Pump vs Pens

Hi. My daughter will be 6 in a few days and was diagnosed T1D just over 2 years ago. We have been using pens since the beginning - we call them soft pens :slight_smile:
Our endo really wants us to consider at least trying a pump for her. I am on the fence about it but would be willing to try. I understand it has benefits but the idea of it being attached doesn’t sit right with me. My daughter on the other hand will not even think about it or talk about it. Her dad is all for a pump but he only has her every other weekend, so the decision is really between me and my daughter.
Please let me know your experiences and if your child prefers pens or the pump. She is in kindergarten so also how will that change her routine at school with the nurse.
Thank you!!!

Hi Melissa,

My son started on the pump last April after being diagnosed the November before that. His was 12, and was determined! There are such huge pros and cons. The biggest pro as far as I am concerned is having the ease of correcting with no more shot. The biggest con is that if the pump fails you are a little bit up a creek! With a pump there is no long acting insulin, so you become more dependent on the frequent short acting. My son would not have it any other way, though. The pump computer tells him how much to correct, and how much insulin is still in his system (very helpful). He also loves the ability to snack without more shots. It has relaxed things in many ways.

I was also worried about him being attached to something all the time- but it doesn't really feel that way. I think there may be something about being a mom and having your kid need that . It was disturbing to be until he got the pump. He can unclip it easily with one hand, and we cover the insertion site for swimming or showering with some medical tape. Honestly, there are plenty of times is blood sugar is such that he will just leave it on the table and take a break from having it on him. The constant need to have juice boxes (or any other fast sugars) at hand are way are more of a pain!

Starting on the pump can feel like a tedious process and going back to square one for a few weeks. But it gains you so much freedom and flexibility. It is not for everyone, but it sure is for my son. Please feel free to ask any questions! -Jennifer

Hi Melissa, We just started my three year old on a pump in January and I was very hesitant for all the same reasons but ultimately decided to do it as it was covered under our pharmacare/extended health so I figured worth a shot (pardon the pun) and if Ian didn't like it or if it didn't work for us we knew we were doing well on MDI and could go back to that. The pump is not the end all and be all of management but just another way to manage. I was amazed at how fast he adjusted to wearing it though. We bought a few different belts and ultimately he wears the tallygear tummie tote and it doesn't interfere at all with activity. They show pics of girls wearing them and if it shows it just looks like they're wearing a tank under a shirt. We also got the ping pump with remote so I don't even need to get the pump out of the belt to dose. If you really want your daughter to try maybe let her know you can always go back to how you're managing now?
I wish you guys all the best.

If she wants to use the pens, let her. My experience as a 12 year old (back in '78) and other kids was rough, and they weren't kind. Kids that age just don't know any better, and the less attention her condition draws to her, the better. She will adapt as she gets older, but at that age, it's tough on the psyche, and she can tell them as she feels comfortable.

We had an appt with the endo and she didn’t want to talk about the pump. It is fine, I am not pushing the issue. I told our endo he can try talking to her agin in 2 months at her next appt but I am fine with her using the pens. When she is comfortable with the idea I told her we can try it for a month and if she doesn’t like it we can go back to the pens.

As far as other kids, everyone is supportive. Her daycare friends think it is just normal routine for her to get finger booped and soft pens. They think she is soo brave. And at school, the guidance counselor came to her class in the beginning of the school year and read the class a book about a kid with T1D at school. No one bothers her about it. At first some of the kids just thought it wasn’t fair that Gretchen got to eat a snack before gym and they didn’t. But now things are pretty smooth :slight_smile:

That's great. I know there was a period in my younger life when I just didn't want to deal with the illness, and paid for it with most of my vision (legally blind artist...I'm sure the universe got a real laugh out of that one). But she sounds like she's doing a great job. More power to you both.

I have to admit that my own feelings about the pump probably have a lot to do with my response... I wouldn't want it attached to me 24/7 either, but that's my opinion. I hope she does well.

I am new to this site, but my 3 year old was diagnosed Feb 24th of this year. We are still on shots-hopefully will be switched to a pen at our 2 month appt Monday. Are things still going well with your child and the pump? I feel like I would love for my son to have the pump, but so unsure about it because of his age.