.
I’ve been in contact with people who have had diabetes for 75 years who have managed very well drawing every insulin dose from a vial and injecting with needle and syringe; on the other hand, I know of others who began pumping in their very early days with diabetes and are all messed up with their management skills.
As far as athletes, I spent a little time last year with a major league baseball pitcher who said it is his insulin pump that allowed him to progress in his sport to the point of being on the All-Star Team. At some time over the next few years, as she matures, she may want to give the various methods a meaningful trial of at least three consecutive months and compare the results.
My daughter (11 y.o.) and I had this discussion as well. It was heartbreaking for me to hear she didn’t want the Omnipod anymore. Her concerns were legit, 'everyone always asks me questions! i.e. “what’s that?”, “is that a pager?”, “does it hurt?”, “what’s diabetes?”. She just gets frustrated at times trying to explain everything all over again. I reassured her that these are very good concerns, but she has to remember things in the long term. She’s very active and a gymnast. The pod does get in the way sometimes, but for the most part, it’s MUCH easier to eat anytime you want! Because before, as we all know, can only bolus every 3 hours. Which is difficult when you love to eat! We still have this discussion weekly. But, since we have starting using the Freestyle Libre CGM, she changed her tune quite quickly. (NO FINGER POKES!) Good luck to you and your daughter!
Hi. Just as a follow up. You can use a pen or a syringe to bolus as often as you need to cover the carbs yo are eating. There is no 1 time per X hour limitation to MDI. It’s exactly the same as a pump in this respect. In my opinion it’s way easier with a pump but neither limits when or how to bolus or correction dose per your needs.
Hi Sherri @sherrik830, I completely endorse what @joe says about being limit to the number of correction bolus injections that can be administered by pen or needle and syringe. I can’t count the number of times during a business three hour “cocktail reception” that I poked a needle into my belly.
Although, I will offer a caution: no matter what method is used to deliver insulin be careful that you do not “stack” insulin. Stacking insulin is, in my opinion, the most prominent cause of hypoglycemic events - especially during night time and stacking insulin happens most often among users of pumps because it is soooooo easy.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my pump and will not stop using a pump; the convenience of a pump and the lifestyle flexibility it offers are awesome and the ability I have of delivering a correction as small as 0.025 units [yes, 25/1000th of a unit] help me avoid over-correcting and help me avoid hypo events. The ease of over-correcting a child, thus causing sleepless nights for parents, is one reason I hold for not starting a child on a pump “too soon”.
Without getting into a metabolic synopsis, at the end of the day, using a pump is healthier. Could you do the same thing without a pump? If you chose to forgo long acting insulin and injected yourself bi hourly or more with short acting insulin only, it would be essentially the same thing, long term health wise. Does choosing pens over pump then inherently mean you cannot maintain control? No. This is purely a black and white comparison, and ultimately, T1D is a disease that each individual must manage the best, and whatever achieves the best results will be the best for that person, despite on paper results.
With that being said, I would figure out why she wishes to change so much, as I also have gone from pens to pump, and omnipod was a life changer for me. Falling into this at 21 instead of getting it younger, I had no idea what I was doing, but I was fortunate enough to have access to resources to learn. 13.9 A1C at diagnosis has been stable at 5.2 since ~4months after.
Since children tend to be children, going back to MDI would likely entail a LOT of injections, or a rearranging of when things are eaten, as it isn’t a simple 2 button push for a snack (as I’m sure you’re well aware).
If the desire to change is based from people making fun of her or something similar, I would attempt to solve that at the root cause, as trauma (emotional) causing potential health risks is far more dangerous than the choice between MDI and a pump. If she doesn’t like it simply because she doesn’t like it, there’s no reason to continue using it.
I can’t offer much advice in the area of pumps, since I’ve only used omnipod and none of the other traditional pumps, but in regards to it’s effect on the body, it is near identical, and comes down to preference, as they supply the same stuff to your body via a different medium of transport.
P.S. since I didn’t realize upon typing this out that you had already made the switch, i’ll leave it in the hopes that perhaps it may benefit another.
If the reasons for disliking a pump, pod or traditional, are due to cases like @sherrik830 where people are…I suppose gawking…at the device, It can be put in a large variety of places where it is out of site, and with some cheap (1-10$) patches, can be covered further to completely negate any odd feelings or potential pain (which is rare in my experience) from pressure (especially if you put it on say, your leg).
Alternatively, you could have younger kids have fun with it, and given they get tired of explaining the same thing over and over (provided it is no concealed), could just instead make up amusing stories for why the device is required (or maybe it’s just me, since I’ve always tended to troll ignorance, but I suppose that would be a parenting choice in and of itself).
Lastly, the mindset of each T1D will be different, and I’ll use myself as an example- My endocrinologist hated how much I checked into my BG, caloric intake, %s of highs and lows, and how I would aggressively combat results I disliked. I made it a 2nd job, and being successful at it is the best way for me to manage it, without it discouraging me. When I have complete control over my ailment, I don’t feel hindered by it, and by extension feel free. This mindset surely would not work for everyone, and you could surely reach similar results without being basically paranoid 24/7, but it gives me the control I need to be comfortable. Looking at my BG and seeing 71, I don’t have to freak out and run for the carbs, since everything is regulated extremely precisely, and I know that, devoid of extreme activity, it isn’t just going to plummet, as it isn’t on a downward trend. Inversely, you could be more casual with it, just guestimate carbs, and eat on a schedule, and you’d probably have similar results overall, but keeping a schedule…just not for me
There is no “right” way to manage T1D, so long as you have good control, you’re good to go. Despite the various “on paper” best paths to control, it requires adhering to the requirements of it, and if that isn’t being accomplished, or is taking a physical or emotional toll on the individual, then perhaps a better treatment option is available.
My 12 year old son is on MDI and Dexcom, we have used positive bribes (trips to Lego store, etc) to get him to do different aspects of managing type 1.
I have read about studies where teens with type 1 have a positive incentive, even paying to check blood and it worked.
My son did not want to tell his friends AT ALL about his type 1 and so we used bribes here.
Diabetes Camps and Type 1 Nation, to Facebook peer groups where she can see others with type 1 may help, helped us.
“Raising Teens with Diabetes” is also a good read.
Many pump users go on and off pump, so how she feels now may not be how she feels in future. It’s so normal it has a name -its called a "pump vacation"
Good Luck and there are no perfect set of choices with type 1 just the best of a bad bunch!
(My 13 year old daughter and I both used pumps for a year and ditched them)
I would suggest you google your local JDRF or ADA chapter. Most of them host events throughout the year where you can meet other diabetics. Diabetes camps are awesome too if you can find one near you.