Getting an insulin pump – Amy’s epiphany

At Amy’s last diabetes clinic appointment (15th March 2013) she went from never wanting a pump to wanting one immediately.
Here’s what changed her mind.

Seeing the pump – mind changer #1

Amy had never seen a pump, neither had we. No-one we’d met was on a pump, all the kids in her school with type 1 diabetes were on MDI (multiple daily injections) as were all the kids we’d met through the hospital.
The pump was so small, so much smaller than we’d thought, but the best part was that the one we were shown was the Accu-chek Combo which uses the same meter (Accu-chek Aviva Expert) that Amy already uses.
I saw the change in Amy’s expression as the questions started to build in her mind.
“So how do you tell it how much insulin to give?”
The DSN explained that the meter calculates the amount of insulin to give.
Yeah, yeah, we know that, we’ve been using it for a while.
“But how does the pump know?” Amy asked.
The DSN explained that after confirming the dose the meter tells the pump via a Bluetooth signal and nothing on the pump needs to be touched.
“Wow” said Amy.
“Bluetooth?” I beamed – once a geek always a geek.

Seeing the cannula – mind changer #2

The DSN asked Amy if she’d like to see the cannula, which luckily was a plastic one. She did, she was amazed, it was small, it was flexible, it was thin.
“You can touch the cannula if you like Amy” said the DSN.
She did. She didn’t faint. She smiled.
“Wow it’s flexible and so small”.
Then the questions started to flow and I knew she was won over to the idea of a pump. This for me was a small victory as now she’s seen a pump and knows about MDI she can make up her own mind whether she’d like to try and get one.

Happiness shared with the #DOC

After coming back from clinic I felt elated: Amy hadn’t fainted, she’d learned stuff about pumps and we could now start discussing the pro’s and con’s about pumps and MDI.
I couldn’t help but tweet about it:
Amy's hbA1c down 0.3 to 8.0. Better still, we had a pump demo/chat & she didn't keel over
Other parents of children with type 1 diabetes offered congratulations:
congratulations message from the #DOC

The quote which really helped – mind changer #3

I spent the next 30 minutes on Twitter chatting with other parents and type 1 adults who were already using an insulin pump.
Here’s one conversation between a pump user and a parent I had:Quote from pump user: infusion sets hurt no more than a needle
Amy was near me so I read out the quote about the infusion set to her and carried on tweeting – okay, I’m addicted, I know 🙂
It was 5:44pm.

50 minutes of brain whirring later

Amy went off, did some stuff, walked back into the room fifty minutes later and stunned me with something she said, which of course I told the #DOC straight away:

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2 Responses to Getting an insulin pump – Amy’s epiphany

  1. Exciting!

    I’d only add that I remember switching from injections to a pump took a bit of time to get adjusted. It can feel that management gets worse until you and her care team get everything adjusted. Be patient, it’s totally worth it.

    • kev says:

      Thanks Scott, I don’t expect getting the pump and using it to be an easy ride, it sounds like there’s a lot of two-hourly bg tests to do for a while.
      It’s not a given that she’ll even be eligible for a pump but I’m very encouraged by the communication with the hospital I’ve had so far.
      Next we’ve got to start looking at pumps and which one’s the right choice and that seems quite confusing too.

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