As I've mentioned here before, my son wears an insulin pump. It's an Animas 2020, although that probably doesn't mean much to anyone. We love his pump and we're so glad that his doctors were willing to let us start when Benny was only two and a half. Much better than the 6 shots or more a day we were up to. Not a cure, but much easier, especially for the caretaker.
We're having a problem these days.. and it's making me crazy. Benny keeps pulling his button out. The button – or inset – is how the insulin actually gets into his body. Here's how it works.
Inside the pump, there's a small cartridge of insulin. A thin, flexible tube comes out of that cartridge and clips onto the inset. The inset looks like a dime-sized nicotine patch with a nub sticking up. When you clip the tubing to the inset, you're inserting a tiny needle into the nub. When we put the inset onto Benny, basically a tiny needle goes in and then comes right out, leaving behind a 6mm catheter under the skin. There's a much better explanation of al this here, but that's how we describe it.
We did just fine with the button for the first year on the pump (although we've had some other issues, nothing's perfect) but for some reasons, since the summer, Benny's just not comfortable with the button. We seem to do okay for a few weeks at a time, then we go through a few weeks of him pulling it out almost every day. Aaargh!
It does hurt to put the inset on, there is a needle, after all. We've started using lidocane cream recently (he was terrified of the cream for months) and that really helps. But it takes an hour at least to work. That's fine if it's a planned "button day" (we have to change it every three days) but not so great if his blood sugar is already high, he needs more insulin, and he's just pulled the darn thing out. If your kid is 280bg, says he's hungry and it's almost bed time, you don't want to sit around for an hour. 3 year olds also are not renown for their patience.
Anyway, just a rant here, I guess. I'm going to call my diabetes educator this week and ask her. I think his skin just gets itchy. It doesn't help that he really hates any kind of lotion or cream (he thinks it's all "button-related" and doesn't want me to get near him). Just like most things with three years olds, I know this will pass. We'll find a better "button" or he'll tolerate it better. Hey, this time last year, I was convinced he'd be going to college with a pacifier!
By the way, this is Diabetes Month. Good video "diary" here about what it's like to have diabetes as a teenager. It's a little slow but you'll get the idea. More, great information from our local chapter of JDRF.