Finally considering a pump!


My son Joe is 11 and was dx March of 2010, up until yesterday he would not even talk about a pump, but he is starting to come around and reconsider. So I am trying to gather some information as to what one works best and what are the pros and cons? He is a very active 11 yr, plays soccer, basketball and likes to swim. Any advise you could give would be great.




It took me 25 years to warm up to the idea of using a pump, so Joe is quick compared to me.

I was worried about being attached to something but it wasn't as weird as I expected.  And it felt like magic to have better blood sugars and rarely have a low.

Each has pros and cons and I'd recommend getting in contact with the manufactureres to get demos to see what your son likes best.  The OmniPod will even send you a free pod to try.  Also check with your insurance to see what they'll cover.  Even with insurance pumps and supplies are expensive.

Most people use one of these:

OmniPod - tubeless, but you also can't remove it easily.  I like to disconnect when swimming.

Medtronic Minimed - has a tube, most widely used and has been around the longest

One Touch Ping - has a remote with a food index to help you look up carbs

They don't offer demos, but I'm trying my best to get a new pump that just got FDA approval and started distributing in August.  The tSlim looks more like an iPhone and is charged, instead of having batteries.  Because it's newer than the others it may not be a good choice for a first pump.  But I'm looking forward to getting one as soon as my insurance authorizes their distribution company.  Pumps typically have a lifespan of 5 years or less, so you can always switch when the original needs to be replaced.  

For you, I'd recommend getting the book "Pumping Insulin" by John Walsh.  It may be too academic for an 11 year old, but will give you a good overview of what to expect and may help you and your son figure out if this is the right time for a pump.  


 My son is 9 and after he went to camp this summer he was steadfast on talking to his dr at the next appointment to let them know he was interested in the pump.  So we went a couple of weeks ago and our dr office referred us to Medtronic and the representative met us the next week to let us try one of there pumps for a few days.  As soon as she put it on him he said yes he was definately interested.  They contacted his insurance company and he will have his pump in the next few weeks.  We are excited because he has been doing the shots for almost 3 years and he is so ready for an alternative.  And he is very active loves to be outdoors playing ball all the time.  I would say talk to your dr about it sure they   could help give you some advice.  Good Luck.

Hi Angel

our 9 year-old  fits your description pretty well.  *Very* athletic and active. He started using the minimed almost 2 years ago. At the time our DNE had stopped recommending the ominpod due to reliability issues. We were probably not going to use it anyway as the idea of having a remote that would be catastrophic to lose was a showstopper. We did struggle a ton in the beginning with the minimed because the infusion set we were using (the mio) would fail completely at random times and his blood sugars would skyrocket. In retrospect we think this is due to his physique - he's small and thin and just doesn't have much fat on his body. It was pretty awful. We'd test him before bedtime and he would be 400, and we'd have to change him, give him a huge correction and wait 1.5-2 hours to see if he came down. Eventually we switched to the SureT, which is the set that has a needle that stays in, and it was night and day. It would reliably work for at least a day and a half, although it does seem to lose effectiveness around 2 days pretty consistently (and all of a sudden).

That said, once we sorted the problems with his infusion sets out having the pump has been liberating for him. He got back much of the freedom he lost after diagnosis, and no longer has to decide whether the bowl of goldfish he wants is worth getting a shot. It also has allowed him to go over to friends' houses as we can bolus him over the phone. We don't take it off him much, just when he swims and during soccer games (but not practices). Then we have to be careful to prebolus him for his missed basal.

In general the pump has been great, but the downside is that it is a piece of technology that does fail, and when it does you have to be ready. We always take a spare infusion set and insulin with us when we are going to be more than 30 min from the house (at least in theory).

take care and good luck!