How is the type 1 diabetes journey – from diagnosis, through starting on multiple daily injections, to beginning on an insulin pump and other milestones – viewed and managed from the caregiver perspective? Join D-Mom Leighann Calentine in this 6-part series as she discusses her experiences navigating the diabetes journey as a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes.
After making the decision to make the change from multiple daily injections (MDI) to an insulin pump, we next had to choose which pump we felt was best for our child. Staff at the endocrinology practice told us they don’t recommend particular pumps and that we needed to look at all of the pumps options on the market to determine which one we thought would be best for us.
Researching Insulin Pump Options
I began my research by requesting information from all of the pump manufacturers. Since the majority of insulin pumps are traditional pumps (as opposed to “patch” pumps like the Omnipod), I began thinking about clothing options for our daughter if she were to use a pump with tubing. She would need clothes with a pocket to hold the pump or she would need to wear a fanny pack. We might have to create holes in clothes through which to snake the tubing. I thought about dresses and how her pump would have to be…somewhere. And what about during the night? Wouldn’t she get tangled in the tubing? Oh, and I saw a video of a kid accidentally dropping his pump in the toilet!
I thought that the insulin pump was going to make life easier and then I began to realize that there were a ton of logistics to think about.
Trying the Omnipod Demo
To help our decision, we requested a sample Pod to trial from Insulet, which I put on my daughter’s back. I was surprised that it pretty much disappeared under her clothing.
We were going to put that sample Pod to the test those next three days with swim lessons, hip hop class, baths, naps and bedtime. We figured we could get an idea of how she would feel having a foreign object attached to her body. The first morning waking up with the Pod on, she said she had completely forgotten it was there while she slept.
In those three days she told just about everyone she encountered about the pump she was wearing, even if they had absolutely no idea what she was talking about, and was a little disappointed to take it off.
Moving Forward with Pump Therapy
In the week following our little trial run we made our minds up. We definitely wanted to begin pumping and we wanted the Omnipod. My daughter still had a few reservations, because it would be change. Just as in the early days of her diabetes diagnosis, when she had to get used to four injections and many finger pricks each and every day, she was a little skeptical of the unknown and the “new.”
I knew that the insulin pump would not be a cure all. We would still have to carefully count carbs. We would probably need to check her blood sugar a lot as we adjusted basal rates. But I figured that once we settled into a routine, it would become second nature and we wouldn’t look back.
I always tell people that they have to look at the options of all of the insulin pumps on the market to see which one seems best suited for their child and their family. For our family, the Omnipod was the best fit.
Come back for part five, where I’ll discuss working with healthcare professionals to prepare for starting my daughter on pump therapy.
Click here to order a free demo of the Omnipod insulin pump and try it out yourself.