[Previous Months][Date Index][Thread Index][Join - Register][Login]
[Message Prev][Message Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Re: [IP] Starting to pump

Hi Robin!
I first got a pump at the age of 15 about 17 years ago.  In those days, they said I got the "newbie" pumps (pumps had already been around for a while but they had only just gotten down to the size of a walkman) and they put you in the hospital for a whole week.  Nowadays that is rare and it might help to know a little about why.  Most insurance companies don't cover hopitalization anyway although some ppo plans will let you pay 20% of the cost of the hospital stay.

There are some advantages to being in the hospital.  For one thing you, your son and the rest of the family (whoever is involved) will devote all your waking hours for a week to learning about using the pump and dealing with the insurance company on the phone (that will be a grown up task since kids thankfully get out of that one).   All the ordinary life distractions will go away and well meaning extended family or friends can easily and tactfully be sent off when they get distracting.

There are two major disadvantages:
1).  Hospital workers -- ie nurses, doctors (the ones at the hospital, not yours) etc are not usually educated about pumps and when they are, they usually only learn the start up which you can master in a few hours and will just need to practice.  (The way you originally learned to give those shots in the oranges).  Hospitals can be risky places for type 1 diabetics since treatment decisions are made by formulas and the formulas are mostly based on either old or type II treatments.  Target bg ranges are usually very high -- sometimes as high as the 150s or 200s -- and they don't manage bgs the way pumpers do.   You may find yourself teaching lots of residents and nurses about the pump as you learn -- which can be great fun.  But doesn't have much to do with learning how to use a pump in real life.

2).  For the rest of his pumping life, your son will need to periodically readjust basal and bolus rates and recalibrate his exercise and food measurements.  The adjustments made at the hospital will need to be redone for school and probably again for things like summer vacation.  They will need to be redone for growth spurts or significant activity or life style changes.  After you get home from the hospital, you will need to spend some time (maybe a week) redoing what you did there.  In addition, you will have to shift from very simple, precalculated hospital food to real life food.  The hospital will give you a practice round and that may be reassuring.  It's just unfair to you for you to expect that they will set the rates and it will all be done.  Good pumping never really finishes.  It is flexible, liberating, and an ongoing job.  To understand the process of setting basal and bolus rates (which you and he will need to learn), you can check our Michael's great resources on the Insulin Pumpers Page and/or John Walsh's Pumping Insulin.   There are lots of people around here too with lots of problem solving experience so you can share you trouble spots as you get those rates worked out.

Good luck and congratulations!

email @ redacted wrote:

We are in the early process of looking into the pump. I know our Doc has
hooked up peds kids before and our insurance will cover it. Do most kids get
admitted before getting pumped? Or is it very individual according to
insurance and Doc? We have TRIGON Blue Cross/Blue Shield. If I had a
preference, I would chose for my son to be admitted for peace of mind. Just
thinking ahead, so that if it is in the near future, we could pick a long
school break to do it in.

Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/