Saturday 26 November 2011

I Still Remember...

Free Write a Post that starts with the line "I still remember..."

I still remember the day we switched from syringes to an insulin pump as if it were yesterday, and yet it's been 4 years. Late November 2007 Dylan started on the Minimed Paradigm 522 insulin pump and we never looked back. Now, 4 years and an expired warranty later, we are about to embark on a new pumping journey with the Paradigm VEO.

It's hard to explain all of the phenomenal ways in which pumping has enhanced Dylan's life. But here are the top five pump highlights (in no particular order) that Dylan is most crazy about:

1) It allows him the flexibility to basically eat what he wants when he wants. Before pumping, Dylan had a very specific meal plan. He had 3 meals per day, consisting of 45 grams of carbohydrate each, interspersed with 3 snacks of 15 grams per day. They were timed to meet the peaks of the insulin injections he was receiving, so he had to eat at pre-set times or risk low blood sugar.

2) It eliminates multiple daily injections. HUGE bonus!! Dylan was getting 4 injections per day - 2 in the morning (1 injection of rapid insulin and 1 of long acting insulin), 1 injection of rapid at dinner, and an injection of a different long acting insulin at night. It was messy, a nuisance to measure all the time, and the needles were big and painful for a 5 year old.

3) It helps to stabilize his blood sugar levels. Sure, it's far from perfect, but we certainly have less severe high and low swings with the pump. The continuous basal insulin, coupled with the ease of tweaking carb and bolus amounts has vastly reduced the massive high and low swings he used to get.

4) Better A1c numbers. For the most part Dyl's A1c numbers have been better with the pump. There is still room for improvement, but we're moving in the right direction.

5) Finally, and this is the number one advantage to pumping, it gives Dylan so much independence. Before pumping I was with him all of the time, hovering and monitoring his every move. Now, he can go to friend's houses to play, and even sleepover, he can be a "regular kid" at birthday parties, and he can play sports just as hard as his peers. He is responsible for all of his blood sugar testing, carb counting, and bolusing. He can tell you the carb count of virtually any food right off the top of his head, and if it happens to be one he doesn't know, he has an awesome app on his iPod to help him (CarbFinder) figure it out. I oversee everything and do his site changes, but he likes to be responsible for the day to day pumping.

I couldn't imagine going to back to MDI's (Multiple Daily Injections) and neither could Dyl. We are so excited to usher in another 4 years of pumping with the new pump!

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