"It must be so nice that he is on the pump." I have heard this comment so many times...and it is nice...that Joe is on the pump, but not for the reasons that many people believe. There is a lot of mis-information about diabetes in general...and about the insulin pump. Many people think that the pump does all the work for you...nothing can be further from the truth...
The insulin pump is connected to the user 24/7. It uses short acting insulin that is pumped into the user 24hrs a day at pre-set rates (this is your basal) and then you need to program the pump to deliver insulin (a bolus) every time you eat carbohydrates (which requires you to measure or weigh your food...every time you eat) and whenever the user's blood sugar is high. Because there is only short acting insulin being used...several checks need to be done throughout the day to check that the dosages are adequate...a typical day looks like this:
Keep in mind this is everyday...always...there are no breaks
7am - Blood Sugar check, Weigh Cereal, measure milk, add up carbs...and then program the numbers into the pump
9am - Blood Sugar check, read nutrition label on a snack cracker pack...and then program the numbers into the pump
11am - Blood Sugar check, bread carbs, measure out jelly using a tablespoon, peanut butter and measure milk...add up carbs...and then program the numbers into the pump
2pm - Blood Sugar check (if the number is over 200...program the pump to deliver more insulin)
5pm - Blood Sugar check, measure soup, measure milk, add up carbs...and then program numbers into the pump
7pm - Blood Sugar check (if the number is over 200...program the pump to deliver more insulin)
9pm - Blood Sugar check
11pm - Blood Sugar check
3 am - Blood Sugar check
This is a schedule assuming all is going as planned...it doesn't take into account activity (anyone who knows Joe...knows this is where we struggle the most...this boy throws his heart into all he does), illness, growth, holidays, vacations, etc...anything and everything can throw off the blood sugar numbers...especially when you are dealing with a young child with type 1.
All the above being said...I would pay any amount for this marvelous device. It allows you to work in 0.05 unit increments of insulin...whereas injections only allow you to work in 0.5 unit increments. This makes a world of difference when dosing a young child or someone who is sensitive to insulin...WE LOVE OUR PUMP!