Getting a pump for my nine year old

Cameron and I had our three month visit yesterday, and the doctor thinks we are ready to be pumpers. I have been waiting fot this since he was diagnosed months ago. I have researched, and like Medtronics and Animas. Does anyone know any pros or cons on either?

I have had great experiences with Medtronics. They have been very helpful and supportive since I got my pump in 2008 and the CGM in 2010. I found that the pump was a lot less work and a lot smoother control than shots, although I switched from R/N shots, rather than 'log/ Lantus/ Levemir?

I have the Ping and really like it but it’s my first pump so I can’t compare. I did read one parent who said they really liked that the Ping has the meter/remote, because they can “zap” their kid with his dose without having to stop him from playing, but that child was younger I believe. But he also had mentioned being able to look through his history on the remote when his son came home from school without him having to stay still to do it on the pump. That sounds very convenient for parents to me. Animas is also waterproof so if your son was playing outside and it started raining you wouldn’t have to worry. The numbers go up too quickly and then you have to backtrack which is annoying and I’ve heard people say it has more steps to do for everything.

How long have you had your ping? Have you had any problems with it. Medtronics said it was poor quality, what do you think?

Does Medtronics come with a remote to deliver the doses?

I think they have an option for one but I’ve never seen it.

The remote only let’s you dose in 1 unit increments (not sure but you may be ablke to change it to different increments but whatever it is it is fixed) and if it is from any distance you cannot “see” what you are giving unless you have access to the pump as there is no display on the remote. It looks like a keyless entry key chain thingy. It does not come standard with the pump and at least with my insurance I would have had to cover the whole cost out of pocket.

Of course the Medtronic rep would say this…

I have used both pumps and have seen others who have had one or the other. Plain and simple they are both pieces of technology with technologies inherent risks (e.g BOTH break).

I actually think they are incredibly similar. They both have about equal capabilities. The way the stand apart is that Medtronic has an integrated CGMS if you are going to do CGMS . Some would argue their CGMS is not worth it but many people have a great experience with Medtronics CGMS. I have heard of people not having a good experience with Dexcom either although perusing these boards I think most who have tried both prefer Dexcom- I know I do. Animas has the meter remote that you can actually fine tune the dosing and see what is actually going to be given. Others also like Animas because of the waterproof feature but Medtronic WILL replace a pump that has had water damage although I do not think they will continue to do this over and over like Animas will.

When I am actually wearing one or the other I can honestly say I have no preference of one over the other. I would recommend getting your hands on both pumps and messing around with them to see what you think will fit best. My personal opinion is reps should sell their product and not bad mouth their competitors product. Every interaction I have had with Animas employees would lead me to believe if you talk with the Animas rep they will not bad mouth the Medtronic pump.

I have only had my Ping for 2 1/3 months, Shant. I haven’t had any problems that I didn’t cause myself. Whichever pump you get be prepared for a serious learning curve and for me my numbers which were decent on MDI actually got worse for awhile because it takes times to get the numbers tweaked and to learn how to put the sets in. I actually think it is a pretty amazing machine. I’m not a very technical person and I found the settings very intuitive and felt very comfortable with the pump itself very quickly. The sets are taking me a bit longer but that is true whichever pump you get, it just takes time to find the one(s) that work best for you and get proficient at putting them in. People on here are great help when you have questions. I ask specific Animas questions on the Animas group board. Is your son excited?

I didn’t find the learning curve to be a huge deal as the more smoothly delivered pumped insulin clicked into place almost immediately.

They don’t. That is one thing that kind of turned me off with Medtronics. I spoke with several reps from both, and have never received any negativity towards Medtronics from Animas. Thanks for the suggestion, I think I will contact the reps AGAIN to see about meeting with them.

I guess you can tell that is what has turned me off from Medtronic as well. I think their pump is great but it is hard for me to deal with the bad mouthing. If your product is good there is no reason to have to bad mouth the competition.

Oh yes. He is sick of shots. He takes four shots on a good day. If he gets sick or runs high for some unknown reason he may dose seven or eight times a day. He wants the pump because he hates the way people (mainly adults) stare when he gives his injections, and he hates having to be on such a tight schedule with meals. I have heard that the pump really does free him up with meals. I have to get him up on weekends to eat by 8am, and I hear with the pump we can both sleep in. His educator says I will have to take a class to learn how to use the pump. How long does that take?

Bare minimum is usually 3 hours. Some education places go into much more depth and could take a couple of weeks of repeated appointments.

So is it safe to say they do that often?

I am only speaking from one area and a limited number of reps but in my limited experience YES. I have heard wispers of different stories but that is just second hand knowledge.

Good, it’s great that he’s excited about it so he’ll be motivated to learn. Pump education really varies with your doctor, your pump trainer and what you and your team decide. I just had the minimum: My trainer came to my house for two hours and got me hooked up and using saline. Five days later she came back and got me started on insulin. They offered ongoing phone support from a “Clinical Manager” but I turned it down. I’m pretty used to doing things on my own. Then I’ve heard people that go to 8 hour group classes and then have several follow-up appointments. There might be a very different system for parents and children with someone from your endo’s office (a diabetic educator? A nurse?) following up with you for several appointments. Some support comes from the company (like Animas) and some from your doctor. I would talk with your endo and see what they offer.

Yes, you will get your weekend sleep back! You’ll learn to set basal for different rates at different times and you can have special weekend settings too. With children I know it’s a lot about their activity levels. You definitely might want to talk to other parents on here. I also, from everything I’ve heard highly recommend Diabetes camp if he hasn’t been yet. I have 40 year old women in my Type 1 women’s group who still talk about how much it meant to them to go to diabetes camp as children.

He went to one of the camps last summer. He has a friend that was diagnosed two months before him. Dillan got to go to a different camp; it was full by the time that Cameron was diagnosed. I have heard both are awesome, and his educator volunteers at both. His doctor has a huge camp he sponsors, but it is $600 dollars, and we can’t foot that bill. I think we will try to do both of the smaller camps though. He is already excited.

Oh good! And how great that he has a friend who also has diabetes! It’s so important to kids to feel they belong. It sounds like the diabetes camps make them feel that they are a part of a special group, rather than that they are different from the other kids. You sound like a good mom. As hard as I find being a Type 1 I would think it could be even harder having a child who is type 1. But Cameron sounds like he has a great attitude which has got to help!

I would HIGHLY recommend your son attend the class as well. Perhaps it might be better to sit down 2:1 (you, him and a CDE/pump rep) as opposed to a class, but I would recommend getting him involved be cause it will be his pump.