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Arden's Day Blog

Arden's Day is a type I diabetes care giver blog written by author Scott Benner. Scott has been a stay-at-home dad since 2000, he is the author of the award winning parenting memoir, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal'. Arden's Day is an honest and transparent look at life with diabetes - since 2007.

type I diabetes, parent of type I child, diabetes Blog, OmniPod, DexCom, insulin pump, CGM, continuous glucose monitor, Arden, Arden's Day, Scott Benner, JDRF, diabetes, juvenile diabetes, daddy blog, blog, stay at home parent, DOC, twitter, Facebook, @ardensday, 504 plan, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal, Dexcom SHARE, 生命是短暂的,洗衣是永恒的, Shēngmìng shì duǎnzàn de, xǐyī shì yǒnghéng de

Switching from MDI to an insulin pump

Scott Benner

This post is in response to the question that Melissa posed on 'Ask Me Anything'.

Hi Scott,

I was wondering how you felt when you got Arden's pump. Alison has been doing MDI since July 2010 and we just got her first pump yesterday.

I have to admit that I was really excited when the girls and I opened the box up. The little ones were excited to see the unit power up and hear the sounds it made and it was a really positive experience.

Once both girls were asleep in their beds, I took another quick look in the box. I was overcome with tears. I felt this enormous weight and sadness, almost like I did when we were coming to grips with Alison's diagnosis.

Just thought maybe others could share how they felt (excited, nervous, sad) about the changes in their child's lives. - Melissa

To answer your question simply... I was nervous beyond compare when we made the move to pumping. In my opinion switching brings up a lot of those old diagnosis feelings becasue it again challenges you to learn something foreign and learn it quick. That should be the definition of pressure, "figure this out or here's the list of bad things that'll happen to your child".

The long answer is this... In a few days we'll be celebrating Arden's third anniversary with her OmniPod insulin pump. I can remember getting more and more nervous as her pump start appointment approached. On the way home from the endo's office that day we stopped for lunch and I thought that I was going to cry right at the restaurant table. Switching from MDI to a pump instantly reduced me from a seasoned type I parent to a rookie. In that moment everything felt new and I was confusing myself with every move that I made. Basal, bolus, cannula... why did they have to rename stuff? What was wrong with long acting and short?

I just about fell apart... Then I looked over at Arden and she didn't care that everything was new. She was beaming, thrilled that the shots had ended... that's all she knew or cared about. I figured that if she could do it then so could I. So I took a deep breath and thought to myself, "bolus is the shot, basal is the long acting insulin, this is going to help her... lower A1c, no more shots... bolus is the shot - I can do this." A week later I felt like a pro again (I wasn't but at least I wasn't scared).

Melissa, I've been overwhelmed by a great many diabetes related moments. My best advice is that we have to go through these things so we can become the people that our children need. The first few years and the changes that come with them are our diabetes education. No one is going to be able to fully explain this disease to anyone else, we all have to live it to learn it, we have to suffer with it to master it.

One night as I was putting Arden to bed she asked me, "what am I going to do when I go to college", referring to overnight management. Poor kid, she's seven years old and she is concerned that she won't be able to be safe ten years from now. After I explained that by then she'd have a system just like mine, I went into the next room and cried. The trick is that I left my sadness in that room when I was finished. I choose to let those moments strengthen me. I considered them a hurdle crossed instead of another chink in my armor. I may be fooling myself but if I am... it's working.

Living this life demands that we get scared and even cry sometimes but always push on...

Congratulations on moving your little girl to insulin pumping, I hope and expect that it will be a wonderful addition to both of your lives! I know that my stress decreased significantly when the OmniPod came into our lives.

If anyone would like to share how changes in their child's care has affected them, please post your remarks after Melissa's at this link.

Great thanks to Melissa for sharing!