Advise needed, mom of 13 year old pumper

My son has been wearing the pump since he was 9.  We got the CGM 2 years ago.  Recently we have been having difficulties with the cathater tape turning loose and even the mastacol won't stick it back.  He is very active and sweats alot.  Football camp is next week and full practices begin the week after.  I don't know how to fix this.   My son is very frustrated as he HATES putting in the cathater and sensor, it's a battle every three days, and he is really wanting to go back to shots.  We did give that a try for a couple of weeks back in April as his pump died one morning.  I agreed to give him a trial run on the shots and things were great for the first week, but keeping the insulin at the right temp with his busy lifestyle was near impossible.  We had a few days with horrible numbers (I think due to insulin that may have gotten too hot) and went back to the pump.  He truly loved the freedom (no tubing, no attachments) but I'm afraid of what will happen to his A1C, plus I feel so much better when he has the CGM on to let him know if he is dropping.

Anyone who understands what he is going thru, please give me some advise.  I can only imagine what a pain that is but am thinking about long term health.  Even with the pump our A1C is between 7.5 and 7.9.

Maybe if anyone has suggestions on how to keep that cathater stuck!  That would ease a lot of frustration.

Hi CoMC's Mom,

The risk of the CGM coming out is exactly the reason why I don't use one. I play rugby and like football (probably more so than football) there is a lot of contact/sweating/people stomping on you, so it would not be possible to wear a CGM. I also have a pump. I disconnect it when I play for obvious reasons... I just constantly monitor my glucose when I'm playing. If it's during practice, I'll check once every 45 minutes or so to see if it's dropping or rising and correct as necessary. During games, it's a little tougher and I only get an opportunity to check at halftime, but I make it work. Also, sweat is definitely the universal solvent for infusion sites. I usually bring an extra site in case mine gets ripped out or if I just sweat it off. There's not really anything you can do about the sweating...people sweat :)

It all depends on what he's comfortable with. Please don't let diabetes get in the way of him enjoying sports. There are ways (other than what I've said) to successfully manage your numbers and still be active in contact sports.

Hope that helped


My son is 13 also and very active in sports -- for that reason he chooses to be MDI at this point.  SO  I have no help on keeping things stuck.   We have had to figure out keeping the insulin at the right temp - in the summer heat he does soccer ( we use ice packs) and in the winter he skis in up to -20 degree temps.  Insulin stays in the locker during practices and in the patrol office or timing shack during races. Most of the time for summer activities having a cooler for drinks is necessary anyway - so no big deal to have the insullin thrown in there.   I have alot of the ice pack things that rotate into his bag if there isn't a cooler and so far only one problem with the insulin going bad.  He has to test before going on the field - during half and after the game as well as again several hours after.  His last two A1Cs were 6.2 and 7.0 - so we were happy. He has had some pretty good lows - but also has been good about coming off the field and treating them.  For skiing there is a greater difference - pretty big swings due to adrenaline and the really cold weather seems to mess with his numbers a tad longer.

I guess I feel ...for my son anyway, that IF he keeps things under control it is up to him HOW he gets his insullin-- kind of personal preference whether he is MDI or pump.  By giving him the choice I think it fosters a bit more of the personal responsibility as well.   Hope everything works well and he has a great time at camp - and a winning season ahead!

I have seen so many discussions in which people are concerned about their insulin being damaged by heat. I have always avoided my insulin being in direct sunlight, but, other than that, I take no other precautions. Whe we take trips the insuin is in our luggage, but I have never used a Frio pak to keep it cool. In a motel overnight there is no cooling device. I have gone as long as a week without any cooling for my insulin. There has never been any problem, the insulin has always been good. I have done this for 64+ years and there has never been a problem.

I use a MM 522 pump and a Dexcom CGM. After 4 days of showers the tapes will start to come loose. I use strips of Transpore tape by 3M. There are other brands that are just as good at the drugstores. The tape is hyperallergenic, but it still causes me to have red spots and itching. I use Skin-Prep to avoid that. I rub that on the area to be taped, let it dry, and then apply the tape around the pump site and the sensor. No more redness and itching. I think that should also work for people during sports activities. I'm not sure though.


We use the skip prep.  Like Richard said, it is worth a try to use different tapes.  Maybe if he disconnects during practices and games, things will be easier.  He can even try bolusing for the missed basal before he disconnects.  I heard some pretty good things about the Frio packs to keep his insuin, or pump cool.  Good luck!  I wish I could be of more help!

I would help him make the choice by talking with him to list the pros and cons (for each of you). Does he want to be responsible for keeping his insulin in a cooler while at practice, etc. so he can go back on MDI, or does he want to deal with the hassles he perceives with the pump? He will feel crappy and not perform as well if he has bad numbers.

Re: his trial on MDI. If you only had a few days with horrible numbers - did you let him try shots with a new vial of insulin before going back on the pump and they got better? Was his basal figured out correctly for that trial?

I would talk with your endo about his A1C at this age and with his activities. What should his target be?

Finally have you tried the Tegaderm or other larger patches (I'm not familiar with mastacol) to help keep the site on? I have been really pleased with how this has helped keep a site on my son that was coming off after 1 day stick for the remaining 2.  

Good luck.