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[IP] Re: What motivates and parental involvement

I think that Michael's complication statistics are a tremendous motivator
to parents of children with diabetes.  As I participate in Lauren's care, I
rarely lose sight of the complications that I am diligently trying to
prevent.  If, by misfortune, Lauren suffers some complications, well we did
the best we could.  

Lauren on the other hand, likes the pump for different reasons, she likes
the flexilility, and feeling good and no shots!  At some level, she
understands about complications, but it is not her day-to-day motivator.

I decided early on that Lauren would get as much support from me as she
needed.... it seems contrary to popular opinion where kids are expected to
care for their diabetes at an early age, i.e., draw and give their own
shots and perform all blood tests.  Yes, I still do alot of this for
Lauren, prepare the infusion, insert it, figure basals, help put the stuff
together for the blood test.  Of course, Lauren can do all of this but I am
trying to share her burden and I hope she never has to feel alone on

I reaffirmed my commitment to doing this for Lauren when a very good friend
became (type 2) insulin dependent.  She is incredibly responsible, put
herself thru law school, raised two children as a single parent.  After
months of high blood sugars she needed to learn to give herself shots and
test 4x a day.  After several weeks of shots and blood tests, she said to
me, "I wish I had a mommy who would come and take care of me..... draw my
shot, test my blood, help me count carbs....."  She was very tired and
frustrated.  Yet, this was a grown intelligent responsible woman.  It was
then I realized that to ask a child to manage their diabetes by themselves
was almost cruel.... And the adage that if they don't do it now, they won't
do it later.... is simply false.

If a child doesn't take 24 hour responsibility for an infant when they are
11 years old does that mean they won't be able to do it as an adult?  Of
course not, an infant is too much responsibility for an 11 year old and so
is diabetes.  So the docs argument that the pump is too much responsibility
for a child are right..... but the parents should be responsible, not the
child.  If there is no responsible caregiver, then the pump is nearly an
impossible undertaking for a child under 18.

Diane Massey


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