Hope has arrived at my doorstep. Many of you know her as the Animas Ping, though Madeline has named her Hazel. She is Maddy’s new insulin pump.
The process of obtaining Hazel was lengthier than I had expected. Delayed by staff vacations and insurance company hemming-and-hawing, her arrival seemed a million days off. And… a funny thing has happened while we’ve been waiting. Surprise, surprise: I’m a little freaked out.
Wait now—wasn’t it me who negotiated with Maddy’s endocrinologist back in June that it was time for the pump? Wasn’t it me who felt all gun-ho about it being an essential step toward controlling her tame-resistant glucose levels? I had to re-read my post to assure myself that yes, in fact, I did feel that excited. That committed. That convinced.
Part of my newfound apprehension comes from (worrying that we will be) giving up the improved control we’ve achieved over Maddy’s BG since that June endo appointment, when her treatment plan was substantially revised toward a more aggressive approach. I’ve watched her average glucose level drop from the 240s at mid-June to the 140s now. While the recent heat has whacked out her system and sent her levels into orbit again, we had been seeing weeks of very good control—whole days upon days of in-target numbers. I feel more competent using MDI now than I ever have. I finally am feeling like I understand what I am seeing, how different factors affect the levels and how to respond.
Transitioning to the pump means venturing, yet again, into the unknown. I suppose we’re more equipped now, given the experience we’ve had thus far. But…it’s change. It’s learning how to insert the infusion set and helping Maddy through her fear of the pain. It’s learning how to plan and adjust Hazel’s program in ways that are different than what we’re used to now. It’s giving up the safety net of Levemir and accepting a higher risk of diabetic ketoacidosis—which scares me terribly, since Maddy nearly died of that condition when she was diagnosed. It’s learning how to finagle the whole game when she gets sick. It’s the back-to-school transition, which comes so uncomfortably close to the time when Maddy will be pumping with actual insulin, not saline. It’s everything. I’m a creature of habit and progress: I don’t like starting over.
And yet, it’s freedom for Maddy to eat like other kids with less regard for the carb count, because she can simply have a bolus dose to cover it instead of an injection. She’ll actually be able to eat the cupcakes her friends bring to school on their birthdays at the same time they do, instead of waiting for lunch when her next insulin dose is due. It’s being able to eat fruit, vegetables, yogurt, and other favorite healthy snacks that are more than 10g of carbs, instead of pepperoni, almonds and cheese again. It’s convenience and increased privacy in bolusing when we’re on the go, which matters a lot to Maddy. It’s hope that treating T1 will become easier for others, besides me. It’s better, longer-term control of glucose levels because of the ability to dose in smaller increments and track data in new ways. It’s cute stretchy pump packs (thanks, Tallygear) and pink accessories (thanks, Animas) for a little girl’s fashion sense. It’s a lot of good, good things.
Ok, so I can take some deep breaths and be grateful for the progress to come. I am excited, committed and convinced… worries be damned. Welcome, Hazel.