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Re: [IP] thinking about quitting the pump (long)

>I need some help here.  My 14 year old daughter started the pump a year ago
>last December.  Since then her #'s have never been better.  Tonight she
>that she is thinking about going back to shots because she is dreading this
>summer and how hard it is to find clothes that work with the pump.  I told
>her that I would support whatever she wanted to do but that she would be
>giving up a lot of freedom and she said at least she would be able to wear
>whatever she wanted to.  She is so self conscious about the pump and
>want anyone to see it.  Not that her friends don't know and aren't
>but because she hates it when people that don't know ask her what it is?  I
>know that if she went back to shots she would not be happy but what can I
>to make her happier with the pump and to not be so self consious?  Any
>fashion tips?
>Anne (mom of 14 year old pumper since 12/98)


Depending on her build & dressing style in the summer, she might want to try
the "unpad one side of the bra" idea posted here a few months back...by
Linda, maybe?  I am not exactly well-endowed (what I think they call "almost
A"  <g> ), so I hadn't paid much attention at first to suggestions of
wearing it in the bra, assuming that anything I added there was sure to show
& look a little odd.  I performed last week in an Eagle Scout ceremony for
one of my former high school students, however, & picked out a dress that
really gave me very few options...form-fitting, no pockets, slim straight
lines - not exactly pump-compatible!  I got out a bra with the removable
pads, pulled one out to make pump space & added a little batting in to
softer the shape, & it worked perfectly!  I was so happy with the results
that I'm already looking at adapting some more bras for skimpy summer
styles...adding a snap or bit of velcro for added security.  The thing that
was funny is that it kind of worried those around me because they COULDN'T
find my pump...I didn't realize that they LIKE the security of seeing it &
knowing it's there!  :)  (Incidentally, most of these were high school
people, ages 15-18.)

If she is the "braless type" (I often am, especially when summertime rolls
around), depending on how much of a conformist she is, she might want to get
a funky-looking bag to hang at her waist that it could live in, if she
doesn't do a lot of "pocket clothes."  There are also a lot of very in-style
options as far as the tiny purse-bags that have sort of big zipper-pull-type
hooks on them (the ones a lot of kids hang on their bookbags) that could
hold a pump & be hooked into a beltloop.

I know that, at her age, it is not easy at all to be seen as different.  At
the same time, has she enjoyed the freedom from a set meal schedule & having
to do shots (THERE'S an item that differentiates you from the crowd), & the
high/low effects many of us have had?  She may be forgetting how all of that
feels & figures into your daily life, since she's been away from it,
especially if her numbers have been good.  This may sound harsh, but you
can't have it both ways...& that's a lesson that many of us haven't quite
learned as adults, let alone in our teenage years!  If she does opt to go
back to shots, I would insist that she rigorously follows whatever routine
is necessary to maintain her blood sugars as well as they are on the
pump...she may find it a little tougher than she remembers.  You also might
consider setting it up as a time-frame thing...say, do it for 4 weeks &
compare all the details (numbers, high/hypo episodes, how well she manages
the "you must eat at 5:00" drill, etc.) & preset how well things have to
demonstrate going in order for her to continue for another 4 weeks.  Like I
said, it may sound harsh, but everything comes at a price, & at 14 we don't
tend to look at the cost as much as the convenience.  Most kids feel pretty
invincible until they get a major wake-up call.  If your school system
requires community service (most in our area do), you might see if there are
any options as far as working with/helping out people who suffer serious
complications of diabetes - those kinds of things are much more real when
you are actually seeing them close up, & it hits home that "this could be
me."  I know that, for me, one of the most frightening aspects is eye
damage...& I didn't realize that until I was working with a high school girl
who was legally blind.  We also did the play "The Miracle Worker" & quite a
few of my students spent initial rehearsals blindfolded, to try to grasp
what sightlessness is like...talk about motivation to do "whatever it takes"
to keep your BG's in line!

I may get bashed for some of this, as far as the fact that, yes, I AM
suggesting scare tactics.  But you know what?  If it came down to
demonstrating to someone I love something they wouldn't see for themself,
that could help them live a longer, healthier life, I would do it in a
heartbeat...& have, in my mom's case!  As a teacher who's spent ten years in
the middle school/high school trenches, I know that when a teenager has her
mind set on something, you've really got your work cut out for you as far as
offering guidance that won't be rejected because "you just don't
understand!"  This list may provide you with some creative options that will
appeal to her...here's hoping!  Hang in there, & yell for help & support
whenever you need it!


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