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[IP] When is a teen "allowed" to pump?

    Ah - my favorite conundrum: must a teenager establish good control before 
being "allowed" to go on a pump? I hear this prerequisite all the time, and 
have definite reservations about its effectiveness. IF the reason the teen 
isn't achieving good control is attributable to the frustration of only ever 
seeing lousy bgs due to the vagaries of life's schedules, hormones, stress, 
the emotional roller-coaster of being a teen, then is this a fair demand??? I 
consider it tantamount to screaming at a teen who's failing a course to "try 
harder", when all they're ever seeing are corrected papers covered with red 
   Aside from my diabetes advocacy, I also still tutor high school students 
in French. One of the first things I do is find the teens' strong points, 
explain why they're struggling & then proceed from there, encouraging them to 
believe that they CAN do better with a different approach that works for 
THEM! I feel comparably about pump therapy. Remembering the frustration 
Melissa was experiencing when she'd come home from school at age 12 or 13 & 
discover a bg in the 300s, and then be advised to sit there & much on celery 
stalks while her sister ate Ben & Jerry's out of the carton....makes my skin 
crawl nowadays. If pump therapy were properly presented as a means to an end- 
i.e. do MORE initially so that you'll be able to do LESS later on ( meaning 
less frustration, less feeling excluded from whatever your friends are doing, 
less struggling to fit a rigid schedule into an adolescent existence, etc), 
then perhaps these kids WOULD be more willing to "get with the program".
    If, conversely, they're constantly being told you're still not "good 
enough" to "graduate" to pump therapy, then where's the motivation? To my way 
of thinking, the key is still a "team approach" between the child and a 
parent. Be there to encourage, to support, to advise & then slowly back off 
when the "fledgling" is ready to fly out of the proverbial nest. Melissa was 
filling her reservoir at 8:10 this morning ( school starts at 8:30)- I said 
nothing & when hubby commented afterwards, I told him that our "partnership" 
will soon be dissolved when she leaves for college in August & that SHE is 
now capable of making the decisions that she and I used to make together. I 
nudge her still with gentle reminders & usually I'll get an "I KNOW Mom" 
     My #1 goal ever since Melissa was dx'd has been to instill in her the 
best "mix" of knowledge, empowerment, confidence, etc. so that she WOULD be 
able to "fly off" into the world handling her diabetes responsible, 
realistically & maturely. I would hope that every teenager who has to live 
with this chronic condition could do likewise & denying them the best "tools 
fo the trade" until they've passed that proverbial "A1C test" is 
short-sighted at best & counterproductive at worst.
    Ok - off the soapbox...see Barb isn't the only one who likes to rant! LOL
Regards, Renee (Melissa's pump-mom & increasingly "silent" partner!)
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