Best time to start a pump

My son is starting to warm up to the idea of a pump, so we’re anticipating starting in the next few months. Do you think it would be easier to start while he’s on summer break where we can be home a lot and I’m with him, but our eating/sleeping/travel schedule is more erratic, OR wait until school starts back up and we’re on a more regular eating/sleeping/exercising schedule, but he’ll be at school and I won’t be there for frequent testing and to help with issues that arise? Our endo is okay with either - thinks summer might be slightly easier but doesn’t have a strong opinion. If we choose to wait until school starts back up, our school nurse is very supportive and helpful and does a great job with the diabetic kids at the school, so she’ll be agreeable to doing whatever needs to be done.

Background - my son is 12 and was diagnosed 6 months ago (though it feels like we’ve been at this forever). He’s extremely responsible and does a great job with testing and taking his insulin - he’s virtually independent with it all - just has adult help as a check step and for reassurance. He’s still honeymooning, so that adds another question - pump soon or wait until the honeymoon is over? He has really good control on MDI, but he’s an athlete and it would be nice to have some flexibility with basal dosing to accomodate activity and to be able to bolus a little more discreetly when he’s with friends.

Thanks for sharing your advice and experience.

I would say the best time to start a pump is tomorrow? Whatever changes there are in your schedule over the summer will likely be easier to manage with a pump, even w/ the learning curve? It sounds like he’s kicking ■■■ and I’d think a pump would be just what he needs. I was involved in a really strenuous martial arts program when I started and took a day off in case there were any problems but pretty much had the hang of it and started back up w/ working out two days after I got it and well, people could tell almost immediately that I was able to manage stuff better right away.

I agree with Acid Rock. Start him as soon as you can :slight_smile:

My daughter was 10 when we started. We trained on a Friday, kept her out of school that day and then watched things closely over the weekend. She went back to school on Monday (fabulous school nurse). Things still needed tweaking for a while, but no reason to keep her at home.

I also think starting now is better. You’ll have time to get used to pumping and working around different schedules. When school starts your son will be in the groove and adjust to school life without missing a beat!

I agree. If your son has a good handle with his T1 and is responsible, then he is likely really going like a pump. I might one up others and say he sounds like the perfect canidate to get a pump yesterday.

there is no time like the present - start as soon as you can- pumpin it the best thing to happen to me - i started after a yr of shots and started the pump in 10th grd it was the best thing for my hectic life-

PUMP IT UP!! Is he on here too? If he wants to here from current pump users, this is the place, which I am sure you already know. I got my pump at age 14 after having diabetes for 12 years and it made everything easier. I was also an athlete, playing soccer, basketball and volleyball throughout high school. It made an enormous difference.

Wow - nothing like a unanimous opinion! Thanks for your input and advice. My son’s next endo appointment is at the end of June, so we’ll visit with the various pump reps between now and then with the goal of getting him set up with a pump shortly after his next appointment. He wants to wait until he gets back from scout summer camp in mid-June, and getting the pump in early July should let us get adjusted before we go on vacation in early August and before school starts in late August.

Any thoughts about what the learning curve is like? I think we’ve come up the T1 curve pretty quickly - we have gotten comfortable troubleshooting and making insulin adjustments as needed, and It seems as though I’ve read every book out there on the subject, including the Pumping Insulin book. My son’s biggest concern about pumping is that while he has gotten quite comfortable with shots, counting carbs and calculating insulin his dosage taking his current bg level into account, the pump is an unknown, which makes it a little scary.

Is it reasonable to think we can see the endo in late June and be pumping in early July or should I try to back things up a bit? I’m sure the process varies from endo to endo, but I wonder if it’s a process that typically takes days, weeks or months? Thoughts?

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

He is kicking ■■■! He has been amazing from day 1 - someone must be doing a fabulous job raising that kid! :slight_smile:

Thanks. Isn’t it comforting to have a nurse that you trust? This would be so much harder if I had to worry about him while he was at school all day.

That’s so good to hear. It seems like the pumps work really well for people who are active and need to make adjustments regularly depending on their activity of the moment. I think he’ll really like pumping once he gets the hang of it. It will sure beat going low (or high, depending on the activity) or having to eat when he doesn’t want to.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

I think that is a fine timetable. Obviously, the endo will be able to give you the best idea. As far as switching to a pump and carb counting, I use a Paradigm pump, so i can only speak to this type of pump, but once your son and his endo figure out his carb/ insulin ratios he’ll be able to put that info into the pump so that when he eats all he has to do is enter his bloodsugar and how many carbs he is eating and the pump will do the math for the correct bolus for him. If you guys are already comfortable with managing diabetes with injections, I think you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to manage and how much more dialed in you can get with his numbers once he gets a pump. Just be patient, and come back to anybody here if you have any questions or need somebody who’s gone through this before. Good Luck and tell your son to keep kickin’ ■■■!!! And for that matter, YOU keep kicking ■■■ too!!!

My son is 13 and just started his pump on 3-21-11. As a mom, I thought summer would be best as I could be with him; however, our doctor suggested school time due to a more consistent schedule. My suggestion after starting the pump would be to wait until school. We were just at the doctor’s and they told us we are 4 weeks ahead of schedule as far as the fasting, basal testing, and ICR testing. Of course my son is a huge part of being 4 weeks ahead of schedule as he didn’t complain and worked hard to get through all the fasting and testing, but the consistant schedule was important as well. Of course the best decision is what works best for your family. Good luck with pumping. I think your son will enjoy it - Mine seems too.

Thanks Theresa. My first thought was the same as yours - it might be a lot smoother of a transition when we are on a consistent schedule. I suppose if we get started in the summer, we can make ourselves be on a more consistent schedule - that’s just not our typical summer pattern. So much to think about!

You and your son sound like us. I am fortunate to have a kick ■■■ son too. It’s like he took “D” as a bump in his life and kept right on trucking. Dx Dec09 DKA 774, his 15 1/2 now. I deal with more emotional issues about it than he does, I think! :slight_smile: Yes, because D has to deal with 24/7 it seems like we have been doing it for a very long time. We got a pump for him 8 months into it, during the summer which I was glad for so we get comfortable with all the features. Then he started High School and his blood sugars went all wacky. DP in the morning and staying high most of the day coming down only before meals and after exercise, his A1C rose to 6.4. Like you are finding out, our bodies have loads of hormones in that raise BS, but only one that lowers it. It didn’t help that our mornings are rushed (not a lot of time to pre-bolus a high down) and his two honor classes are 1st and 2nd periods. We went from 8 BS checks to around 15 to get a big picture to do some adjusting. Endo had us taking baby step but it just wasn’t enough. Took an advance pump class and bought Pumping Insulin, isnt it wonderful! Best book in my D library! Made more adjustments and have the overnight/early basal looking good we realize on the pump he didn’t need his bedtime snack unless he boluses for it. We are still working on spikes after breakfast(lowest ICR and low-carb) and lunch, hard because we can’t pre-bolus (little time before Breakfast, inconvenant and a little dangerous at Lunch). We just got him a CGM and its got its own learning curve, but i love it. Its really going to help us figure things out. We are going to test all our settings systematically, as outlined it the book, this summer because he can eat as soon as his fasting time is over. He’ll be less crabby, I’m hoping during summer about testing. :slight_smile:

We love the features the Omnipod has, for him it was the right choice. He can swim/shower with it, even body boarded in the ocean, and we weren’t worried because the pod itself is disposable and we had backup, it stayed anyway. No tubing, other teens think its a cool gadget and there is lots of options for placement. He’s never had to wear it on his abs where he never wanted his shots there either. The PDM had meter built-in so less to carry and mess with. You can get a dummy pod from Insulet to try it out. The company is waiting FDA approval to start sending out 40% smaller pods, can’t wait. Also waiting intergration with Dexcom CGM, which is what we have now. Well, best of luck, keep us posted. :slight_smile: