For the first time ever, Kaitlyn asked if we could put her pump pack inside her clothes! Up until now, she has always been fine with running around with her little pack clipped around her waist for the world to see. She has lots of different ones to choose from…enough to coordinate with any outfit she wears. In fact, it’s been something that she enjoys -- picking out a pack that will match the outfit she’s wearing, just as if she were picking out a pair of shoes or a bow for her hair. She has never hesitated to let her friends see her pump or have them watch her press the buttons. If anything, she has enjoyed telling them about what it is and what it’s for. For a shy little girl, it’s been a source of attention -- something to start a conversation.
So… it was a big surprise to me the other day when she started acting self-conscious about it. I figured this day would come eventually -- the day when she would start to panic about how to hide her pump while spending a day at the beach in her swimsuit, or where to stash it underneath her prom dress. I just didn’t expect it to come this soon!
I’m starting to understand why people who have been pumpers in the past suddenly switch to injections again. Maybe the embarrassment of having tubing and a little computer constantly tethered to their body outweighs the pain of repeated injections and the hassle of carrying insulin and syringes wherever they go.
I’m also realizing the benefit of having a remote for the pump so that we can dose all day long without ever having to pull the pump out from under clothing. I love the fact that I can give her insulin anytime from across the room and no one is even aware. As she gets older, too, I bet it will be much less awkward to press a few buttons on a remote that she pulls from her purse rather than unbury a pump from wherever she hides it.
Maybe this will be a little phase that passes quickly, or maybe it will be the beginning of a long and emotional road ahead. I can see that I will need to be extra sensitive and respectful of her feelings. Even if we need to make some hard adjustments with how we handle pumping, it will be all worth it if we can keep her from feeling awkward about diabetes care and preserve her self-esteem.
About the author: My name is Kim. My daughter Kaitlyn (the third of our five children) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just a few years after my nephew James was diagnosed with the same disease. I'm excited to pair up with my sister-in-law, Jen, to share our story with you!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.
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