Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pump Debate-For Joanne!

Blogger doesn't like me.  It doesn't always let me leave comment love for everyone.  I'm not sure why.  Bug up its bum?  Kink in its panties?  Whatever the reason, please understand that I am reading blogs and just not able to comment sometimes, no matter how much I would like to!

This post has been rattling around in my head for a few days.  I was trying to get my thoughts organized.  I'm still not there, but I'm writing it anyway.  Joanne over at Death of a Pancreas wrote this post about the pump trials she just did with her d-daughter.  It hit a spot in me and I felt like I needed to say something, so here goes....

When I got the pump, I was 23-years-old, a college student on public assistance medical, and had just moved in with my boyfriend (who is now my husband).  My biggest concern with going onto the pump, other than the intimidating amount of new d-terms to learn, was the tubing.  To be honest without going into too much detail, I was specifically worried about what to do with the tubing during those newly-in-love, can't-get-enough-of-each-other romps.  Turns out, that wasn't a problem.  Omnipods weren't available back then, but disconnecting was super-easy and made that tubing not an issue at all.  Fast forward to Lily's diagnosis and I immediately decided that she should be on a pump.  It's easier than shots, cuts down on the amount of needles going into her tiny little body, and seemed to suit our lifestyle better.  It's a whole lot easier to get out the door when you don't have to make sure you grab a vial of insulin and needles on your way out!  And here comes the "but"....

Two years later, I'm not as sure about Lily being on the pump.  Yes, it's helpful.  Yes, it's more convenient.  Yes, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all the perks of the pump.  The portability, the ease, the access...it's all great.  But, I have doubts too.  In the middle of the night, when her blood sugars randomly spike, I wonder if the pump has caused her to have a low.  During the morning, when her blood sugars soar and then plummet, I wonder if the pump is doing what it's meant to do.  You see, for me, the pump made managing diabetes much easier.  It allowed me to go about my day without worrying so much about diabetes.  It offered a more carefree lifestyle.  For Lily, it's done the exact opposite.  It brings me more worries.  More considerations.  More conflictions.  When I hear in the news that a young child has passed due to diabetes, I wonder.  Part of me is very worried that some of these children may be hitting those tremendous growth spurts.  And on shots, maybe their bodies would have been able to handle them.  But because they're on a pump...well, you see where I'm going.  I'm not saying that's the case.  You can never know exactly the reasons why or how or what.  And my thoughts are just that...my thoughts.  But...I worry.  I worry about whether or not I've made the best choice for Lily.  I worry if the choice I made is going to cause her growth to be stunted because we're trying to control her too tightly.  I worry if she's going to eventually come to resent the pump and its limitations.  I occasionally worry that her activities will cause the pump to become an issue or that her pump will get in her way.  I worry that I was a bad mom for forcing the pump on her at such a young age.

So...for Joanne, this post is for you.  Only you can know exactly what fork in the road your family should go down.  Only you can decide what's best for your child.  Either way, pump or no pump, there is always going to be doubt and fear in your mind.  Because that's what we mommies do!  We doubt ourselves and fear that we're not doing what's best for our children.  And that is exactly the proof that shows that we are indeed doing what is in our children's best interests!  We put them ahead of our own thoughts and feelings and do what needs to be done.  Your family will make the choice that's right for beautiful girl.  And even when you do, you're still going to doubt it.  But just follow your gut and know that we're all here to cheer you on, no matter what choice you make!


  1. Wonderful insight Cindy. I can say...pumping has not interefered with Joe's activity. I actually think the basal tweaking that is allowable via pump has enabled him to do more than he would have been able to do on shots.

    I do think with the pump that there is MORE work. While "physically" it is easier, mentally it is more difficult...and there is more monitoring of blood sugars. My two cents. Love you.

  2. Thanks for this Cindy... your post has given me some things to think about. I have always said that I wouldn't put Elise on a pump until she is ready. She says she's ready, but there's a part of my brain that is screaming, "she's only 4!!!"

    We'll see... we can always go back if it's just not working.

    P.S. I too have issue commenting on people's posts from time to time. Drives me NUTS!!!

  3. thanks for this post. im a parent *considering* trying out a pump for my son. we've got private health so it wouldnt be an issue if we didnt get a hang of it and tossed it into a draw for awhile. i guess im torn because people say its so flexible and gives you such tight control. but it also seems quite frightening to me because its something 'new' and learning to control something new when your child has very limited vocabulary and communication skills (ie: to tell me he feels low for example) is anxiety producing.

  4. Pumping is hard work.

    My brain twists and turns and it's exhausting.

    For us, it's the right decision.

    But I'd be lying if I said there weren't times I wanted to take a pump break.

  5. Great insight Cindy! Thank you.

  6. true, true Cindy :) Great insight for all of us!

  7. I think the pump is far safer than MDI. Regarding overnight lows, we have a lower basal from 10 pm to 1:30am, slightly higher 1:30am thru 6am, than lower again. When she was younger, we had her lowest basal from 1:30am thru 7am. On Lantus she would be getting one flat dose. In our five plus years with D, she has never used a flat basal dose overnight. Pump allows you to reduce basals or even suspend or remove for an hour if she is dropping on the basal. So would have to disagree with the safety overnight capabilities of MDI. Once insulin is given, you cannot modify or take it back; you are stuck. If running higher, you need another shot, possibly waking your child. D is an ever moving target for children; MDI is a flat basal dose. It would not have worked for us during the growth spurts, puberty or variable exercise daily.