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Re: [IP] Pump training time (was...pump Mom)

    When Melissa decided to get the insulin pump in January of 1996, the MM 
rep did all the "groundwork", including contacting our insurance company & 
VOILA, the pump package arrived within a few months - a full month prior to 
our scheduled training at the local Children's Hospital. Melissa (who'd just 
turned 13) watched the video twice, played with the buttons, and that pretty 
much accounted for our "pre-pump training"!
   March 15th - yep, the Ides of March - we arrived at the hospital, met in 
an exam room with the pump-wearing trainer who worked for MM as a rep., and 
Melissa's ped. endo. When the trainer asked the endo for Melissa's 
basal/bolus rates, the endo looked at her blankly & excused herself from the 
room....Hmmmmm....Should I mention that no one bothered to tell us this endo 
had never had a pump patient before?????
   Anyway,  Melissa grasped the mechanics so quickly that the rep. joked that 
she could go home early! As is, we were out of there within 2 hours & 
downstairs eating lunch at McDonald's, doing a crash course in carb counting 
( which she hadn't really been doing at all prior to then, if I remember 
correctly) & basically "winging it"!
   Luckily, the pump supplies had come from Home Medical in Florida, where it 
seemed as if everyone hired there was a pumper~!! Thanks to their help & my 
frequent phone calls, we survived that first weekend....
   Within 3 months, I'd decided we were not getting the input & knowledge 
about pumping that we needed, so we left the hospital, switched to an adult 
diabetologist & also began seeing a local CDE, Gary Scheiner (aka "Gary 
Guru") with whom Melissa STILL has a working relationship (including having 
started a local Teens in Control support group). I also purchased "Pumping 
Insulin" and felt like I'd been handed the "operator's manual" that SHOULD 
HAVE been packaged with the pump!!! ( and yes, I DID call MM and tell them 
precisely that!!!) All that we know today about pump therapy is attributable 
to Gary and to my cyber-activism, especially with the IP group and the 
Childrenwith diabetes website. In fact, the other evening at the Xmas party 
where you & I met ( and by the way Ip-ers, Barb is as delightful in person as 
she is on-line!!!), someone asked me how I'd gained so much knowledge and I 
replied "on the job training!!!"
   So, if I were to use a 1 to 10 scale for how well-trained we were for 
instituting pump therapy, our personal story would probably rate a minus 
one!!!!  Sadly, having recently spoken to a few parents whose children have 
started on pumps at the same hospital, I haven't detected a dramatic 
improvement in the procedures!
    My conclusion: we just all have to become card-carrying members of 
Natalie's DUES (diabetes education underground system) club!!

Regards, Renee (pump-mom)
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