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Question:

From Miami, Florida, USA:

I am 12 years old and about three weeks ago I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, when my mom took me to the hospital and told them what was wromg with me. She told the doctor that I was going to the bathroom amost every five minutes, that I was always very drowsy, I was breathing heavily, and I had stomach and chest pain. Right away the doctor said I was a diabetic. My mom was shocked to hear that, and she started to argue with the doctor and told him he better check my blood and do all of the other tests. They all cmae out posetive. Then I was transported from the ER to another hospital and placed in the ICU because I have a blood sugar of 536 and low potasium.

I have two questions: 1. In the begining when I began taking the insulin shots it was okay; it didn't hurt at all but now every time I give myself a shot it starts to sting a lot. Is there anyway that I could try out the insulin pump within this year cause my doctor said that I can't use it untill summer. 2. My parents are wondering if it is worth it to go to the hospital that is located in Boston, Massachusetts to get educated even more about diabetes.

Answer:

It sounds like you should first look in the greater Miami area for a doctor you can work with. Ideally that doctor works with a nutritionist, nurse educator, and social worker or psychologist. Diabetes needs change frequently when you get diabetes at age 12 and it is always best to have someone near you to work with if possible.

If the insulin is stinging, make sure you let it warm up for 15 to 20 minutes after you take it out of the refrigerator. I don't think stinging insulin injections would be a good reason to choose an insulin pump. If you just got diabetes a few weeks ago, your insulin requirements may go down and control become easier for a while (the honeymoon), so this may not be the best time to make the decision about the pump. Although the pump has many advantages over shots including increased flexibility in timing of meals, and may turn out to be a good option for you, it also requires a lot of work and responsibility and good knowledge about diabetes. The decision to start pump therapy should not be made hastily and you should have in mind what you hope to get out of pump therapy versus 2 - 4 times daily insulin injection. It is not an artificial pancreas and will only provide good or better control with careful atention to technique and matching of insulin to food intake.

I assume the hospital in Boston you are referring to is the Joslin Clinic. It certainly is an excellent facility and has special intensified outpatient education and treament programs (unfortunately, its inpatient teaching unit, which was a model for diabetes education for decades, closed a few years ago). If after exploring all the possibilities in Miami you feel that you want more intensified education, you could contact them for more information regarding their programs. Diabetes camps are also a great place to learn more about diabetes while having fun too!

TGL

Original posting 28 Nov 1998
Posted to Insulin Pumps and Daily Care

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:02
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