Brittany is 13 years old and got an insulin pump in May 1996. She's keeping a diary of her experiences with the pump and is sharing it with us.
- Day 1 - May 29, 1996
- Today I went to the Dr. and got my pump. Right now Iím on saline. The pump is very small, but has big responsibilities.
- Day 2 - May 30, 1996
- Last night, I didnít much sleep because I was scared I would get tangled or roll over on the pump or something, but this morning when I woke up, everything was fine. Today I started playing with my pump to start understanding it. Well I found out how the bolus works. Itís not really hard to understand it on the second day.
- Day 3 - May 31, 1996
- Now that I know itís not hard to sleep with the pump, I got good rest. Well, today was the first day I went out of town with the pump. It wasnít very hard except that my shorts were so light weight, that the pump pulled them down. But donít worry, the pump is not heavy at all. Tomorrow, Iím changing out the needle. Weíll see how it goes.
- Day 4 - June 1, 1996
- Today I went to get my tubing changed and I learned many different things from another pump user. I learned how to swim with it. I learned how to take a bath with it. I learned more on how it works. Ever since I had the pump on, the place where the needle went in was very irritating. It was real sore, it was so sore that I couldnít bend over. Well when I went to change it, I found out that the catheter wasnít in all the way. Well, now that itís in correctly, I canít even feel it. I found that youíve got to be careful about inserting it, because youíve got to keep everything sterile. It is very easy to contaminate the needle. Well, Iím happy I had a CDE and pump user to help me change the needle, or I probably wouldnít have been able to do it.
- Day 6 - June 2, 1996
- Today I took a bath. I had to disconnect the pump from the tubing. I was scared to get the tape wet, but it was O.K. I just sat around and didn't really do anything.
- Day 7 - June 3, 1996
- Today nothing really new happened. I just sat around and did nothing, but tomorrow I have to do some- thing so I can get used to wearing it.
- Day 8 - June 4, 1996
- Today I had to change the catheter by myself. At first, I got real nervous and started crying. And when I put it in, it hurt so I took it out, but nothing was wrong. Well, I waited all day to put it back in. Well, I just put it in and it didnít hurt because I didn't wait 30 minutes to put it in like I did the first time.
- Day 12 - June 9, 1996
- Today I have my catheter in my seat. I LOVE it! It feels so much better. When you use this location, you don't put it too high where it's in the hip, and uncomfortable, and you don't put it where you actually sit. You put it in-between those spots. In this location, though, you have to be careful what you do. Earlier today it felt so good that I forgot I had it in (which that will happen after a while), and I stuck my hands in my back pocket. Well, I got a shock of pain. The only reason it hurt was because it is sometimes tender where you put the catheter, but you get used to it.
- Day 13 - June 10, 1996
- Nothing much happened today but, I am supposed to be going to the Dr. to be put on insulin tomorrow.
- Day 14 - June 11, 1996
- Today, I went to the doctor. I was put on insulin. I stayed at the doctor's until 4:00 p.m. The doctor checked my reading every hour. At first, I ran low. Then, I ran high. After a while, my reading went down a little, so the doctor let me go home. When I came home, my readings did real well, and they are still doing well. But, the only reason they are good is because my basal rate is 1.0. The doctor says that is a little high for a kid, but I guess that's what I need.
- Day 15 - June 12, 1996
- Nothing new today. But tonight, I am going to invite my friends over. We'll see how it goes.
- Day 16 - June 13, 1996
- Today went great with my friends. My readings are getting into tighter control now that I am getting used to the pump. Saturday will be my first day actually moving around.
- Day 17 - June 14, 1996
- Today I went swimming. I first ate a protein snack (peanut butter sandwich). Then, I disconnected my machine at the quick release on the tubing. Then, I plugged the quick release end up. I went swimming for an hour, then checked my reading, which, of course, you're supposed to check every hour when you are swimming. After I washed up in the shower, I reconnected my machine, bolised my snack bolis and ate my snack. The tape on my site sort of came loose, but it still stayed on.
- Day 25 - June 22, 1996
- Today I went to my friend's house to spend the night. She's an adult. She invited another girl my age to come spend the night, also. We did a lot of things. First, we played a few games of pool. Then we went swimming for an hour. After that, we went to town. That night she had company come over to eat, and then everyone played pool.
- Day 26 - June 23, 1996
- Today we went golfing. Not everything went well about the day, but the pump worked fine. It started raining and we went home. When we got home, we ate supper, talked, and played a few games.
- Day 29 - June 26, 1996
- Today I changed my tubing and found out that I had an infected site. I knew that it was infected because puss was coming out of the sore. I called my doctor, and he said he'd have to look at it. When he saw it, he asked me if I wanted a surgeon to come and lance the sore. He said that it would make the sore feel better. Well, when we upstairs to the surgeon, the surgeon said that it didn't look that bad, so he didnít do anything. Well, the doctor put me on antibiotics, and gave me some ointment to put on the infected site.
- Day 30 - June 27, 1996
- Today hasn't been so awesome. My readings have all been above 200, but my supper reading was the worst, it was 396. I called my doctor, and he said to bolus myself 6, drink lots of fluid, and in an hour, check again. When I checked again, I went down to 237. I called my doctor again, and he said to just do my supper bolus, eat, and check in 2 hours. He also said to do a 2:00 a.m. and if I had ANY problems at all at any time, to call him.
- Day 46 - July 13, 1996
- Nothing much has happened this week, except that at 12:00 Tuesday morning my site was very uncomfortable and it hurt. So, I changed my site and when I pulled the catheter out, it was fine. Well, I'm glad I pulled it out because it hurt. Also, when I changed sites, I put the needle by myself for the first time. I'm very proud of myself. Well, tomorrow I'm going to a water park. Sunday I'm going to camp but, don't worry, I'll tell you everything that happens.
- Day 47 - July 14, 1996
- Today I went to the water park. It was great. I woke up at 7:00 am, did my fingerstick, ate, packed supplies, and we were on our way. We got there at 10:00 am. I went with a good friend, my CDE friend and my parents. I had a little snack, disconnected my pump, and then the 3 of us (CDE, friend, me) all went riding until noon. We went to a park just down the street and ate lunch. I connected the pump and bolused before I ate. After we ate, we went back until 6:00 that evening. We ate supper on our way home. All that day my readings were weird, though, but that is probably because my morning reading was 55 and what was probably happening was I was rebounding. Tomorrow I am going to camp for a week. I will tell you how it goes when I get back.
- Day 48 - July 15, 1996
- Today I am at camp. I'll be here for a week. Well, I spent most of the day checking in. After I checked in and my parents left, I stayed in the bunkhouse for a while. We did our supper fingersticks and ate supper. After supper, everyone went to the gym and we had a talent show. Tomorrow we'll do more activities.
- Day 49 - July 16, 1996
- Today we started doing things. We did BB shooting, soccer, swimming and a cool activity called Great Escape. Great Escape requires lots of running and screaming. I ended up having a low. The pump user who helped me learn how to use the pump was at camp, too. She's a nurse. She told me than when I am running low and doing a lot of activity, I can set a temporary basal rate of 0.0 for 30 minutes. That way I won't keep getting insulin while I'm running low. I had trouble with my pump and changed the tubing myself.
- Day 50 - July 17, 1996
- Today I lowered my basal rate. I'll probably lower it again tomorrow if my reading is low at 2:00 AM. We did a lot of different activities today because it rained. I usually take around 50 units a day, but so far this week I've been taking 40 units.
- Day 56 - July 23, 1996
- Last week was an awesome week. I found out there was another girl on the pump at camp. She was on a different kind, though. We really didn't talk about because we didn't have time, but I'll be sure to write to her. She told me she had been on it since February. She probably loves it as much as I do!
- September 3, 1996
- Today was my first day of school. It really went fine like a normal day. I am in the eighth grade. I talked to a couple of the teachers that I know about my pump. One thing that I am worried about is that someone might try to steal it because it looks like a beeper and someone told me that they are stealing beepers. So, I put the whole pump inside my pocket. Now if I don't have a pocket, I'll find something else to do with it. From now on I'm going to stick it inside of my pocket, not clipped to the outside of my pocket like I usually do.
- September 4, 1996
- Today was pretty normal. I did have a couple of people ask me about my pump. They thought maybe it was a pager. I also had a couple of girls notice that I gained weight, but in a good way. Also what is so good about the pump is, I don't have to eat snacks any more, so I don't have to bring snacks with me anymore. Also, I'm starting to bring less supplies with me to school. They fit in my backpack, so I do my fingersticks in class now. It's really great.
Brittany can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com
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