How is it possible that this summer will mark 4 years on an insulin pump for Benny? He started on July 4th, 2007 – six months after diagnosis. He was only two and a half and I couldn't imagine he'd keep this new, weird thing on. It all worked out beautifully; he only threw it across the floor once!
Six months is a nice amount of time to get used to all the math involved in counting carbs to dose insulin and using a sliding scale to bring down high blood sugar. That's one of the reasons we waited. Another is that our insurance wouldn't help pay for one until that time had passed. They'll help pay for a new one after four years, which brings us to right now.
At our recent endocrinologist visit, we got a great A1c – 7.3 – despite a February full of highs from strep throat and winter yuck. We also started the conversation about a new pump. I love our Animas 2020, but I want to see what else is out there. We don't have the remote control thing for it – called the Ping – and I'd love to get that. Our doc suggested we take a look at what's coming out next and explore all our options.
The Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) is something I'd also like to look into for Benny, but I HATE the idea of another site on his body. His pump inset has been the most difficult part of diabetes care for us since the first day we stuck it on him -it's really the only thing he's ever fought us on (see here. And here.). It's so much better now, but I think it would be tough to convince him to allow another "button" on his body.
Here's why I'm thinking about it anyway: last fall I spoke with Jeff Hitchcock, the president of Children With Diabetes. He said if he had to choose, he'd rather his daughter give up her insulin pump then her CGM. It really got me thinking about the importance of information and tight control. Even though we're doing very well, why wouldn't we try to do better? The answer – for my family – is about quality of life. So I'm researching.
My plan is to see if the counselors at diabetes camp this summer can introduce Benny to some kids or staff wearing a CGM and see if Benny wants to try one. Our doc has some models he could wear around for a week – how cool is that?
I would love to hear from other PWDs or D-moms and dads about their experience with pumps and CGMs. What do you like – and what's not so hot?
Here's a picture of what one CGM (on the left) and pump (on the right) combo would look like:
If Benny could walk around with blue lasers shooting from his body, this might be an easy sell!