Kaitlyn has come a long way in the almost six years since her diagnosis with type 1 diabetes. She’s gone from being completely dependent on my husband and me to doing just about everything on her own. She has learned to test her blood sugar and give insulin through her pump, and she has a decent understanding of what diabetes is and how to take care of herself. She’s even getting pretty good at estimating carbs when labels aren’t available. Of course, we still oversee everything she does and give constant reminders, but as far as the mechanics go, she’s pretty well set.

There is one thing that she’s still really hesitant about—changing her pump site.

She’s been helping out for quite a while, pushing the buttons on her pump to rewind and prime the new cartridge. However, up until recently, she has never actually drawn the insulin into the cartridge, inserted it into the pump, or applied the infusion set onto her body. The other day, I asked her to do it for the first time. I showed her step-by-step instructions on what to do, and I had her do every part of it on her own. It went well at first. Everything seemed easy until it came to the part where she needed to insert the site into her body.

She’s had roughly 500 site changes since she’s been on the pump, but for some reason, she could not make herself put it on! It was pretty funny, actually, watching her try to psych herself up to do it. The anticipation was just too much! She was like the kid at the pool who would walk to the end of the diving board, stare at the water, gear themselves up to bounce, and then walk back again, and again, and again! She held the infusion set up to her skin for about 10 minutes, but she could not get herself to squeeze her thumb and forefinger together for the split second it takes to pop it on. In the end, I didn’t make her do it. I just put it in as usual, and it was not a big deal. I know that this will be a big hurdle to cross sometime in the future, but for now, I’m still happy to help. When the time comes to jump off that high dive, she’ll realize it wasn’t so high after all.

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.

Related topics:
People in the Know: Transitioning to an Insulin Pump
DIY Upcycled Pump Pack
People in the Know: Pump Site Changes

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