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Re: [IP] When to Start a child on pump



This topic comes up periodically and I'm afraid I feel compelled to offer a less enthusiastic reply.  I spent my teenage years on the pump and have had one for 17 years now.  If parents want to put small children on pumps that CAN be terrific but it is really crucial they think about some long term things:

    It never ever ever goes away.  After about 5 years, I ocassionally could have stood a night or two off.  By the time I was in my mid 20s I could no longer imagine myself unconnected and this made social life pretty tough for a while.  Would have been easier if there had been lots of help:  emotional support, parental support etc around.  Of the 3 women in my dorm in all college with diabetes all of us were completely on our own as far as health care
went.  In other words, if you start a pump at 5 or 10 or 12 for your child be prepared to provide emotional support for many many years. I have the sense that grown ups diagnosed with diabetes, even after 10 or 20 years, have a picture of themselves as an individual, independant of diabetes.  I know that it is so hard to remember not being diabetic that I cannot separate myself from the diabetes as much as may sometimes fight to do so.  Having a maching
attached to that imagine can at various points pose some interesting issues.   It doesn't go away and while the mechanics do get easier, other issues pop up along the way.

    Cost:  Few americans in their late teens, twenties and thirties have health insurance.  While all diabetics really need health insurance, pump supplies are out of reach on most salaries.  On top of which, fewer insurance policies cover pump supplies.  If you have coverage now you will also need to plan ahead.  I have known several pumpers who gave up graduate school or careers they loved to work in office jobs they hated simply for the insurace
policy.  In the next few years this problem may get easier to handle but currently it is quite difficult.   A child who started on a pump at 6 0r 9 or 13 is not going to remember at age 17, 18, 21, 24 etc what a great difference this is from shots so the gratitude may not be outweighed by the frustration of practical insurance concerns and life choices.  Again, its a great path, but if you choose it, you need to think long term.  Can you provide financial
help or adequate medical coverage?

    A pump is a lot more work.  It provides better control and more flexibility.  It does not make life easier although it does make it nicer and makes it easier not to impose on others.

    These are not meant to be reasons not to pump -- only things to consider.


Kasey Sikes wrote:

> I agree that the school environment definitely needs to be considered.
> We were on the verge of home-schooling Kayla because the public schools
> here suck, and none of the private schools wanted to give her lunch
> bolus.  Kayla could give it, she just can't calculate it yet (she's only
> 5).  Then we found a school where the headmaster is diabetic.  They have
> no problem with Kayla being in the school and doing whatever it takes to
> help her/us out.
>
> As far as when to start a child on the pump, it takes a big time
> committment from parents when the child is young and the parent has to
> do all the work.  We started Kayla on the pump because of all the
> problems she was having that MDI couldn't correct.  If she had been
> doing well on MDI we would have waited a few years.
>
> Kasey
>
> Frank W. Tegethoff, jr. wrote:
> >
> > Hi Andrew & Marie,
> > First I have no personal experience with kids, but.  It seems to me that If a child is able to understand and perform self management, they would be a good candidate for the pump.  I do not mean they have to be able to 'do it all'  but simple math skills should be there,as well as the ability to know when something is wrong.  I only say this as I am thinking of 'school' enviroment.  Any Parents out there I sure would like your opinion and experience.
> > Thanks and Take care,
> > Frank
> >
> > ----------
> > > A couple who are friends of mine have asked me to pass on this question
> > > to parents of children on pumps:  When is the best time for children to
> > > start on the pump?  Their child, named Michelle, is 6 years old, and was
> > > diagnosed two years ago.  They struggle a lot with maintaining
> > > reasonable blood sugars and have seen the success that I and their niece
> > > who wears a pump have had.  The advice they have been given is "Wait
> > > until the child is 15 and begging for it."  Do others agree/disagree?
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