By denisewool Latest Reply 2010-02-26 12:29:51 -0600
Started 2010-01-14 02:05:28 -0600

I have some questions regarding the insulin pump. My son is 14 and started pumping abouta year ago. While his A1C is great compared to what it used to be, he has missed more school due to DKA than I can count. If he thinks about sneezing he gets ketones and abnormally high blood sugars. The doctors keep telling me I am doing everything right but I am considering taking him off it because he has missed more than 45 days of school this year already. Any suggestions?

19 replies

Melissa Dawn
Melissa Dawn 2010-02-26 12:29:51 -0600 Report

That doesn't seem normal to me — I was having problems with high blood sugars during some of my earlier pumping. It turned out that if I looked at it, it was always a problem on the third day of my pump site. Even though most people can go 3 days on a site, sometimes its less (and sometimes its more). I now change my pump site every other day and am doing much better… just something to look at.

Also, he may try always taking his insulin about 10 minutes before he eats — that helps with the high blood sugars as well.

Preacher1 2010-02-26 08:16:09 -0600 Report

I am looking at the pump called omnipod and it has a continious drip for one kind of insulin and then you tell it what to dose for the amount of carbs consumed when you eat. It might help.

Preacher1 2010-01-30 21:17:53 -0600 Report

This has been very informative because I am considering the pump at this time. Thanks for all the information, it sounds like I still need to do some more research. I am praying for all on the pump. Don

BLC 2010-01-28 19:23:21 -0600 Report

As most on here have heard I had a terrible experience while on the pump. I was on it for one year. My A1c never went down and actually went from 8 something to 10.1 while I was on the pump. I learned that the tubing I had been using with my pump was not working properly and their was actually a recall on the lot number of the tubing I was using due to numerous reports of malfunctioning. I went to my doctor the day after I found this out and got off the pump. I WILL NEVER go on the pump again. In my community three people were put in the hospital who were on insulin pumps after going into DKA around this same time…makes you wonder how safe the pump actually is!?

officervanessa 2010-01-28 19:55:38 -0600 Report

i have heard quite a few people say they dont like the pump for this same reason… i guess everyone has their own opinion, and different things work better for different people… all you can do is keep trying for another few months, and if he is still having problems, talk to the doc about going back to the shots for a while… even just for a few years until he gets older then can try again.

packrat2 2010-01-28 19:01:11 -0600 Report

I have been on a pump for only one year {Medtronic} but I have found that if the pump stops for any resin your blood sugar will sky rocket quickly..like has been said.{officervanessa} take a shot and get the BG down and then see why the pump is not working or infusion set is plugged or the tubing..regards packrat2

ghdan 2010-01-24 18:27:25 -0600 Report

Does he run high often? How many times per day is he testing? I was 14 at onset, so I have (distant) memories of having a hard time adjusting. The most important thing to get any diabetic to understand is that you feel better when your blood sugar is normal.
If he is missing school because of overnight highs or lows, you may need to have him get up in the middle of the night and test. This may allow you to make the appropriate adjustments.

officervanessa 2010-01-22 14:48:05 -0600 Report

hey :) i have been on the pump for 9 years, and about 6-7 years ago, i went into DKA… it turned out that the site had kinked under my skin- which is the main concern with insulin pumps. If his sugar ever goes above 250 while on the pump, they suggest trying to give insulin by way of pump one more time- checking again in 15 min, and if it hasn't gone down at all, to disconnect the pump, give yourself a shot- then change the site with a new set. I have only went into DKA that one time- but there were a few other times where I almost did. I was very thin at that time- and they said that the canula was hitting off my muscle under my skin, and that's why it was "kinking" it. So… i say- keep him on the pump- its a great thing… just make sure that if it ever goes above that 250 mark, you are watching it like a hawk and then changing it out of you need to. You can also change the type of infusion sets he uses because he may have that same problem. some of the sets go in at a different angle, and don't kink as easily. hope this helps ;)

tensiasimmons 2010-01-15 14:02:35 -0600 Report

My son has been on the pump for about 10 years and had one episode of DKA at age 13. It was his pump not delivering well. So we knew if his blood sugars are high to take off the site and try a new set. That seems to work. You might need to call Minimed and try to get a new pump if its the pump itself. They overnight it for you. We have gone through 3 pumps in 10 years so that's pretty good service. Don't give up on the pump, my son is 21 and has a 6.7 a1c. so it has been great so far. He did miss a lot of school when he was sick but we talked to the principal and told him the situation and had doctor's notes for missed days. The school will work with you on this.

denisewool 2010-01-21 03:55:55 -0600 Report

I have thought about switching to a different pump to see if that works. Right now he is on the omnipod because he likes being able to use his arms for it and the fact that there is no tubing. I haven't found another pump that allows him to do this. He has been on the pump for a year next month and we have been through 5 of them. 2 due to malfunctions and 3 others because of the screen on his pdm cracking. He has had large ketones in his urine for 8 weeks now which has caused him to miss the last 6 weeks of school. The school itself is being very understanding. They have a homeschooling program which we are going to try out sue to his missing so much. His overall A1C's have been much better since on the pump. He went from 11 & 12's down to 8.1. We can't get any lower because of the ketone issue. It sends his sugar through the roof.

Troy's Mom
Troy's Mom 2010-01-22 04:21:24 -0600 Report

My gosh…we ordered a pump a year ago for Troy and then got turned down this month. They said he is to young. He is 3. Oh man the fact that he is going DKA so much is horrifying. I thought the pump was supoosed to be a life saver. The only thing that I can think because we have no experience with pumps is to go back to needles. How was that going? DKA is dangerous. Did he use the pen needles? We like the pens. Missing school is bad but DKA is so scary. I'm scared to death to go through that again. How do you know he is DKA. Is it keytones? We haven't had a relapse yet. I'm so sorry.

packrat2 2010-01-28 19:10:58 -0600 Report

Troy's Mom..I think 3 yrs old is too young to be on a pump, I had type 1 for 45 years {did not have pumps then} before I was put on a pump…it is a lot to learn and understand…regards packrat2

kdroberts 2010-01-14 10:26:24 -0600 Report

Call the pump manufacturer and have one of their experts get in touch with you. One of the things that pump manufacturers tell you in their literature is that pumping increases your chances of DKA. It may be that you need to get some help from a few sources to come up with some tweaks to his basal dose and maybe his bolus calculations when he is not 100%. When he is well how are his blood sugars? Do you still have the same problems?

denisewool 2010-01-14 14:32:47 -0600 Report

He gets the stomach ache with nausea and vomitting. His ketones register large and I usually take him to the ER but the last six months the doctors have been treating him over the phone because it is happening so much. As of right now he hasnt been to school in 6 weeks. It usually happens when someone in the house is sick. While he generally doesn't get sick it wreaks havoc on his sugar. He gets his sugar checked every hour and we alternate between shots and boluses to make sure its not thepump. I am so frustrated!! I understand how it works and how to treat it but I want my son to be able to go back to school. He will be good for a couple of days and then it happens again. I am beginning to think the pump isnt worth it!

Sue Turner
Sue Turner 2010-01-21 11:17:18 -0600 Report

denise, I too, think that I would call the manufacturer…The pump may be malfunctioning…If he is having serious highs, and you make the adjustments, and still not getting the results needed to bring his BS levels down, then something is just not right… Do you check the infusion sites as well, to make sure that everything is working correctly there? I don't know what pump he is on, so I don't know how it works…With mine, if I start running high, make the adjustments, and I get a message (NO Delivery) I start checking everything…I call the manufacturer, I call my doctor, I check the infusion site. However, these pumps are machines, and things can go wrong with them, and if there is a machanical problem, it might not give you any warning as to what the problem is…I don't know, I am just offering suggestions…Good luck. I hope you get this figured out soon…

Deb-G 2010-01-22 15:01:40 -0600 Report

Adolescence experience endocrine changes that can alter glucose levels and insulin effectiveness.

Or common flu's or infections effect them because of increased stress hormones…This is a big one for the kids especially…

Or the equipment is faultering or there is kinking?

Or he's being naughty and adjusting…

I'm sure its really scarey as the parent! I hope you figure it out :(


Harlen 2010-01-14 09:45:09 -0600 Report

You may need to lock the pump he may be making ajustments that are not good for him ?????????
What do you call DKA ???
I am on the pump and I have only had one DKA and that was 33 I didnt eat that day do to working a lot and didnt know just how much time had past .
Keep in tuch and let me know if there is any thing I can do to help

kdroberts 2010-01-14 10:30:24 -0600 Report

DKA is diabetic ketoacidosis and lands you in the hospital pretty quickly and can kill you if not treated in time. It's nothing to do with low blood sugar (high blood sugar and ketones are major warning signs) but stems from not having enough insulin in your body. The pump increases your chances of it mainly because you are relying only on rapid acting insulin from the pump. If you don't produce insulin and either the pump can't supply insulin or is not supplying enough then somebody with 0 insulin production can get in trouble pretty quickly.

Harlen 2010-01-14 12:07:56 -0600 Report

I know thank you
Some think DKA is low #
Like 90 or 80 so thats why I asked the question.

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