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[IP] A Test For Pumpers To Be or Parents of Pumpers To Be?

 Hi everyone,

LOL...Ellen, you said I should rant more often, so here I go....<VBG>
Please remember this is my viewpoint only, but I have it for a reason and
I wanted to share.....aren't you all so lucky? <VBG>

Erica and I were at a parent support group meeting the other night at the
local children's hospital, and for the first time the topic was pumping. 
Erica (who is 12 and pumping 20 months) and I were inundated with
questions and concerns.  It was so great to educate these parents.  There
were new pumpers there, and hopeful pumpers to be.

One thing I did find out was that the clinic was not informing people
about fasting basals, something that I find is SO IMPORTANT!.  I have
since given them some information on how to do it, and some links for
them to follow (we have a very proactive and willing to learn clinic)


I might get slammed for this, but I found out that so many of them were
misinformed, or didn't even know how much they SHOULD find out.  That
meant that there were pumpers out there who are not getting out of
pumping what they should.  Our medical professionals are very supportive,
and although they are available to us 24 hours a day, they are not in our
home and can't be expected to know everything about us.  Meeting with
them every 3 months is not enough.  When Erica started pumping it was
because I was insistent, and educated, and they were willing to let us
try.  Now they are proactive in pumping because of the good results they

BUT...I think they would be seeing FANTASTIC results if the people they
were putting on the pump were given a test!  I was so shocked to find out
that one of the pumper parents at the meeting was having a very hard time
with highs and lows and they had never done a fasting basal and didn't
know what it was.  They still *liked* the pump, but they weren't in the
*pump love* phase we have been in for 20 months.  A little education
would put them there.

I know the thought of a test, no matter how simple, always sent me
scurrying for the books.  Our clinic has a copy of Pumping Insulin and
loans it out but you can't make people read it.  I think they should BE
REQUIRED to read it from front to back before their child is hooked up,
and then take a simple test.   Its purpose would be to show them where
their strength and weaknesses were.

  *  describe a basal

  *  describe a bolus

  *  what is a fasting basal

  *  how do you set and test a carb bolus ratio

  *  do you understand the different types of infusion sets available

  *  do you know how to carb count

  *  how to treat a high - insulin requirements based on BG

  *  how to treat a low - try not to overtreat, a common mistake in the

  *  maintaining your pump

  *  where to insert - a lot of people think only the tummy is acceptable

  *  etc

  *  etc

I also think that at a hospital such as ours, which is now putting
pumpers on in groups of 5, a buddy system would be a wonderful idea. New
pumpers could be teamed up with successful educated pumpers to support
them through the first month and share information with them.  The key is
to help these people educate THEMSELVES!  Supporting these parents, or
adult pumpers, is the best thing we can do.  No, we do not know all the
answers and yes everybody falls into the YMMV thingy, but at least we can
share our experiences, and lead them to a place to better prepare
By 'we' I mean pumpers and medical professionals.

I have read too many postings to count, from people who said they were so
fortunate to have found this site and as a result were now pumping
successfully.  People are putting their children on pumps as a direct
result of our experiences with Erica, and I feel a sense of
responsibility to make sure these people know what they are doing so they
can enjoy the same success we have.  I have passed out the IP address to
more people than I can count, and recommended the Pumping Insulin book to
everybody.  I hope they too will be making postings soon.  You can lead a
horse to water, but you can't make them drink, so I hope they do use the
information supplied to them.

We have to take a test to drive a car, yet a parent can put a child on
the pump without being asked some simple questions that will make their
life easier and  improve the physical and emotional well being of their
child! I am not laying blame on the medical professionals or the parents,
I am just recognizing something that I see as a potential problem.   I
would really love to come up with a little 'test' for  pumper wannabes. 
It doesn't have to be graded...it is just for awareness.
The purpose of a simple test would be to enlighten them as to where they
need more information.  I know a lot of parents would appreciate a little
input here.  From MDI to pumping is quite a change..for the good.  It can
be a truly life altering experience.

I hope I haven't ruffled too many feathers <g>  I just HATE seeing people
struggle and getting frustrated when a little information would have
prevented it.   Months of struggling with wildly swinging sugars stopped
by basal fasting for example.  Such a simple answer for what can be such
an overwhelming problem.  But, they didn't know about it.  Sigh...

I would love to hear of any clinics/endos out there that might be doing
something similar to what I have suggested.

signing off...
Barb....Erica's co-pilot :)
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