Skeptical about insulin pump for my 7 y/o son. Help pls!


(4Knicko) #1

I will be seeing my sons endo in two weeks. I have heard about the advantages of having an insulin pump but I'm kind of skeptical on whether or not my 7 y/o would feel comfortable with it. Also, him being skinny (57lbs), how do I know whether or not he is ready for it. It has been a year now since he was diagnosed and, I think that syringe shots still works fine for us but I also know that giving him multiple shots  per day is just excruciating for him.

Can somebody give me a head start of how a 7 y/o (2nd grader) will be able to manage such a device specially while in school?

 


(Emily Wine) #2

My daughter is turning 7 tomorrow (Happy BDAY girl) and she has been using the OmniPod for almost two years. We chose it because it doesn't involve all the tubing that all the other pumps have. It took us 3 years before we switched to the pump from shots. We were also very sceptical....plus we were hesitant to break away from our familiar routine to learn a whole new system of "managing" her diabetes. I have to say, though, there are no regrets. Except that maybe we didn't do it sooner. It is in no way a solution to all of the problems involved in diabetes care but it has made life easier. Her blood sugars are much better and she has a lot more freedom. She is much happier. She was 5 when we started and the Omnipod seemed pretty large for her little arms (her choice for the site) but she never complained and if she were to close her eyes, she couldn't tell you what arm it was on! There is no tubing to get in the way of her regular kid activities. You don't have to disonnect for baths or swimming. The best thing is the nightly care. If she is hugging the lower end of her target, instead of making her eat and pumping her with extra calories while she is trying to sleep, we just turn her insulin delivery down. We did find ourselves trying to micro-manage in the beginning, thinking we had to have perfect blood sugars since we had the technology to do it. Of course, that is an impractical goal. We got over that and now just do the best we can. Like I said, her BG has really improved. It's also great at meal times. You can give some insulin before the meal and then more during the meal when you see how much he is eating. And if there is an unexpected request for more food a little later, no problem. Just a push of a button and more insulin coverage! It's very easy to use, as I'm sure all pumps are. If you can work your average cell phone, you can use the pump. My daughter knew how to operate it within the first year. (She pretty much taught herself, it would have been sooner had we actually shown her).

Hope this helps. If your son feels he is ready, I think its worth looking into. It is such a personal decision. Best of luck to you!


(car1olyn) #3

My 7 year old daughter has been on the pump for almost a year. We absolutely love it. She operates it herself when she boluses. We still watch her while she does it, just to make sure she's putting in the right number of carbs. My 5 year old went on at the same time. She can operate her pump as well to do boluses (with supervision). We're on the Minimed, but I know kids on the Omnipod, Cozmo, and Animas, and everyone loves their pumps. The flexibility with food has been great.

At school, the nurse comes to their classrooms at snack to bolus them, and meets the girls at the cafeteria before lunch to oversee them checking their blood sugar and bolusing their pump. The afterschool program they sometimes go to picked up on it quickly with training from me. The nurse had a trainer from Medtronic come in to show her how to use the pump and I went over it with her a few times before this past school year started. It's been smooth sailing all year. As the kids get older, it will give them more independence at controlling diabetes on their own.


(4Knicko) #4

Thank you so much, I'll definitely put omnipod on top of our list. I am just curious whether or not my insurance (BCBS)will cover a part or maybe even 100% of it. Thanks again and God bless your family!


(Colleen Allison) #5

We use the animas pump. The worst part for my daughter who is 7 is having the pump on a fanny pack.  My dauighter who is 19 hardly notices it--it is about the size of a cell phone.  (both have Type 1)  Once a child needs shots to have shots for every meal it is better to switch to a pump for the parent's sanity!  It is a lot of work to use the syringe and insulin bottle etc.  Much easier to use the pump technology and have the pump do all the math etc.  Yet, my 7yo didn't like wearing it.  It has a very small port, yet does have tubing to the pump.  She has had it since December and is doing better accepting it.  We home school, if she was at school I think the nurse would need to help her.

Colleen


(Kaprice) #6

I just attended a seminar for Omnipod and she told that BCBS does cover it.  I think it is an 80/20 break.  If you contact Omnipod you can find a rep in your area and they have a form you can fax to your insurance company to see how much they will cover. If you are interested in this device I would also contact them for a sample.  I am looking into this for my son as well who sounds to be about the same size as your son.  I guess they have clients as young as 2 years old.  Good luck!


(BrookeAH) #7

All of this info is so good to hear!  My 7 y/o was dxd in January, and we're not sure if we should wait longer to go to the pump.

 


(sammonsfamily) #8

Our son was diagnosed at age 4 and began pumping last September.  It's GREAT!!  We went with Medtronic, because they have such wonderful customer service and it was easy to learn to use.  They have a great online pump school.  We tried a trial OmniPod, but our son hated it and flushed it down the toilet!!  Yes, they fit down a toilet, lol.  As long as you have a 504 plan in place, the school shouldn't be too big of a problem, but then again, I homeschool...Our school system is horrible here!

 

 


(cschultz) #9

My 9 year old has been on an insulin pump for 6 years now.  It was a life changing event for my family.  When she started school i think it was a lot easier for her and her teachers to learn the pump.  The pump has made it easier to regulate her sugars because as a young child with diabetes the ability to go to .05 units instead of .5 of a unit is a huge amont for there bodies.  We were a part of a JDRF study on todlers with pumps and almost all that started the pump stayed on the pump.  The pump is fantastic in our opinion.

By the time my daughter was in second grade she was working the pump herself.  She would never go back to shots.


(4Knicko) #10

Our doctor wants us to wait a year to make sure we know the highs and lows of diabetes. So in two weeks, we are going to decide whether or not we would use a pump or stay with shots. He said it's our call but with all this positive insights ,am pretty sure it's time to switch to a pump. Thanks everyone, and God Bless!!


(Reillysmom) #11

I am so glad I found you discussing this topic.  My 8 year old was diagnosed July 2008 and is eligible for the pump now, but I am very skeptical.  My gut feeling is she needs to have a better understanding of the disease itself before taking the pump route.  But after reading all of these positive comments I am reconsidering!  One of my friends suggested that if all was going well with the injections to stick with them because once she hits puberty all hell is going to break loose, not just hormones, but rebellion.  When she starts rebelling, the pump, might give her the independence she needs to remain compliant.  Any thoughts?

 


(SandraK) #12

Most kids these days have a gameboy or PSP or some kind of device like that.  If they can manipulate a device like that, they can manage an insulin pump.  My son was diagnosed at 9 in 2006 and we spent about 2 weeks with syringes, moved immediately to pen needles and then a year later to a pump.  We've been using a medtronic for the past 2 years.  There is a LOT to learn about programming of an insulin pump as there are many variables to get them as "right" as they can be so I find it does put a bit more pressure on the parent to understand carb ratios, correction factors and basal rates, but who knows their kid's diabetes better than their parents?  I could not fathom going back to needles.  The pump allows us to adjust basal rates to accomodate our soon to be teenager when he decides to sleep in on the weekends, allows us to give dual boluses to compensate for the weird b/gs he gets after pizza (we bolus and then have to follow an hour later with a second bolus) or to just suspend insulin delivery when for whatever reason he goes low and we have trouble getting him back up.  Brenden can change his own insertion sites and can make adjustments to his levels based on instruction from us.  We get far fewer lows and fewer highs (except when hormones interfere) and his A1C is good.

What you would need at that age is cooperation from your school to help your child manage the pump if you can't be there at lunch to help them confirm their bolus at lunch.  If you are in the U.S. you might even be lucky enough to have a school nurse.  We don't have those in Canada so our son's school has gotten used to him just walking in and using the phone to call me with his b/g.   Brenden's first exposure to the pump was at diabetes camp and I strongly recommend it so they can see other kids with diabetes managing it in a different way.  They can ask questions etc all in a non-threatening environment. 

We are very lucky in Ontario that the government now pays for pumps for all type 1 diabetics.  Brenden was the first kid to apply for and get funding in Ontario two years ago when it was introduced and it was recently expanded to include adults.  We also get monthly grants to help pay for insulin supplies. At leat McGuinty did something right!


(cschultz) #13

I would get her on the pump now so it is just part of life before they become teenagers.  My 9 year old wears, pump and has since she was 4.  It just becomes part of there life.  i think it helps them feel lmore like there old selves, by having the beter control on the pump.  My daughter was only 15 months when she was diagonosed and the pump has been one of the best things we have experienced.  She is already rebeling a little by not checking her blood at school with out being reminded.  so you will not have to wait to teenage years when they do not want to be different. 


(marcie girl) #14

My daughter was diagnosed at 6 and I put her on the pump with in 6 months of having it.  I LOVE IT, SHE LOVES!!  She works it like a pro.  Recently she started to put the sight in herself.  We use minimed and she started with the silhouette inserter then I changed her to the quick set which is much easier.  One of the things I thought her was to always say out loud how much the pump gives her when she does a bolus.  I want her to know how much a normal dose is.  For example she knows normally for lunch it would be about 10 units, if she happened to punch in the wrong carb amount and she sees something like 20 units, she will know something is wrong.  This helps a lot because she can pretty much predict how much the pump is going to give her. 

In school kids ask her what her pump is and what its for.  Some kids think its a phone or an ipod, but she tells them its an insulin pump.  Its not easy and she has stressed out about it.  I just tell her that people are going to ask and she has to get use to it, it does not bother her anymore.

 


(wvchinacat) #15

Hi I am new to this community - but my DD has been pumping for a little over a month now and we are not looking back for anything!  Her insulin needs were so small - but necessary - and with syrniges we sometimes had to wait until she was high enough that 1/2 unit would not bottom her out . . .so I love that we can give really small amts of insulin.  She is 8 and is 47#.  We have a wonderful nurse at our school how helps her daily with each bolus and before the pump would give each shot at snack and lunch. The transition to the pump was not nearly has hard as I had thought.  That being said - there is a learning curve - its not impossible - but just a new way of managing.

My DH has been using the OmniPod since January and our DD did NOT want the pod even though she saw dad using it. She loves her ping and I love the meter remote.  We use inset 30's which are great for kids with little body fat. 

 

Hope this helps!


(ReneeC) #16

My 7 (soon to be 8) year old 2nd grader is on the minimed pump.  He has been on it since June 2008.  We love the pump!  He is able to bolus in school and monitor it without problem.  The only time he needs me at school is when I turn on a special feature, like a temporary basal.  Even then, I can "walk him through it from work".  My son is 57 lbs also and yes, I was concerned about where to put the site on this skinny boy, but it really is not a problem.  Our endo is a diabetic, and she has been wonderful at helping us make the transition.  I also go into the school every year and "educate" everyone coming in touch with my son about diabetes and his pump. I have a written statement even for substitutes. 


(4Knicko) #17

Thanks everyone! Our endo gave us 2 options to choose from, omnipod and medtronic. But he said medtronic would be much suitable for my sons built (skinny), since it's light weight and has very good customer service. Can anyone attest to that?   I feel like omnipod would be a better choice since it's tubing free.


(sammonsfamily) #18

My son, who is now 7, is on the Medtronic Pump.  He is very lean, only 46 lbs.!  I would recommend using the Silouette infusion sets.  They go in at an angle and crimping is minimal. 

We tried the OmniPod as a trial and my son was very resistant to it.  So much so, that he flushed it down the toilet!  Yes, they are small enough to go through a good toilet, lol!

It's been almost 6 months on the pump now, and we wouldn't go back for anything!


(Jewels Doskicz) #19

My 7 year old was diagnosed at age 5 and we started on the pump within 2 months of diagnosis.  Her insulin needs were so small we actually needed to give her .1 or.2 and that is impossible with a syringe.  It allows freedom of diet to eat when they are hungry and no eat non-foods (sugar free) because they are growing and should eat without the need for another shot which is a big discouragement for them not to eat.  Emotionally Emma does much better with the pump.  We use EMLA cream for 1/2 hour under a band-aid prior to changing her site and she doesn't even feel it.  In 2 years olny have pulled out 1 site.  Emma swims on a swim team for 1 hour 3 days a week.  We disconnect for this with no probs. I wouldn't like the omnipod for Emma.  their bellys are very small and the omnipod is actually quite large.  Emma doesn't mind the tubing and neither do I- we are both on Minimed pumps and love them.  Our nurseis quite invovled at school. Emma checks her sugar and we get a calland tell the nurse how to manage the current situation.  We find Emma doesn't have a consistent carb ration meal to meal and day to day.  Depending on exercise and growing, and food consumed yesterday affects what she needs tomorrow... I would never go back and asking Emma if she would rather take shots she says "no way!"


(4Knicko) #20

Hi Renee and Jewel, thanks a lot for writing those posts. Now it would be easier for me to decide between omnipod and minimed pumps. Our endo actually recommended the minimed but it's the omni pod tubing free that kind of made us skeptical about it. My son started swimming lessons last week (1 hour a week) and I wonder how it's going to be like?  If Emma does not mind the tubing then I am guessing my son would feel the same way. We will be attending  seminars for omni pod this weekend and minimed the week after.   I hope my husband and I will be able to catch up with this trend since we are not that technologically savvy. Does your kids wear CGM's together with their pumps?

Pauline