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It’s Getting Complicated.

I recently wrote about Lance and the shocking discovery of symptoms with a sinister familiarity to Peripheral Neuropathy. Now that I have the ability to look at the words without feeling extreme nausea, I wanted to give everyone who commented and sent encouraging emails an update.

Firstly, I have been very cool and calm when it comes to Lance’s night time groans and discomfort. I don’t want him to latch onto the fact that I am stricken with fear. I put my Cate Blanchett hat on, and while remaining completely honest with him, I cannot show him that I’m fraught with concern.

We have been to our GP, who has an amazing rapport with Lance. I dislike speaking about Lance’s Diabetes in a negative light to anyone when Lance is present. Therefore, I asked him to tell Dr Congo about his symptoms of hot, burning feet at night.

“Well, it doesn’t matter if it’s the coldest night, it feels like there is a bushfire in my feet. Sometimes I have to look at my feet just to check that they really aren’t on fire.”

Dr Congo turned his head towards me, searching for my reaction. His reaction made me want to be sick.

“Lance, tell me, do you get pins and needles often?”

“Everyday.”

“Can you point to where you feel the bushfire the most?”

Lance grabbed his ankle, then rubbed over the top of his foot, tracing his finger over blueish veins.

He also added that he has mild tingling in his lower calf.

Dr Congo pressed his middle and index fingers together on Lance’s foot. He sat in silence, concentrating.

He then performed a reflex test on Lance’s kneecaps. Normal response noted.

Dr Congo swung around on his chair and raised his eyebrows at me.

“Well, I need you to bring Lance in to have a DIabetic Assessment with one of the registered nurses. Then, once they have gathered the information we need, I’m going to refer you to a podiatrist who specialises in Diabetes complications.”

Those last two words.

I read them, I write them. Occasionally, I’ve even said them.

But no one has ever said them with such pathos.

I have also contacted his Diabetes Educator.

“What was his last A1C?” she asked.

“7.1” I replied.

“I’d say it’s a growth spurt, Kate. Seriously, kids don’t have neuropathy problems.”

“Really?” I asked hopefully.

“Well, when was he diagnosed? 3, 4 years ago?”

“It will be 6 years on the 1st November.”

“Oh. Listen, Charles is on duty today, can you please give him a call?”

(Charles is one of four endocrinologists who work exclusively with children. Unfortunately, we have never met Charles, and he is unaware of Lance’s history.)

“Peripheral Neuropathy only occurs in older people with poor control and high AIC’s. Oh, and with type 2 diabetes.”

My jaw fell in astonishment.

AN ENDOCRINOLOGIST MAKING FOUR BLATANT GENERALISATIONS IN VIRTUALLY ONE SENTENCE.

“I’d just like to point out that before Lance started on insulin infusion, his control was shocking, he had massive fluctuations due to growth hormones. He was having up to 7 injections a day to keep him in single digits, and it was really hard work to achieve that.”

“Nup. Doesn’t make any difference. He’s type 1.”

As much as I was desperate to believe him, I was angry that he was brushing aside my concerns, and his slap-happy approach to pinning peripheral neuropathy onto lazy, irresponsible adults with type 2 diabetes left me postively livid.

Our endocrinologist is in Vietnam on a 4 week holiday. He left the day before I called him.

Lance’s Aunt Kel is a sports scientist, who is currently completing a two year trial with a group of men and women in their sixties,all who have type 2 diabetes. She is excited to present her thesis which will reveal that each of the particpants blood sugar levels have overall improved dramatically as a result of strengthening muscles through weight training.

I spoke to Kel last night, and mentioned Lance’s symptoms.

“Oh my God.” she whispered.

“I KNOW!” I exclaimed, relieved that someone understood my concerns.

She immediately launched into exercise specialist mode and set Lance 100 toe lifts (quick lift up onto toes, and slow drop on the way down) a day. She encouraged plenty of foot movement, toe wiggles, trampoline, circling his feet, all in an attempt to improve circulation. I immediately felt so much relief from hearing advice that was positive and beneficial from a professional.

So, Lance has commenced his toe lifts, we have an appointment with Dr Congo tomorrow who will write Lance’s assessment and then contact the podiatrist for an appointment.

I have incorperated a 10 minute massage after Lance’s shower. I rub until I can feel warmth exuding from his feet , and it is providing him with a little relief.

There really is nothing more that I can do, except to try to remain positive.

I will give another update after the assessment and the appointment. Looking at this has made me remind myself that Diabetes is not just about insulin therapy. As a parent who is responsible for educating my son about how to take care of his condition, I acknowledge that’s its so important to remain quietly vigilant everyday. Just little things could make a mammoth difference to a complication-free adolescence. Now that we’ve passed the five year mark, we need to add some new specialists into our diabetes management program.

As much as I do worry, I am constantly amazed at Lance’s ability to accept what accomanpanies diabetes. Right now, his biggest worry is whether he’s getting a Lego truck for his birthday.

The Birthday Present. (Well, one of them. I'm hopeless.)

The Birthday Present. (Well, one of them. I'm hopeless.)

(It’s sitting up in the top of my cupboard wrapped between pillows and blankets. He looks at a Lego catalogue everyday, and studies intently the detail and pieces of this truck. I’ll have an 8 year old in 26 days, and he’s simply amazing. :))

 

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Neuropathic Night WatchChick.

I have had a hiatus from writing for a while.

Sigh.

Lance has some very disturbing symptoms, which I feel could be linked to peripheral neuropathy.

I know a seven  year old who has just experienced a hellish winter, due to numbness and terribly cold and  painful hands and feet.

For the past week, he has taken up to three hours at night to actually fall asleep, because his “feet are hot, they’re burning, from 1-10, it’s so horrible it’s a 10”. Massage, ibuprofen gives minimal relief. He finally falls asleep, but only out of sheer exhaustion.

His sixth year anniversary since diagnosis is ten days away.

I cringe as I think of all the wild fluctuations in his blood sugar levels when he was a baby/toddler.

I have an appointment for him tomorrow with his GP. I will be requesting further tests, as this is too real to be just a coincidence.

(I foolishly googled ‘type 1 diabetes hot feet night’ and landed on a site that made my heart sink.)

When I am massaging Lance’s feet, they are cool to touch. Tonight he had his feet up parallel to the fan, in an attempt to get some relief. His feet are spotless-he has no cuts or scratches. However, he frequently has pins and needles, at least once a day.

Some people knit or watch tv in their down time. I inspect every part of my son’s feet.

I am REALLY hoping for the best, but there’s a part of me that just “knows” that my boy is in trouble.

 

In the meantime, could you all keep him in your thoughts and prayers?

He’s 8 years old next month.

Eight..wow. It just hit me that he is still so young, yet he has been through SO much. He never complains, he remains upbeat and positive about having type 1 diabetes and he is so proud of his pump.

Anyway, I guess I just had to vent my fears.

I’ll provide updates as they unfold regarding his appointment tomorrow.

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Three Little Questions… One Big Problem… You Can Help!

I’ve invested quite some time researching and learning about a medical condition associated with Type 1 Diabetes.

I realised that I need your help to complete an interview and report I will be publishing in the semi-immediate future.

 I am asking three questions, and, in an attempt to create awareness AND provide help and hope for the sufferers of this condition, it would be of much value, and deeply appreciated, if you could please leave an answer to one, two or all three questions. 🙂

1. Have you ever heard of, or read the term, “Diabulimia?”

Now..that was easy! You can answer yes or no, or maybe you might like to elaborate. ( Yes/No is fine, though. )

If you didn’t know the answer to Question 1, you may stop HERE.

2. What age group/sex would you expect the majority of people with Diabulimia to fall under?

Just a M for Male or a F for Female and some numbers relating to age group will be dandy. 🙂

3. Can you give three adjectives or phrases to describe what the terms, “Diabulimia” or “Diabulimic” mean to you ?

That’s it!

If you do decide to help me with my project, I would be so grateful for just a minute or two of your time with some answers.

And, if you are now curious as to what I’m up to..watch this space.

Any answers submitted will be strictly confidentalno answers will be approved for publishing on this blog, or will any names/titles used in the report. These questions are for statistical purposes only

I am the only person that will see the responses.

Thank you so much for your help and valuable answers!!!

 

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The Hunger.

“When it is good, it is very very good…”

We are entering Week Four of pumping.

Things are progressing incredibly! Site changes are a breeze, with no infections to be seen and readings that are almost too good to be true. Hypos are nowhere near as savage and insidious as they once were.

Despite some initial hiccups, it feels like a lifetime ago when flexpens were responsible for dispensing Lance’s insulin. Today it’s all about five buttons and a Main Menu. It’s just so fantastic to have some of the worry taken out of diabetes.

“but when it is bad, it is horrid!”

As I am responsible for Lance’s blood sugar control and insulin administration, I’m the first to say that there have been some days (and very long nights) where I feel so desperately alone. When the pump beeps at me, and flashes messages indicating a problem, my heart jumps into my throat and I experience such overwhelming nausea, that, just for a nanosecond, I want to pack the whole thing up and hide it in my highest cupboard.

It’s about a week until our checkup with the paediatric endocrinologist. As we are still sorting out basal rates and a few other issues, we are fingerpricking up a storm. I want to be able to give the Doc the best representation of how life has been since we last saw each other a month ago, so I have carefully compiled all of Lance’s readings in his record book.

I’m yearning for unbroken sleep..At the moment, I’m averaging about four hours a night in total, and it’s nowhere NEAR enough.

Meanwhile, there is another issue that has me tearing my hair out.

Now, that Lance is receiving only Novorapid via his pump, he is stupendously hungry, all the time. I can NEVER satiate his hunger, no matter how much low GI, carb laden food I put in front of him. I can spend two hours in the kitchen preparing an evening meal, and upon completing every last morsel, he is STILL looking for something else.

I have tried halving his bolus amounts, thinking that perhaps I am being too heavy-handed with how many units of insulin I am permitting the pump to administer. It’s not that, as an hour later, he is sucking back water, and squirming around like he has several ant colonies scurrying all over his body.

We have a dog, and a cat. They have been wormed, but with the pump hoopla, I had forgotten to worm Lance. That was taken care of two weeks ago. So, no dearest Elder, he doesn’t have worms from our pets. Still, he craves carbohydrates only half an hour to an hour after a huge main meal. His blood sugar levels are hovering around the 5.5mmol/L-7mmol/L area about 80% of the time, (oh and believe me, for this, there is no adjective grandiose enough to explain how it feels to say “good riddance” to those horrid dips and spikes..) but I simply cannot keep his mind off what he can eat next!!!

(I have spoken to the Diabetes Educator about it, and she has suggested that it is possibly just the last part of his growth spurt, and to feed him what he wants, simply accounting for the extra carbohydrates he consumes by bolusing. )

A month ago, the first words Lance would utter were, “Good Morning, did you have lovely dreams?”

Now, he is plotting and planning what he can have for breakfast, and exclaiming how ravenous he is.

I am spending more time preparing food, then I am sleeping!

This is the only place where I can publically vent, as I can NEVER show Lance that I am privately frustrated with preparing feasts that would feed a small African village. It is starting to frustrate him also, as he is tired of brushing his teeth everytime he has to snack, and I can tell he feels remorseful that he has to continously ask me to find suitable snacks for him. As all food consumed has to be accounted for, he has to report to me so that I can administer the correct dosage. Sleep deprivation isn’t helping one single bit.

I have found myself having to bite my tongue when bedtime rolls along.

“Mum, if I brush my teeth again, can I please have a box of sultanas?”

Sigh.

The opportunity to actually speak to the endocrinologist and outline these concerns will be a such a relief. I know that the extra Novorapid and the out-of-whack basal levels are causing the hinge of my fridge to develop a squeak, but it will be SUCH a comfort to drive away from his office, knowing that the corrections he makes will reduce an appetite equivilent to the winner of Survivor.

Other than The Hunger, all things Diabetes are really looking up!

 

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When You Are Silently Dumped For Not Pumping.

Since Lance has started on the Minimed Pump, we have suddenly experienced a noted rise in popularity within our Type 1 Community. It’s not my imagination, even Lance has noticed it.

We have received kind gestures from family and friends, who know that Lance has been plagued with sudden, severe bouts of hypoglycaemia all his D life. They are genuinely delighted that Lance has the opportunity of not experiencing such exhausting days.

However, I’m not so sure about the members of my Type 1 Community. It appears that they are more interested in the prestige associated with Lance now that he has an insulin pump, rather than be ecstatic for a little boy who has been notoriously ill on so many occasions in his short life.

 Last week, we bumped straight into a mother and son at our local NDSS counter, who used to smile meekly at us, but never seemed keen to participate in conversation.  Her eyes used to follow the pharmacist as he stacked up equipment for our trusty insulin pens. I’m sure this isn’t too harsh, -but the reception we were greeted with today was like having an enounter with a Stepford Wife, or in this instance, ‘Stepford Mum.”

"Golly, I wonder how many carbs I'll have to bolus for when insulin pumps are invented?"

“Golly, I wonder how many carbs I’ll have to bolus for butter-laden frosting on my prize-winning chocolate cake when insulin pumps are invented…” 

Stepford Mum grabbed my wrists, and warmly congratulated me on finally becoming an insulin pump-savvy Mum.

“Tarquin! Come and look at Lance’s new pump!” she cried, whilst beaming down at Lance. (I was a little dumbfounded; I had NEVER seen this woman act so chirpy!!!)

 Tarquin darted from behind a corner as Lance lifted his sweater on cue.

“Oh look! Lance has the MiniMed!” squealed Stepford Mum, her eyes dancing, and each perfect veneer sparkling.

“Tarquin was 3 when he started on the pump, and back then, our private health insurer wouldn’t cover the Minimed,” she said in hushed tones. “Our next one will definitely be the Minimed, because you can’t get any better.”(Look out, Medtronic, you may just have yourselves an up-and-coming jingle…)

 I nodded and smiled in agreement.

“By the way, could I get your email address and cell number?” enquired Stepford Mum. I could actually sense slight vulnerability as she held her Blackberry, (not very Stepford-ish, I know) waiting to enter my details. I had to bite my cheek-giving her my email address was the easy part, however, it had been quite sometime since I had been asked for my “Cell.” (Most Aussies commonly refer to cell phones as Mobile phones,and commonly, “mobes” for short.) This was all too surreal…

“So, now that Lance is on the pump, we should get the boys together for a play date. You and I can indulge in an iced tea on the deck. What do you think?” Again, Stepford Mum smiled sweetly, her eyes searching mine for a reply. (So, Lance was unsuitable play-date material pre-pump? Hmmm.)

This was a woman who used to run her eyes up every inch of Lance, searching for the hint of a brand name or for the chance sighting of kiddy haute couture.. Tarquin was always sporting a crisp GAP or D&G ensemble. He would make a fantastic poster child for pumpwear, without a doubt.

Does having an insulin pump now mean we aren’t members of the old-school club of injectors, but gold class members of a new echelon of technologically-savvy diabetes treaties?

Stepford Mum isn’t the only one who has changed her tune. We have received emails from people that I tried to establish a Type 1 social group with two years ago, alas, Lance was one of the only kids who injected insulin. And often.

Despite the fact that we have been pumping for only just over two weeks, I was humoured by an email that was waiting alone in my inbox. I opened it, and had to backtrack in an attempt to recall where I knew the name.

Margot. She has a daughter named Sia. Sia started on the pump after the “terrible distress and agony” that having injections caused her. She was diagnosed as being psychologically “very delicate,” therefore, despite the fact that she was still clearly in her honeymoon period-her levels never exceded 9mmol/L- once she had started insulin therapy (!!!) It was literally weeks when she got the all clear from her private health provider to start pumping. This always annoyed me slightly, as she has probably endured a total of 50 injections in her D life. (And, as for the diagnosis of being psychologically fragile, traumatised and distressed, I have a gut feeling that Margot was referring to herself, and not little Sia.)

 Margot had discovered www.whydidtheinsulindie.com through a friend, and she felt that it was only good etiquette to email me. She too, expressed dissatisfaction with Sia’s current pump, and wanted to know how I found the Minimed. She also asked if I had any ideas about how to stop Sia from screaming and ranting every time she has a site change! (If Sia’s immune system decided that, yes, she would be special enough to have a chronic illness, Type 1 diabetes was the worst possible selection (for Margot) from the (un)lucky dip.) After five years, Sia has made “no ground regarding accepting her condition, in fact, she’s become worse.” (Her diagnosis really did a number on Margot.) Five years after diagnosis, Sia’s tears have flown enough to put an end to the drought. Margot was looking for life-altering ideas. I suggested that Lance and Sia meet up and do a site change together, with Margot and me providing assistance and encouragement. I left my mobile number in case she needed to get in touch. That evening, Margot was simply overjoyed that I had suggested the kids’ get together. Lance has no shame about any procedures concerning diabetes, however it will be interesting to see how Sia fares. In all seriousness, it would be fantastic to see her relax and accept the fact that no, she doesn’t have a stomach that is healing from over 8000 injections. She was very fortunate to be given a pump, only a few weeks after leaving hospital.

Which brings me to last but not least, Yasmine O’Donoghue. She has a 14 year old son named Jesse, who started pump therapy when he was 10. I had tried many times to make conversation with her, because, believe it or not, I actually thought that we could possibly be good candidates as friends. However, Yasmine was allergic to those nasty insulin pens. Our injection status always drew pitiful stares and upside down smiles. Whenever she would see Lance “old-schooling” it. I would always try to reverse the situation by giving the most dazzling smile I could conjure up. She would look at Lance and gesture sadly towards his bruised tummy.

Our paths crossed last week. I was picking up sugar-free, carbohydrate-free chocolate from a nearby pharmacy; she had just emerged from her chiropractor. She saw us from about five metres away, and sashayed her way over to us, planting kisses on cheeks, and an extra big hug for Lance.

“Yasmine, how ARE you?” I don’t know how I managed to sound so chipper.

“YOU ARE PUMPING! I heard all about it! Ooooh Lance, you MUST be thrilled that Mummy finally gave in and let you get a pump! Good for you!” she cooed.

There was deafening silence. My eyes narrowed like a cat on the prowl. Lance looked up at me; he knew how wrong that comment sounded. He wasn’t quite sure why. He just knew that Mrs O’Donoghue had made a rather nasty dig towards his mother.

I think she quickly realised her lack of tact had not been particularly well received.

“Listen, Kate, give me your address, and I will drop over and give you some of Jesse’s old holsters and pump pouches that don’t fit anymore!”

(As I am huge fan of accessories, whether it’s funky new luggage that I don’t need, pashminas, or Prada frames,(I don’t even WEAR glasses!) I have already invested in some cool skins for Lance’s pump, and a waist pouch, with a thigh pouch on the way.)

“Oh, thank you so much for the offer, but I already have all of those items!”I replied with a smile and a perky head tilt.

Oh, of course you do. Oh it’s just been so long since Jesse started pumping…” she sighed.

“It’s almost time for our upgrade, do you have any recommendations?”

(Jaw hit the floor.)

She was asking me ?  A few months ago, I was the woman who was looked upon as the kind of Mum who sent her kid to school in a home made knitted jumper a shade or three different than the school colours, rather than the specialty store variety that everyone else had.

I told Mrs O’Donoghue to come by my house anytime, as I had plenty of current literature about the pumps currently available in Australia.

She smiled, and gave me a distinct look of approval.

I was absolutely dumbfounded, whilst still being able to have a chuckle to myself. Is this what really happens? Was I really secretly looked down upon for all these years? Was I the topic of pity parties because I happen to be a single mother who doesn’t have full Private Health Insurance?

(In Australia, if you have been with your Private Health insurer for 12 months, most will pay out the entire  amount for insulin pumps.)

Just when I thought it couldn’t get anymore hilarious, Lance and I emerged from the supermarket today, with some weekend supplies. We collided with a woman who would like to think of herself as the closest thing to a Diabetes Educator, without acutally having the qualifications. (Granted, she is a vault of knowledge. I’ll give her that.)

Without saying a word, she slung her handbag over her shoulder, and began APPLAUDING us!

(For a split second, I thought I may have been on Candid Camera.)

Just like the people who approach you and ask to touch your pregnant belly, she asked Lance if she could see his site. Lance lifted his shirt, to reveal the evidence. She covered her mouth with one hand, and began fanning her eyes with the other…

OH PUH-LEESE. If there were tears, I was fearful that I may slap her wrist.

“Oh, it’s just so emotional when you see little ones finally get the pump..it’s such an amazing feeling knowing that their quality of life is going to be improved, and that they can live as close to being “normal” without a cure..”

Despite her initial over-the-top reaction, I couldn’t have agreed with her more.

So, we may be finally “pumping.” It’s hilarious that as a JDRF Advocate and JDRF Youth Ambassador respectively, Lance and I have been fighting to make people aware of the serious nature of his condition, and the truth behind Type 1 diabetes. However, within our small Type 1 Community, WE were being judged because of the way we chose to administer Lance’s insulin!!

We were the minority in a minority.

The past 2-and-a-half-weeks have shown that we are no longer recognised as wearing that knitted school jumper. Now that my son has a pump, he is considered to be uber cool in terms of owning superfly diabetes accessories. That’s until the next old-schooler moves up the ladder and begins pumping.

As far as I’m concerned, we were JUST as cool when we had toted our insulin pens and glucose tablets everywhere we went. I was proud to be an old-schooler. The way that Lance’s very first insulin injection transformed him within 45 minutes from a weak, almost unconscious baby into his babbling, curious and adorable self, smothering me in wet, slobbery kisses will always be a moment that is so incredibly dear to my heart.

Insulin is insulin.

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

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Befuddled With The Pump.

Does anyone in the D Community who considers themselves “pump savvy” own or use a Medtronic (Minimed) Paradigm 733?

I always seem to call the hospital just when the Diabetes Educator is at lunch..or it’s her day off…

I have spent a good deal of today on the phone, trying to gather as much information as humanly possible.

Medtronic provided me with a fantastic information package, but until you are fully accustomed to the new terms, it feels a little like having 80% proficiency in French when you have just accepted a teaching position in France!!!!

 I have to admit, I am feeling a little overwhelmed.( I am now cursing myself for not recording the education session that was given at the hospital.)

Medtronic have been an absolute delight to do business with, and I’m so pleased with the choice we made. However, I really feel like I needed a more comprehensive education session at the hospital to grasp the full concept of learning about the pump, and learning about how it affects Lance’s individual requirements.

I’m devoting as much time as I can to reading and studying the instructions that were provided, but I feel like I really need to pick someone’s brain about the “litle things.”

If a kind and willing soul wants to help Lance’s Mum , I would be SO grateful. Eight hours of information rattled off isn’t how I learn to the best of my ability. I’m more your “recapping what was just covered”, followed by a practical demonstration kind of girl.

The only feeling that I can compare this feeling of uncertainty to is looking swish and gorgeous for work;strutting down the street, only to discover I have put walked three blocks through the city in thong instead of heels.

 

I know it’s only been just over a week since Duplo (Lance’s name for his pump) has been in our care, but I am desperate to kick that HBA1C in the butt, and have Lance continue to make remarks about how well he feels and how he’s bursting with energy.

I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

 

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Pre-Pump Troubleshooting

After years of reading success stories by the hundreds about people with Type 1 converting to insulin pump therapy, I am so delighted to announce that finally, it’s Lance’s turn.

After our last round of blood tests, I decided that I can’t compete with mimicking a functioning pancreas any longer. Therefore, with an exchange of a few sentences each, our endocrinologist and I decided that it was a smart move to pass the job over to the Medtronic Paradigm Real Time Insulin Pump.

It took only a few phone calls before just like that, Lance found himself booked into hospital. His pump is waiting for him there. We have an appointment with a dietician, then plan to check into a lush hotel, and casually meander over to the hospital the following day.

However, it seems that Lance maybe a not quite as eager as I thought he might be.

I could instantly tell that something was bothering him late last week. Everytime I have mentioned the pump, he will either change the subject, or just switch off.

Over the weekend, I used some reverse psychology to get to the root of the problem.

“You know what, Lance? I’m a bit worried that you aren’t going to be able to have comfortable sleeps when you have the pump…do you think it will be annoying?” I asked, as innocently as possible.

“OH Yes, MUM! I have been worried about the exact same thing! I am scared that it will get tangled up and it will get ripped out and I will bleed all over the sheets!” he blurted out. He looked SO relieved to finally have heard himself say it.

“Well, I remember when you wrote to Brendon, and talked to him about the pump. He said that it isn’t uncomfortable at all. He would know, because he has had his pump for a long time now.” I said, grabbing my laptop to find Brendon’s email. (Brendon is Lance’s penpal who lives in America.)

“Oh yeah. That’s right. I forgot about that. What if the pumps in America are different to the ones in Australia?”

“Your pump is made in America, so it will be just like Brendon’s.” I could tell that Lance was feeling a little better.

“Mum?”

“Yes?”

“Is it okay if we don’t speak about the pump for a little while? I’m really over hearing about it. I just hope these nurses and doctors know what they are doing..” he said, complete with furrowed brow.

I held in stifled laughter, and assured him that that’s their job; to help people with their insulin pumps when they come to hospital, and make them feel safe enough so that they feel confident enough to return home.

I can totally understand where his worries lie.

From a lifetime of injections, to becoming attached to a machine that suddenly takes the place of the insulin pens we know so well, I put myself in Lance’s shoes, and I can understand that suddenly stopping insulin, and handing complete control over to a machine would be very daunting and frightening indeed.

Just because he comes across like a knowlegable and together 30 year old, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have seven year old fears.

He is catching up with his good friend whom he travelled to Kids in the House with this week. She has been a pumper for almost four years, so she is an expert-and Lance adores her. I am hoping that talking with her will allay some of his fears. She is going to show him her site and pump, and explain how she doesn’t let it control her every minute.

When Lance was diagnosed, a handful of people had insulin pumps. Now, we are classified as old schoolers, as we are still administering insulin via injection.

He also hit me with another pearler tonight.

“Mum, HOW on earth am I supposed to know how many carbohydrates are in 5 grapes? Or even my dinner? I’m not going to be able to tell my pump what to do properly, because I don’t know about carboydrates properly yet..”

My poor precious boy.

I scooped him up in my arms, and told him that he needn’t be worrying about carbohydrates just yet. I made sure he understood that it would still be my job to make sure the right amounts were entered into his pump. I assured him that I knew that with his sharp mind, that it wouldn’t take long before he remembered and wanted to do it all himself. He half-smiled; he has an extraordinary memory.

It’s so easy to think that you are giving your child the most amazing gift in the world by starting them on insulin pump therapy, however, it did make me stop and think that little minds do tick over, and it’s very important that they have some pre-pump advice, from a fellow pumper, or even a child psychologist. (Most good diabetes clinics have one on staff.)

For now, I’m making sure he gets plenty of TLC and lots of hugs and extra love. (If that is at all possible!)

I realise now I probably did overdo the pre-pump hoopla.

Once he gets used to the idea, it is going to take ME a while to learning how to exist in the world again. We have both become institutionalised by living a life based around numerous daily injections.

Anyway, his steel grey pump is waiting for him with his name on it. I will be in raptures when the day arrives when he realises that he can be “just Lance”…. for the first time that he can remember.

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