Poppy's Insulin Pumps
- 12 May 2017
- Healthy Living
Insulin Pumps - Poppys experience
Poppy's quality of life improved dramatically after she went on the pump back in October 2006.
When Poppy was on injections, if she had blood sugar readings in the teens - 13 and upwards we would be frustrated with this but often powerless to do anything to help - other than give her another injection. However, injections are such a crude form of insulin delivery that correction doses could send her low. As she is on a pump, if she is high, we can dial up a few tenths of a unit to correct her blood sugars. If she wants to eat a ice cream - she can - we just dial up the right amount of insulin for the carbs.
Poppy loves her pump! She likes the independence - as she dials up her own readings - with a little supervision. I'm not saying the pump is easy - it involves more blood tests and a big learning curve. Also, carb counting is essential. However, if you are prepared to put in the effort, it is most definitely worth it.
In 2008 Poppy changed her pump. It was upgraded to a Medtronic 522 which included a continuous monitor. This further enhanced her life. We have been able to see what is going on throughout the day and night time - in between the normal blood testing times.
In 2011 Poppy' pump was upgraded to a Medtonic Veo and she will soon be moving over to the supercool Medtronic 640G which has the facility to switch off insulin delivery when going low and switch it back on again when blood sugars are back to normal levels. Why all the different pumps? Well you are allowed to change to a new one roughly every four years.
Given the change to Poppy's life since being on the pump, I am very disappointed that pumps seem to be used by a minority. NICE guidelines recommend availability of pumps and continuous monitors for all children with erratic blood sugars and reduced quality of life - which probably applies to most!
I understand pumps are not for everyone. You need to be dedicated - e.g. do blood tests in the middle of the night, get good at carb counting and keep adjusting the settings on the pump. It may also be the case that your child would not like something attached to them all day. This is understandable. We had the same apprehension with Poppy. However, Poppy does not want to give it back! and neither do the majority of children and young people on insulin pumps that we have met.