Size Matters

*This post is my June entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at  The prompt reads, "We’d like to know: How do you select the diabetes devices you use? To others looking into new or replacement devices, what would be your best advice to someone shopping around?"

My daughter was 2 when we chose her first insulin pump.  She was tiny, and she needed tiny doses of insulin.

Our endocrinology team had brand of pump they were most familiar with, but encouraged us to do our own research and to come back to discuss.  I ordered brochures from all the major pump companies.  Side note: that's a very old-fashioned sounding sentence and makes me realize how much the world has changed in 10 years.  There was precious little online research involved in this decision.

I spoke with people in the support group I was attending at the time.  I compared all of the information I got with my daughter's needs and my own concerns.  I went back and discussed our options with our diabetes team.  I concluded that size does, indeed, matter.

Size of dosing mattered most, and at the time Animas was the only pump which could deliver basal increments of .025 units.  In such a tiny person, the flexibility of really fine-tuning those basal rates seemed important.  Indeed it was. For the first year or so on the pump she had an overnight basal of .025 units for a couple of hours every night.

The size of the pump mattered too.  I needed to be able to tuck it away.  No matter which brand we chose, a pump pack would be its home.  Yet even a half an inch would make a difference in how much it showed, and how it fit under a shirt, dress or overalls.  Animas was best in this category too, being the smallest option on the market at the time.

Other positives came up in my research, including good customer service, good initial training, and forward thinking product development.  There was no difference in insurance coverage. The only downside was that this was not the pump our diabetes team was most familiar with.  Yet they were all for the tiny doses and tiny size of the Animas pump and agreed it was a good fit for our daughter.  We've been quite happy with it ever since.

So what advice would I give other diabetes device shoppers, the prompt asks?  Gather information from as many sources as you can, while considering your own unique needs. Recognize that your diabetes team's suggestions are based on experience.  That can be helpful, but could also mean they're suggesting primarily those products they're most familiar and comfortable with. Ultimately, the product will be yours, worn on your body, or carried everywhere in your bag.  It needs to have the features you consider the most important for you.

1 comment:

  1. I did injections all through my childhood and well into adulthood, so it never occurred to me how important the size of a pump, and especially insulin dosing, could be to a small child. Thanks so much for sharing this!


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