Changing Pumps

T1D parents know heartbreak, it's practically a certificate that is handed to you the day your child is diagnosed. There are additional little heartaches throughout the years....those times that your child is too high and can't have a particular treat, the times that a pump site fails early and you unexpectedly have to change a site on a crying child, the nights you have to wake your sleeping child to ingest sugars so that they can survive the night.

But we recently encountered one that made my heart shear a bit more. Our first case of bullying.

In this case, it was due to her pump. My daughter is 5 and is currently in Kindergarten. Although her class is very supportive (the teacher's own kid has T1D), unfortunately she is exposed to other, older children who have not been taught about T1D. So at P.E., she told us that she was being called names by 2nd graders. The standout of those names was "octo-tube". (I can't go harass all the kids at the school for hurting my daughter's feelings y'all. Well, I could, but I choose not to because I want to be able to step foot on the school campus.) She was on the Animas Ping, which to that point 3+ years in, had been a great pump to us. We had originally looked at the tubeless Omnipod, but at 24 months old, her basal rates were not high enough for their minimum basal rates. The Ping was fantastic with its' remote so we didn't have to hold down a child to give insulin doses. It was waterproof, it was able to give those microdoses, it was pink. But what it wasn't was as invisible as my daughter wished it to be. Her little fanny pack holding the pump was ever present, and her tube was often found circling her waist. I wouldn't change our decision to go with it because it was what we needed at the time. But M is now old enough to understand more about the disease, more about social interactions, more about shame and humiliation. She expressed that she liked the Omnipod that she was seeing other girls in a local diabetes group have. She liked that there was no tube and that she could hide it under clothes if she wanted to.

I can't change diabetes, but this was something I COULD change.

So I did. I "cut the cord". I cancelled the pending order for Animas supplies. I called her insurance company to check for any limitations in coverage for Omnipod. I called Omnipod and filled out the benefits check. Within a week, I had the Omnipod sitting in my hands, and a week after that, we had pump class with the endo's office and were active on it. The cost? $199.99 with Omnipod's special program for people like us wanting to switch to tubeless while they have an active warranty for a tubed pump. We have 8 months left on our warranty with Animas (and had just recently been issued a replacement due to some screen issues), so now we have a warrantied pump through Omnipod for 2 years, which will bring us into the end of 2018. I am hoping that (real) Artificial Pancreas's will be FDA approved for her age by then and we can use our insurance to purchase one. (No Medtronic, your 670g is NOT a "real" AP).

 Of course I had to immediately paint the pods. Because I have a nail polish addiction (thanks Julep!), I had a ton of colors. Add in some stickers, and I had a somewhat cute collection to get her started. I was able to surprise her after school, and she got in on helping to paint a few as well. I also discovered I am not as good of an artist as I thought :/

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