I’m Going to Get a Pump

by Leighann on September 28, 2009

We have been thinking about getting an insulin pump for our daughter for a few months. When you make a decision, the process is not instant. You have to jump through hoops and wait for appointments. We are not at the finish line (or even the starting line as the case may be), but this week we moved one step closer to diabetes management that will hopefully increase her freedom and benefit her overall health.

We headed south to St. Louis for our first “pump clinic.”

What amazes me about our daughter is her spirit. Spirit which you would think would be dampened by diabetes.

When she was first diagnosed and we were sent to St. Louis Children’s Hospital for several days, she had a great time. Yes, the IV sucked. The finger pricks sucked. The injections sucked.

But she had fun. In some ways it felt like a vacation for her (which is why we always try to pack some fun into our trips to see the endocrinologist). While we were in education sessions learning what we had to do to keep our child alive, she got to play in the playroom where staff indulged her with endless art projects and games. She came home with a huge stack of paintings. She hung out on the rooftop garden that overlooks Forest Park. She charmed every nurse and doctor. She became a fixture at the nurses station. They even gave her a real stethoscope. By the end of our stay, everyone knew her name and greeted her in the hallways.

She told each and every person that her brother’s first birthday was approaching in a couple of weeks. Told of our monkey theme. Drew pictures of monkeys to show them.

She had every right to be self-centered in those days, but instead she was focused on her brother’s upcoming big day.

And she chose to have fun, as much as she could.

When we were discharged, she asked if she could stay a few more days. But my husband and I were eager to return home. But not before a quick trip to the adjacent zoo.

This past week I was reminded of how remarkable she is when it comes to her medical condition when we were summoned from the waiting room to follow the nurses to the conference room to begin our appointment.

We walked toward the elevators, us, two nurses, and a teenager named Riley and his mom. My daughter did not stay by our sides, rather she walked right up front with the nurses. She began chatting, “You know, this is my favorite hospital. Did you know that I came here right when I found out I have diabetes?”

I had to hold back the tears as I thought at once how wonderful she is and how it’s not fair that at five sentences like these have to come out of her mouth.

My daughter said to the nurse, “I’m going to get a pump.”

We headed up the elevators by the purple columns (if you’ve been there, you know which ones) and began our short class on how to use the OmniPod during our week long trial.

To be continued…


Her first real OmniPod which delivers only saline during this trial week. We have to do double duty using the pump as if it was delivering insulin and doing our normal routine of daily multiple injections (DMI).

Here’s Rufus the diabetic bear* (I’m not making that up). She gave him his own pump (the thermometer), checked his blood sugar, gave an injection, and wrote all the info in his logbook.
*Newly diagnosed children can contact their local/state chapter of the JDRF for a Bag of Hope if they did not receive one in the hospital. Rufus got us through a tough time a few weeks after diagnosis when she decided that she didn’t want injections any more.

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