Type 1 son - trying to convince to go on pump

Hi I just joined this group yesterday.

My son is 12 years old and type 1. Diagnosed last Easter weekend. He has been very independent and does all his own injections testing etc.
We are trying to encourage him to try the pump - his issue is he doesn't want attention drawn to himself and he says he doesn't like the idea of having something attached to his body. At this point we will get the pump for free - but after Dec - we will need to wait until we reach the deductible again. Is there anyway to encourage him - I feel like I am nagging but I am hoping not to wait one more year or make him wait.

thanks for your replies

Hi Jackie,
We went through the exact same thing. My son just turned 13 and was diagnosed at 8. For the first year he adamantly refused the idea of a pump for the same reasons. I wanted him to be in charge of his own disease, so instead of nagging I just started pointing out times when he wouldn't need an extra injection (a little easier for me because I was actually doing most of the injections . . .) Examples - when someone brought food in to school to share, potlucks, birthday parties when there is food to snack on or food served at different times.

Eventually we were going to a conference where he would have the opportunity to try some pumps on and I convinced him to at least try them. I promised he would just have to try them on - and that I wouldn't pressure him to get one. We almost lost him after the first trial because he hated it so much. That was the tubed pump and the lady putting it on him took FOREVER explaining it, and then it hurt and he hated the tubing and cried the whole time it was on. UGH.

Then we found the Omnipod booth and they didn't even tell him what they were doing. The nurse talked to him while she got it ready (about stuff other than diabetes) and then stuck it on his arm and pushed a button. And that was it. He was convinced. I will say that the Omnipod is the only pump my son would ever consider that's on the market now because of the size and the fact that it's tubeless. You can put it on your back or your stomach if you are worried about people seeing it. My son wears it on his arms, usually with sleeves you can't see it but he doesn't seem to mind. I don't know where you live or what your insurance would cover - but that pump did solve a lot of the issues my son had with the idea of pumping in the first place.

My son (12) likes the OmniPod (it was the only pump he would consider) because it is not as obvious as tubed pumps, in his opinion.

I would let your son decide this. If he is being independent and taking care of his disease, then support that. Living with diabetes daily, there can be days where it is hard to stay positive and you just wish you didn't have the diabetes. Having to be attached to a pump can make you feel like a robot at times. I think it would be hard for him to adjust to the pump with a good attitude if he isn't excited about getting it.

Let him know that it is an option now, but if he decides to wait, it might be another year (or until deductible is met again). At his age, he should be able to weigh that decision.

Remember that while there can be advantages to pumping for some individuals, it really is just another course of treatment. Everybody is different in what works best for them.

Hi Jackie,

My son was just diagnosed in February and he is having the same issues. We went to a pump class and less that an hour into it he told me that he wasn't doing it and we could go. I encouraged him to stay for the entire class and they connecting a sample sight thing, (I don't know what you call it, I am sure someone will respond and help me out) for 24 hours to see if he was able to take to the adhesive. He did but he is still in now rush. I am going to let him make the decision but our time is limited too. One thing that he did say is that with the pump he will have more freedom to eat spontaneously and for an 11 year old growing boy it's starting to look good to him. We are charting 3 days of his levels, bolus etc and the next step will be to sample a pump of his choice.

It's not easy for him but the choice is his. Good luck to you.

thanks for your replies everyone - its a hard issue and to make matters worse his dad and I aren't together and are now butting heads.. when he is with me my son is open and positive about it.. then he sees his dad and it all of a sudden changes to I'm not sure. I am hoping he at least as some time to apply for a pump.. the 3 that are covered are Animos, Glaxosmith and Medtronic - I believe the animos doesn't have wires and has a separate control thing - that you can administer insulin with - draw back is that the pods cost $75 a week - and if you forget the control thing(not sure what it is called) then your screwed.. he is responsible however.. the others have the wires and I know personally even head phone wires drive me crazy when they get tangled.. I don't think the Omnipod is covered so that pump is not an option.

My daughter has been on the pump now for 5 years and she said that she would never go back to shots because instead of giving at least 4 shots a day now only has to give a shot once every 2-3 days now

thanks John and everyone - I just got word that we actually have six months to decide on a pump - which means we can take the pressure off a bit. My son starts high school next week - and I am hoping he may get the chance to meet other kids on the pump as there are some at the high school.

If this is something he really wants (OmniPod), and you are willing to work for it, I have heard of many folks that went through the exception process with their insurance companies to get it. They had the doctor's support and were able to work through it. Just wanted to mention that, in case the fact that it is not a standard offering ever becomes the thing stopping you from moving forward.

My son was dx at 20 months and we did MDI for about 6 years, with much success. As I said before, he had zero interest in the tubed pump. The only time he was slightly interested is when his CDE brought a pod out and showed him. We let him decide if/when he would try it. We did point out the pros and cons. Now he really does love not having to have so many shots in a day. This is especially true since he becomes ravenously hungry in between meals and is always looking for a snack.

Good luck on whichever course you decide.

I'm not sure if there is an Animas pump in Canada (is that where you are?) that is tubeless, but I know here the only tubeless pump is the Omnipod. From what I understand the Animas has a pump that also has a remote device which can come in handy (correcting in the middle of the night without finding the pump under your kid) but the pump itself is still attached with a tube. But there is definitely a possibility some advancement has been made and approved in Canada that I'm unaware of.

Hi there, my daughter (15 ½ ) was Dx around 12, she got a pump 13 and used it for about 1 year. Granted, she is a female and warning a pump was stating not to “look cool” anymore I am sure some of it was based on having to take it off during cheer practice which resulted in other reasons to take it off and not put it back on soon after. Eventually she hated having it on which resulted in taking it off the entire day of school resulting in no basil for 8 or so hours….not good. I have my daughter 98% full time and I have been on this road trip for 5 years and I can tell you the ultimate goal is to simply have good A1C numbers with or without a pump. If you force him even though your intentions are good it could back fire resulting in taking off when you are not around. For the most part summer is over but if you can get him to attend a diabetes camp he will see other boys his age and notice they can do anything they want and ware a pump plus have a ton of fun

Good luck, David D

Hi- My son, who is 17 now, was diagnosed in Jan 2011. He was the same, he is an athlete, and didn't want something attached to him. Afer too many night time lows and (I hate to say) a tremendous amount of fighting we finally convinced him to wear the Dexcom G4 Continuous Glucose Meter. I know this is not a pump- please don't yell at me everyone. I am only mentioning this because in the first year of the "new to diabetes" process I didn't know the difference between the two machine (insulin pump vs. continuous glucose meter). At first we asked him to wear a pump but then we realized that if he would agree to have something stuck on him a CGM would help us more right now. It alarms if he goes low and he always knows his BG. Just a thought.

I agree with the person who mentioned that a good A1C is what we want and we can achieve that in multiple ways. My son's on MDI with pens and I feel pressure to put him on a pump. Pumps seem to come across as the ultimate goal. There are pros and cons to both and if we ever do start to pump with our 3 year old, I reserve the right at any time to go back to pens. Lots of people do try pumping and for many different reasons go back to MDI. Maybe your son thinks that if he commits to a pump he can't go back to what he knows and he's connected to this device forever? Good luck to you and your family. I admire kids who take charge of their diabetes.

we did get the pump finally. (animas My son was really excited about it. Unfortuntely the first training session did not go so well. His first attempt at attaching his infusion set did not go so well. When he attached it he managed to hit a blood vessel it was quite painful for him. He actually went white and almost past out. He broke down and started bawling. The last time I saw him cry was in March when he was first diagnosed. We encouraged him to finish the training which he did.. and to leave on a positive note. Throughout the process his father is very negative and wont even look at my son injecting himself. He even pulled my son out of the room in the middle of training - after my son said he was ready to continue. My son asked me afterwards about the benefits of using the pump. He said he wants to try it again.. but it was just overwhelming and so much information. He did get a meter that attaches to his iphone but im not sure what it is called. I am hoping the next training goes better.

This is exactly what happened when my son tried the Animas. Although my husband is the one that almost passed out. :(

My son is 17, dx at 13 and has always done MDI. His a1c has never been above 7.2… Was below 6 last time but he was having a lot of lows… Went to a pump class 6 months after dx and tried Omnipod but he was so thin that is stick into his muscle and was painful… He was going to try cgm but also freaked out at the insertion… My husband even tried one on to show him… But no go! He doesn’t mind MDI but he doesn’t like to give shots in public…

I posted this topic a year ago. But I thought I would give you all an update. The original appointment did not go so well to get the pump - my son was very over whelmed - and the inset hit an artery. Anyways we waited a few months until he was ready to try again - and went to an animas convention in our home town. Sebastin Sasseville was there - along with some other people in the diabetes community. Truthfully I got more out of the seminar then my son did. Anyways I told my son I would pay him $250 every 3 months he stayed on the pump - up to year. Huge bribe I know - but my son was convinced he knew the pump wasnt for him.. and I just wanted him to try it. In the beginning he was all in for the money but did say he liked the needles better - as that is what he was used too. So far he has been on it since September and has 2 checks left. He now says he will never go back to needles. His nurse asked him - if she asked him to give back the pump and he said no.

I had all the reps from the different pump companies come out to our house and my 10-year-old was involved in all the meetings. The reps were great, and let her ask questions, touch and feel the pumps and infusion sets, etc. She was nervous when it came time to do the first infusion set, but it wasn't nearly as uncomfortable as she thought it would be. We made the deal that we would try the pump and if she didn't like it, we'd go back to MDI, I wasn't going to force her to do anything she didn't want to in terms of her diabetes management.

It's been about 10 months, and I don't think she would trade her pump for shots at all. She loves the flexibility the pump gives her in terms of being able to eat a little now and a little later. She loves that she can do special features to help with foods like pizza and pasta, and she loves that she can easily keep track of whether she took her insulin or how much insulin she has on board. It has freed her up from having to go to the school nurse every day for a lunch shot, or me having to accompany her class on field trips to give her a shot (I still try to go if I can, but there is always someone diabetic trained on the field trip). She is much more in control of her own diabetes with the pump and it gives her a lot more freedom.

Going to diabetes camp last summer and seeing all the kids with pumps also gave her more confidence to try it. And seeing that just because she was wearing the pump, didn't mean anyone else could see it, she keeps it in her pocket or on a belt under her shirt, and no one knows the difference.