Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's All Good!

This is basically an update from yesterday's self-inflicted stress regarding our pre-pump assessment class.

As a self-diagnosed OCD person, I have spent the last 2 months reading and researching insulin pumping. For the first few months, I wanted NOTHING to do with it. It looked complex and I was already way overwhelmed just trying to grasp what diabetes has done to our world. As we gained our confidence in logging numbers, giving insulin shots, and counting carbs, my interest in pumping increased. Of course everytime we have met a diabetic child, they have had a pump, and that has certainly helped increase our interest too. Alex goes to events and turns out to be either the only child or one of like 2 o3 children using shots and still has that "different" feeling. Parents tell me how much they love the pump and how much easier it will make our lives. I believe them, but I guess I needed more time. So I've spent quite a bit of time researching and reading items from medical companies, online reviews, blogs, forums and so on. I've pretty much gathered that it's a crapshoot as to which pump is the "best" pump. Everyone loves their pump. So that means it comes down to which pump Alex is comfortable with and which one works for our everday life.

Anyway, the class itself was long but most of it was rather mundane - I've read everything they discussed as far as the pros and cons and what a pump does and so on. So we flew through those class slides (thankfully being the only ones in the class we could do that). I scored a 100% on my review "test". I mainly wanted some unbiased opportunity to handle the pumps and ask my questions about the whole infusion set thing and the entering of calculations.

Alex got to play with the pumps and even though she wasn't terribly enthusiastic about listening to the "boring" presentation, I told her to sit up and listen and called her back from the corner of the room a few times. She is almost 10. She doesn't get to play with her hair and her dress and yawn. She has to be a part of this to the best she can in my mind. That means listening to what this pump is and what it could do for her. That means helping to make a decision about which one she feels most confident wearing. Even though she yawned and paced, she listened. The instructor asked her questions and she was able to answer them. That's my girl!

As we neared the part where they put the tubing in, she started to fret and move to the corner of the room and tell us she changed her mind and didn't want a pump. We tried to reassure her that it was okay to be scared and that it was normal to feel that way. But she had to try it. She hated shots (and still does) but they are not as "bad" as they were at first. It's the not knowing that's more scary than the process itself once you know it. Reasoning didn't work. Bribery did. With the promise of a new Webkinz, she agreed to give it a try.

The educator used the inserter device and got it in her leg (she refused her belly). Alex was immediately quiet after it went in. I believe she was surprised - it wasn't as bad as her mind envisioned it to be. She said it hurt but not much different than a shot. Unfortunately, as luck for us would have it, the educator forgot to take the backing of the adhesive set and it didn't stick. That meant we had to do it again. I don't know why this happens to us almost at every appointment - we always have an "oops".  The site bled alot when she pulled it out and she cried. We convinced her to do it again. The second one went without a hitch. They let her hook up the Animas pump to it and walk around. She was so excited - I think because everyone she knows in the diabetes world has one of those and to her it's the "in" thing to do if your a diabetic 10 year old.

She was quite dismayed when they explained she couldn't take the pump itself with her - just wear the tubing connected to nothing once we left the building. She really wanted to take it to school to show the nurse and her friends. But we left without it and had lunch in the hospital cafeteria - very hungry after the almost 3 hours in the endocrinology wing. Then we stopped at Justice for Girls for the Webkinz.

She had the tubing on all evening without problems. She unclipped the tubing to swim and take her shower. She showed it to her uncle who babysat last night. She was excited to show it to her nurse today at school. She seems to be leaning toward liking it better than the pods we have liked. So right now, I'm not sure what we are going to end up doing. I'm just happy she's happy and excited about a new stage in our entry into the T1 world.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Creature of Habit

I admit it - I'm a creature of habit. Sometimes that serves me really well...like being the person that's always prepared. When it comes to diabetes, I have a system down - I have an organized cabinet of supplies. I have a cooler/carry out bag always ready and packed to go out. I have her medication on a good system for refill ordering. I have backup low blood sugar snacks most everywhere we might need them. It's working and it took a while to get here. Giving shots has suprisingly become "easy". It doesn't mean I like it. It doesn't mean she likes it. But I can whip out a vial and syringe and get it done rather quickly and discreetly now. If you would have asked me to do that a few months ago, I would have melted down.

Today I am nervous...we are putting our feet in the water and trialing an insulin pump. I can't find one person who has told me that pumping was the worst thing they ever did. Quite the opposite, everyone tells me how wonderful it is for their child. The concept does indeed seem inviting - no more shots all the time! If she wants seconds at the dinner table, it isn't a conflict of whether she is willing to take a second shot. If we're at a birthday party, a shot isn't taking away from enjoying her birthday cake with the rest of the crowd.

But...I'm nervous...just the same. Because I like being a creature of habit. I have shots down. I HATE math and it has taken a lot to get here. And now they are going to be introducing more strange words to me and more calculations (but at least from what I understand maybe a pump doing the math for me might make life better). And I'm nervous for Alex who is being brave but is scared of inserting the pump and has said so several times already this morning.

We'll be okay - I'm confident of that. But I'll feel better once we get through this unknown icky part of the morning...more later...