Ask Our Team
How can you convince fairly recently diagnosed teenagers to consider the pump..?? Our kids want NOTHING to do with pumping.. They are 15 and 17.. don't want "something attached".
Deana Herrera Walker saysThis question is one that is all too familiar to me. From the time I was about 16 years old, my family and medical team begged me to get an insulin pump. Like your children, I too felt that I didn't want anything "attached" to me and that I didn't need a "constant reminder" that I had diabetes. Finally, at the age of 19, my mother said a very simple statement but it rang loud and clear to me. She said, "Just try it! If you don't like it, throw it in the back of your closet and you can go back to doing what you have been for the past 11 years". I thought, "She's right! Let me "try" it! I'll hate it and then at least I won't have to "hear" about it anymore"! Well, much to my surprise, I was "pumping" for about 24 hours and LOVED it!!! I realized in that very short amount of time that a pump had the opposite effect of what I had imagined! It actually helped me to "forget" about having diabetes in a sense because I didn't have to watch the clock, excuse myself to inject and eat when I wanted (not when it was "time for snack")!
Now, with this said, you would think that as soon as my daughter was diagnosed that I would put her right on a pump! That was not the case. I was hesitant to "attach" my 3 year-old to a pump. Would it get tangled when she was sleeping? Where would I put it on her tiny body? Would it get caught while she was running around like any 3 year-old should? Thankfully, I was introduced to the OmniPod. It seemed to be the answer to all of my questions and concerns. And...it was! One year ago, both my daughter and I made the switch to the OmniPod and I have NEVER looked back! For my daughter, it gives her the freedom of "pumping" without the tubing. As for myself, (let me add that I NEVER minded the tubing on my pump), it was life-changing in a way that I never expected! I know Insulet (the makers of the OmniPod) is kind enough to do trials so that you can experience the "pod" for a few days without any financial burden. Who knows? Maybe your children will "just try it" and learn to love it as much as I do!!
Gary Scheiner saysMy answer to this family is this: Expose the kids to other kids their age who are taking a proactive approach to caring for their own diabetes. This certainly doesn't guarantee that they will want to go on a pump, but it will allow them to see how other teens are using them and benefitting from them.
There is no place better for doing accomplishing this than at a CWD (Children With Diabetes) conference. CWD conference group kids of similar age/interests together. Although not the primary intention, doing so forces the kids to learn from each other and inquire about some of the newer technologies and techniques that are being used to manage. Regional conferences are held throughout the year in various cities, and a mega-conference is held annually in Orlando. More information is at www.childrenwithdiabetes.com.