My son was just diagnosed two weeks ago with Type 1. He is a very active 10 year old. Any helpful tips would be wonderful! His doctors are talking with him about the pump..... any good/ bad thoughts on that?
Personally, after only 2 weeks, I think it would be too early for a pump. I think it's important to understand how to treat diabetes using shots and to feel comfortable with it before moving to a pump. Should something happen to a pump and it stops working, you have to temporarily go back to shots until you receive a replacement. I was on shots for 10 years before I went to a pump and now I've been pumping for almost 11 years. He still has a lot to learn and understand about diabetes itself. I would be wary about making too many changes at once.
Out of convenience, I do absolutely love the pump. I don't like having to carry a bunch of supplies around with me, so having the pump in my pocket and my meter in my purse is perfect for me (now if only I could have a meter and a pump integrated together...) :o) I also like the freedom of choosing when I want to eat and what I want to eat. If I'm not very hungry, I don't have to eat an entire meal because I can adjust my insulin appropriately (you can also mimic this with shots too - but I don't like the multiple stabs every day).
Good luck to you and your son, and welcome to Juvenation! This is a community of people who are willing to share their experiences and help you through the rough times. :o) I'm glad you have found us.
My ten-year old daughter was diagnosed about 5 months ago. She's very active as well, and her diabetes hasn't slowed her down a bit. It's really all about getting organized so whenever you go somewhere you are sure to have whatever you need to treat a low, treat a high, or allow the kid to eat if he's hungry. Sarah carries a small purse (maybe a small backpack or runners pack for your son?) with her test kit, insulin, needles, handwipes, and a small can of apple juice. If she's somewhere without me she also carries a cell phone. Just to be safe, I bought an extra one-touch mini (about $12 I think), and I keep it along with another can of apple juice in my own purse, just in case.
Really, once we figured out how to treat her, things have been relatively smooth sailing. For us it was getting comfortable with what the insulin does to her body. As I said, she's really active, so we learned to adjust her lantus (the long-acting, nighttime insulin) based on her next day activities. We found that on her most active days, she was constantly going low, so the night before, we dial down the dose a bit.
Anyway, this is a great place to get/share information and learn from folks with a lot more experience than we have. Let me know if you have any questions.
I agree with both C and Michelle. My son Jon is now 10, and was diagnosed two years ago with type 1. He got a pump, perhaps after the first year, or a little less. We were told it was really important to learn how to do the shots, and spend months doing it. While it was a hassle compared to the pump, we really learned a lot. We can go anyplace - and when we go to a place far from home - such as if we're hiking and camping, we most definitely bring syringes and insulin. I know that if there are any problems with the pump, I can take of my son. In fact, with some guidance, he'd be able to take care of himself!
I can remember going to a New England Patriots football game a couple of years ago in the winter. We had seats to the indoor club section, which for us, meant that we watched the game inside, but could then go inside at halftime, get food, warm up, etc. Jon wanted to get an ice cream sundae, to which my response was "No problem, as long as you're willing to take a shot." There we sat, on the floor, with throngs of people walking by us, Jon with his shirt rolled up, and me leaning over him giving him an injection of insulin. And then he got his sundae!
You'll have to think about what type of pump you want. They must all have advantages and disadvantages. Jon uses an OmniPod by Insulet. He wears a "pod" on his body that needs to be changed every three days. The pod has an insulin reservoir and is controlled by a separate device about the size of a cell phone. To my knowledge, this is the only pump that does not use a tube to connect it to the controller. The pod has a catheter that is shot into him when we change the pod. The catheter, which stays in his body, is about as thick as dental floss! Sometimes it really hurts when the catheter is injected, and other times, Jon feels no pain. I personally think that this is the best pump out there, but I'm sure others have their own opinions.
There are rapid changes in diabetes management technology. Read about the artificial pancreas project. I'm incredibly excited about this for my son. While it's not a cure, it will certainly make diabetes management much easier and more seamless.
You're at the right place to ask questions like this. If you don't see many responses, my guess is because a lot of people agree with C and Michelle.
By the way - Jon caries his "stuff" in a gaming case we bought at Game Stop. It looks more like he's carrying around a PSP type device, which makes him feel more comfortable. We have his name written in silver marker along with our phone number. The case is clearly marked "Diabetes Supplies" on the outside. He's lost it more than once, and thank goodness, we've gotten a call right away.
Good luck. Things will get easier over time!
[quote user="Brad H"]
Jon wanted to get an ice cream sundae, to which my response was "No problem, as long as you're willing to take a shot." There we sat, on the floor, with throngs of people walking by us, Jon with his shirt rolled up, and me leaning over him giving him an injection of insulin. And then he got his sundae!
This is exactly how we handle Sarah. As long as she's willing to take a shot (which she always is, and doesn't flinch in the slightest), she can generally have whatever she wants. I do try to make sure any treats are at least a couple of hours before bedtime so we know what her real number is before bed, but otherwise, she doesn't miss out.
Sarah should be getting a pump within the next couple of months. Unfortunately, Kaiser doesn't carry the Omnipod, so it looks like we're going with the animus. She's very excited about getting a pump. I agree with you and C that it's important to wait for a pump for at least a few months, not only so you are familiar with determining doses and administering insulin, but also because it's important with a pump to really understand how to count carbs as accurately as possible, as the pump will rely on you to accurately enter your carbs to administer the appropriate amount of insulin.
I have joined ten or more diabetes support groups and I have seen many discussions in which even adult diabetics were advised to become very familiar with injections, before starting an insulin pump. It is necessary to know about basal and bouus insulins, carb counting, insulin:carb ratios, insulin sensitivities, etc. If you are learning all that at the same time you are learning to operate the pump, it can be overwhelming! Learning as much as possible before pumping makes things go much more smoothly. Since your child is 10, it will be you who must learn this information. I recommend your seeing a CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator). The CDE who helped me prior to pumping and trained me for my pump, works in the diabetes education center in a hospital. You might find a CDE at your hospital.
I recommend the book "Using Insulin" by John Walsh. That would be for people using injections. Walsh has also written "Pumping Insulin" for people who pump. I bought my book on amazon.com.
Good luck to you and your son!
You all are giving me great information.. Thank you so much! We have learned so much already and I know we have a long way to go. We count carbs at every meal/ snack/ bedtime, etc... Quite the eye opener!
I appreciate all the helpful advice and information. This is all still a learning experience!
I agree with everyone above my daughter 9 was dxed almost 8 months ago. I suggest waiting at least 6 months before even reading about pumps. Then around the one year mark if poth child and parent are comfortable with it go for it. My daughter wants nothing to do with one so for now its a no go here.