Friday, March 18, 2011

I need to Pump up the Jam already

I'm scared.
I'm nervous.
I'm worried.
I'm doubting myself and my abilities.
A few months ago, my daughter finally decided that she wants a pump. She is ready. She wants the freedom. She wants to eat when she wants to eat. She wants to live a more normal life. I don't blame her one bit. This life with diabetes is hard to say the least. She just wants things to be a little easier and less regimented. I want the same thing. That doesn't take away my fear though. I know in my heart that the pump is the best thing for her. I know that it will happen. The day will come that I will be putting my faith in a little machine to keep her alive. I know that I will be the one telling the machine what to do to keep her alive, but still. We are almost 3 years into this and even though we do still have the ups and downs and struggles...I feel like I do have some sort of comfort and confidence in my abilities. I am scared to start all over. I'm worried that I will make mistakes and hurt her. I'm worried that we will go through the whole process and get the pump and it will be too hard to handle and I will want to give up and go back to needles. I'm scared that I will disappoint her. I'm scared that she will actually see me fail and she will hate me for it. I'm scared that I won't be able to do it.
Of course I am going to do it though. I'm her Mom and I want her life to be easier and I want her to be healthy and reduce the risk of complications. I want her to have more freedom. I want her to feel more like a normal kid. I want her to be able to stay outside playing as long as the rest of the kids in the neighbourhood and not have to chase her down and force her to eat a snack or a meal because "it's that time!" I can handle the constant checking in the beginning. I can handle the lack of sleep. I can handle the stress and the worry and the panic. I won't like it....but I will do it. I will do it for her. Because she is my little girl and I love her more than any words could ever express.
We had an Animas pump Rep come out to our house this past Wednesday to show us some more about the Ping. She was really very nice and patient and helpful. She asked me when i was hoping to start Emma on the pump. I had it decided in my head that I would rather start the whole pump thing in the summer because then she would be with me and i could keep a better eye on her while learning how to live life with a pump. I was worried about starting it and sending her off to school. The Rep told me that in her opinion she would probably start it sooner rather than later. She explained that it would be easier to start it during the school year because there is more of a routine to Emma's day then...wake up, breakfast, school, recess, etc. Summer is more of a random daily routine thing. I get that. I completely understand her point. So, here I sit...trying to convince myself to just jump in with both feet, which is totally not my personality...i've posted before about how I am the kind of kid who tip toes and inches her way into the water at the beach or pool to "get used to the water". I want to follow Nike's advice and Just do it...start right away. Trying to make myself believe that I am strong enough to handle all of that stress during school. I'm not sure if I'm winning or losing the argument in my head.
Emma wants to start it right away. She doesn't want to wait. She's ready now. How do I win my inner battle and convince myself that I can do this? I think it all boils down to one thing for me. Emma was diagnosed at the end of June '08....she started junior kindergarten in the beginning of Sept. '08. I was petrified to send her off to school. She is my only child...she was never in daycare or at a babysitter...she was with me from day one. School was the first place she was ever without me all day long. So, adding that new diagnoses on top of it all....well, nearly broke me. I spent those first few weeks in a total state of constant panic and stress. I would carry the cordless phone and my cell phone around with me everywhere I went in the house...just waiting for it to ring and be her school calling to tell me they had to call an ambulance for her. The whole experience changed me. It changed my whole system. It scarred me for life. Even sitting here typing about it is making me get this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach...just remembering that time and that panic. How am I going to be able to go back to that deep dark place of worry and despair again? How am I going to willingly sign up for that sort of self-torture? How am I going to do it? How am I going to survive that feeling again? I have pushed it down so far and rarely ever think about that particular moment in time anymore. Now I feel like I should be grabbing a shovel so i can start digging it all up again to prepare myself for the road we are about to embark on. I've never been a fan of purposely signing up for that type of guaranteed stress. I'm scared. I will do it...but I'm scared. Thanks for listening to me rant.


  1. Me either. One major reason we havent gone to pumping yet. I almost feel like - MDI is better the devil you know? argh. I cant wait to see how you go, I bet you will be like why didnt we do THIS sooner?
    good luck, I know you can do it. being a dmummy is hard work and its just another hurdle!

  2. thank you so much Jules! I am scared outta my mind...but I am just gonna jump in and do it. ugh!! lolol

  3. I have so much respect for you Amy, I feel the same fears as you when it comes to the pump but good for you and Emma for just doing it. Colin isn't ready yet he says so we wait until he is (I don't know if he ever will be lol) Please keep sharing this with us I am excited to follow you guys through this experience...maybe he will be ready once Emma has done it since the seem to be on a very similar path lol. We are all always here to support you you know?

  4. Amy.

    First off...same-same...on the part of the deep dark tunnel of despair. I have two kids...but I was severly traumatized the first year and a half after Joe's diagnosis. I too, can hardly go back to that place mentally. Words do not ever do it justice.


    Onto the pumping. You will do fine. You are strong. You are taking wonderful care of Emma. You are equipped with knowledge and healthy dose of reality. We got your back girl. I've got your back. If you need anything or have any questions feel free to email me at

  5. I had all the same fears as you when I decided to put my boy on the pump. My case is a bit different because he was only 3 (very close to 4) at the time. He said he wanted one. But did he really know what he was getting into? Probably not. So I made the decision for both of us. I put his life in the care of a machine with a AA battery. I cried a lot of nights in the beginning because we had to tweek the settings A LOT. Every couple of days I would email his BG chart to his nurses and obsessively check my email for the new settings to relieve some of his suffering. That was a year ago. In no time at all he came to love that pump. Once in a while he doesn't want a site change and I always give him the choice to just go back to shots. He looks at me like I've said a bad word. lol. And while I still call him from his friends to check his BG, it is a terrific freedom to deliver his insulin to him without getting a syringe and making a big show of it. :)

  6. I felt the fears of:

    how will I ever learn to put in a site?
    what if he goes into DKA?
    how will he do wearing it 24/7?

    To name a few. But I am SO GLAD we did it. My stress level is has gone down so much (I'm not any more rested yet, but I'm hoping that'll come with time). It makes life so much easier. Putting one set in a day v. 12 shots for our little munchkins. And I love that he doesn't have to eat if he doesn't want to. I don't feel like we're continually having snacks and meals. And if we want to have a later meal, no problem because the basal is set to his body. I can guarantee you won't regret it. Rely on us, your group, who have been there. If not for Michelle and Kurt we may have put off going on the pump too. But personally knowing families who have started made a world of difference. We are here for you. Come and see a site change or look our supplies, whatever you need. We're here for ya! You can do it! Janet & Dwight

  7. We are right where you are too... wanting to jump in, but too scared to. Plus we have so much going on in our life right now, I just don't know if I can handle one more thing. But, something has to be down because I can't keep living like I am; a perpertual ball of STRESS!

    I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. Elise hasn't really been pushing for one because she's too young to really know. I am glad I don't have that to deal with too!

    You can do it... I can tell you are one smart, strong Momma, and you WILL do it. Because you love her so much. And because you are AWESOME!

  8. We went on a pump just 5 months after Bryce's diagnosis...he was 4 at the time. I would NEVER want to go back to shots!!! The pump gave us some of our "normal" back. I love being able to bolus him from across the room without anyone even aware of what we are doing. I love that he can eat when he wants, or even better, when he doesn't want, he doesn't have to. There are a lot of things than can be tweaked on the pump so it is like relearning D management but it is all good, esp since you have so much experience with how her body deals anyhow.
    I think starting on a pump is much like deciding to have a baby...there never is really a perfect time...there is always some reason that you can postpone it.
    Whatever/whenever you decide, you will do great. As others have said, we got your back!

  9. thank you SO MUCH all have definitely made me feel more at ease knowing that we have a cheering section on our side and all of your support is truly appreciated. Emma has been talking about it non-stop since Wednesday when the Rep was here. She is completely for now I am faking it and pretending to be ready. I guess I am shooting for the the "fake it till you make it" mentality right Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there for me. I am so lucky to have you all helping me!

  10. Amy-I know you are scared and the beginning can be very nerve wracking but....It will not be that bad. You are an intelligent person so if you know the in's and out's of Emma's body you have half of the challenge taken care of right there! It's a lot to take in how everything works but Animas is a wonderful company to work with. They have a 24/7 tech support line so if you are ever them! Believe me I have...They can always help you and you will be over the stress of this much faster. Plus-you will be able to sleep through the night again-eventually. It makes things a lot easier. I was terrified but Riley made the decision so I had to go along with it. It is her disease so I jumped in with both feet. I thought during the first class that I would never be able to keep it all straight but I did and there are no regrets and no turning back. Single best decision we have ever made getting her on the pump. You will have more freedom too(even if you don't want any-lol)...Good luck and I am here for you as well...