We’d like to share some tips and suggestions of things that
have worked for us, making our pumping journey
a positive one.
If you have any tips, suggestions, or comments, please share them
with us, using our “contact us” page. We will periodically
update this page with your tips.
Every child is different and unique and only you know your child
Any advice we share is not meant to replace advice given by your
child’s health care professionals. Please check with them
before making any changes to your diabetic’s routine.
I Want To Do It Myself!
If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a hundred times, “I
want to do it myself!” In order to enhance acceptance and
knowledge, we let Ashley do many things, pertaining to her diabetes,
Ashley chooses her own pump case (even if it doesn’t match
her clothes) and wears it however she is comfortable; high and snug,
or low and loose. She generally wears it under her clothes, but
isn’t embarrassed about being a diabetic or wearing an insulin
pump. Our best advice is:
Give your child choices whenever possible, so they take “ownership” of
and our fun comfortable cases. Choices, and
participation in their own care, will help them learn to take responsibility
for their diabetic care as they grow older. Give them knowledge
and they will learn acceptance through understanding, of what being
a diabetic means.
Ashley was always curious about the pump and its buttons, so with
strict instructions never to touch the pump without one of us helping
her, we have begun teaching her how the pump works and we let her
give herself insulin. We teach her all about insulin, diabetes,
pumping, good eating and good health. Although she is only five – she “helps” us
make her choices and is learning a lot about diabetes management
and nutrition. She is very accepting of her diabetes and her pump
because she “understands” and participates in what is
happening to her.
Using the Pump Case
To put the pump in the fabric pump case – go in on a small
angle with the flat part of the pump toward the zipper pull and
the tubing side toward the zipper opening. If you don’t use
your pump’s block feature, put the pump with the buttons to
the back (against the body) which will minimize the chances of leaning
on something that could push a button.
Let your child wear the belt however it is comfortable, loose around
the hips or snugger around the waist. Remember that the tighter
the belt the more pull on the fabric against the pump which could
cause the case to get worn spots quicker. The fabric pump case will
wear out differently on different people. If it is worn 24/7 by
an active child it will wear out quicker than, say, a case worn
by a teen or adult. Fabric does wear out no matter how you wear
it or how well you treat it.
To pull the pump out of the fabric case open the zipper or Velcro
closure and pinch/squeeze gently on the bottom of the case while
pushing up. The pump is plastic and the case is fabric so it should
slide up and out very easily. If you reach into the case to pull
the pump out, be sure not to squeeze any buttons and accidentally
give insulin. Also, when using a zipper case it is easier to pull
it out the same way you put it in - pull up on the side with the
tubing and slide it out on an angle.
We tried many different kinds of carrying cases to carry Ashley’s
diabetic supplies with us until we found the one that we liked the
best. We wanted something small and easy to carry. However, we wanted
to be able to carry everything we could possibly need to care for
Ashley. We were able to find a relatively small (10x6) double sided,
nylon case with a small handle and a shoulder strap. Here is what
we carry with us wherever Ashley goes.
• Glucagon - for emergency use
• Strips, finger stick device, lancets, and meter – to
test her blood sugar levels
• Log sheet to record her numbers
• Restaurant style sugar packets - for lows
• Small carb counting book including carb counts for restaurant
food – for eating out
• Syringe and bottle of insulin – in case of pump failure
• Infusion set, Reservoir, IV Prep, Alcohol, Tegaderm and EMLA
cream - for site change
• Extra batteries and a quarter to unscrew the battery compartment
cover – to change the battery.
• Small pair of reading glasses for grandma – in case she
doesn’t have hers available
• Doctor’s business card and card with emergency contact
We also keep more than one fabric case available in case Ashley
needs to change her case. This is especially helpful for younger
kids in case the pump case gets wet due to a nighttime wetting accident,
food or liquid spills, or damage to the pump case. An extra fabric
pump case is great to have for the peace of mind of knowing that
you are prepared for anything.
Soft, flexible, fabric pump cases are very easy to use, comfortable
to wear and a secure place to keep the pump safe.
The Infusion Site
Ashley took one look at the “Serter” to insert her
infusion set and freaked out. It looked a lot worse than it really
was, however we could not convince her of it. Ashley accepted the
finger pricks, shots, and wearing the insulin pump 24/7, but she
did NOT like the Serter. It looked bad, it sounded bad and it frightened
her. So we decided to insert her site manually. With a lot of practice
it became second nature and we were able to get good site absorption
more often than not.
Since so much of diabetes management is associated with pain (finger
pricks and shots), we wanted the site insertion to be TOTALLY pain
free. Our doctor suggested using EMLA cream to numb the area before
inserting the infusion set. We have NEVER inserted a set without
numbing her site. Since changing her infusion set was just a minor
interruption of her day and not a painful experience, we are able
to change her site without any fuss or bribing or rewarding. It
just became part of wearing the pump. Now the pump represents a
totally pain free way to get insulin and manage her diabetes.
Just like pumping, we found that the more Ashley understood about
the food she ate, the more cooperative she would be. This does not
work for all children, younger children don’t understand and
older children may not care or may use food as a way to rebel. We
just felt that knowledge is power so we let Ashley “help” us
manage her diabetes. We are hoping too, that this will ease the
painful transition between us being totally responsible for her
diabetes and her assuming responsibility as she gets older.
Ashley chooses her meals based on her knowledge of food. For example,
if she has high fat pizza for dinner she can’t have high fat
ice cream for a nighttime snack. Too much fat is not only bad for
her, it makes controlling her blood sugar difficult.
High blood sugars make her hungry and she knows this hunger is
caused by her blood sugar. To avoid it going higher, we have “taught” her
to make no or low carb choices to satisfy her hunger without affecting
her blood sugar during these times.
When Ashley was first diagnosed at three years old, we started
teaching her about food choices, but she was too young to truly
understand, so we had to make eating healthy fun! We let her help “cook” her
meals, and we were as creative as possible with food appearance;
like making faces out of anything round and making plates with lots
of small servings of various foods to give her the allusion of “choosing” what
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