Using An Insulin Pump During the Holidays Makes Life Easier

Kim Benjet Health Guide
  • Christmas was easier this year for our eight year old son (and for my husband and me). Josh’s insulin pump allowed him to eat when and what he wanted and the bolus wizard prevented us from stacking his insulin and giving too much. He was able to tear into the gifts before he “had to” eat breakfast. Checking blood sugars, carb counting carbs, and bolusing has become second nature in our family. The “carb book” (Calorie King’s – The Doctor’s Pocket Calorie, Fat and Carbohydrate Counter) is on our kitchen shelf and although we know the count on most foods we had to check on some holiday treats. It’s just part of what we do.
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    The insulin pump allowed us not to worry too much about what Josh was eating. It’s a holiday and for most adults it’s a challenge to stay on a meal plan but for a child I think it’s even harder. For my husband and me it was nice not to keep saying “no” to food. As I sit writing this I think about how many shots Josh would have had on a holiday like Thanksgiving if not for the pump. If he were on a lantus/novolog regimen, there would have been a breakfast shot, a lunch shot, a shot for that first round of chips and dip, and then another a little later for more appetizers. Then came Thanksgiving dinner when we gave him an insulin bolus for half of what he thought he would eat in the beginning of the meal and another bolus at the end because with an 8 year old who knows what they really will eat (that would have been 2 more shots!). Finally there would have been a dessert shot a few hours later. That makes at least seven shots not to mention any correction shots needed if we miscalculated a carbohydrate count. So I’m thankful for the technology the insulin pump offers us.

    In the chaos and hubbub of a holiday meal it’s easy to make mistakes. At least with the pump there was a way to track what we did when we needed to. We could see what Josh’s last blood glucose test was and the time of the last insulin delivery. One of my favorite features of the pump is the “insulin on board” or the calculation of how much insulin is left from a previous bolus. For example, the pump told us how much insulin was left from the lunchtime bolus when Josh sat down to eat tortilla chips two hours later after playing a very active game football. His blood sugar was in the mid 80s and there was still active insulin from lunch so we didn’t use a full bolus for the chips. This probably prevented a low blood sugar. I’m thankful that when a lot is going on and we don’t want to think too much about diabetes the technology can help us out.
Published On: January 10, 2007