Poppa why do you drink coffee?
That was one of the many questions my granddaughter asked me over the weekend. ‘I like it’ I said. Long pause… why she asked? Well Madison it tastes good. No it doesn’t was her answer. Proof in her mind she had caught me in a lie. She went ahead and played with the cars. I felt awful. I mean how could I explain to a 6 year old that tastes change. How could I explain that our tastes mature? That over her life she might even think it tastes good. Or maybe not, I mean maybe coffee will always taste bad to her? We do not know what lay ahead of a six year old exactly. How could I explain that some days I do not like coffee or that different coffee tastes different. It was a lot to try to explain to a six year old who asked a seemingly simple question.
The same can be said about seemingly simple questions our kindred on this and other diabetic related sites ask. I subscribe to a number of Twitter feeds related to diabetes and this week a diabetic asked a seemingly simple question. What is the best pump? Not surprisingly they got strong opinions from many people. I said I thought that Medtronic has always been good to me but that they need to find which pumps their endocrinologist supports and do that one after all in today’s market they really cannot go wrong. Then it happened. The simple question turned into a bit of a pushing match between competing pump users.
One user remarked that Omnipod was by far the best, since it has no tubes. Another pushed back that Animas was by far the best and would soon have the Vibe which integrates the Dexcom. Of course that led to the next question, which CGM is best and that is when it got out of control. A person declared without a doubt Dexcom is the best and no one should consider the Medtronic Enlite. Another stuck up for the Medtronic system.
I noticed that like my six year old granddaughter that the original question was lost, as was the questioner. The original questioner never reentered the conversation. They never said thanks, go fly a kite, I imagined they just left. I do not know if that original poster left or not, but wow I would have left. I mean who knows, I guess.
The thing is the entire conversation was unnecessary and inappropriate. I mean how do we know anything about the person who asked the question? We can’t and do not. We have to face the truth, we made a decision given the best available medical input and for the most part we are satisfied with our choice. One thing however this choice is not a college basketball game. No one in that conversation wins or loses when a pump decision is made. If they do, (if they are a Medtronic rep and do not disclose it they violate about 14 dozen FDA rules).
It brings me round again to my granddaughter and her question. In her case, she was the six year old. In the case of which is the best pump, the seasoned pumpers were the six year olds. We need to be careful to not turn into six year olds when we answer these types of questions. That goes for me as well. One commenter asked me in a private email if I could believe the vigorous discussion about which pump is best. I truthfully said I could not and that in a world of advertising claims, manufacturer reps and doctor favorites we need to be very careful that we do not drink any manufacturers’ Kool-Aid. Which pump to use? It’s a personal decision not a competition.
When we answer those questions we have a responsibility to not turn it into a college basketball program, a political campaign or a ping pong tournament. We have a responsibility to be fair to all sides no matter our choice.
Madison with her brother Graham. By the way Madison only likes chocolate Ice Cream.