Herbie came to us in March 2009. Kacey was thrilled when she was finally approved for an insulin pump. An insulin pump is a device used for administering insulin through a small cannula in an infusion set that is placed into Kacey's skin every 3 days. An insulin pump is an alternative to multiple daily injections of insulin by insulin syringe or an insulin pen and allows for intensive insulin therapy when used in conjunction with blood glucose monitoring and carb counting. When we were looking at insulin pumps, there were several that were available to us but only ONE appealed to Kacey. COZMO. We went to pump class and she was able to see the different pumps but she kept going back to the Cozmo pump. Only 2 weeks after we got Herbie, we got a letter in the mail. Smith's Medical was going to be discontinuing the Cozmo insulin pump. What did this mean for us? Well, we were given the option to send Herbie back and choose another pump from the other companies OR we could keep the pump and they would honor the warranty for the next 3 years...fully covered! There was NO way Kacey was giving Herbie back so we made the tough decision to keep him.
In August 2010, during a site change, I noticed a small crack around the plastic piece that holds the insulin cartridge. I called Smith's Medical and we had no choice but to send Herbie back and they would send us a replacement pump. This was one of the saddest days we'd ever had with Kacey.
Herbie meets Goober
Kacey tells Herbie, "Goodbye". I shared in her tears. She was so attached to this pump and she even wrote a letter to Smith's Medical in hopes they would send the now useless pump back to her to keep. No such luck!
One of my favorite features about a Cozmo pump is that her meter is with her all the time. It's connected to her pump and she inserts the test strip and tests her blood sugar. The meter sends her blood sugar directly to her pump and she can adjust her insulin through the pump.
To use an insulin pump, a small plastic cartridge is filled with insulin and then inserted into the pump. Tubing is then connected to the top of the cartridge. The tubing is then connected to an infusion set. The infusion set is what the cannula is connected to that is inserted under the skin every 3 days. Kacey puts most of her infusion sets in her tummy or her hip. She has never tried an infusion set in her arm. We use Comfort Short sets and they are manually inserted. The needle is pulled out leaving the cannula under her skin.
Kacey finally loves Goober. It was an adjustment at first. Even though it was the same pump, it wasn't the same "connection" she had with Herbie.
An insulin pump takes the place of Kacey's shots. Before the pump, she was taking at least 6-8 shots a day. Every time she wanted something to eat, she had to dose herself with insulin to cover the carbs. Imagine for a moment, every time you wanted a snack...even just a few cookies or a handful of chips...you had to give yourself a shot. She went through a time when she didn't want to eat because it meant she had to get a shot. That's tough for anyone...but for a child it was extremely difficult! Once she got her pump, this gave her the freedom to eat at the press of a button! This took her life from being a struggle to being a little more comfortable. Instead of 6-8 shots a day....it was one needle every 3 days. This doesn't mean her life is easy by any means, it just means that she can live a little more comfortable knowing she has a device that is calculating her dose and giving it to her. It also helped her gain a little diabetes independence. She didn't need a Mom or other adult hovering over her. She knew how to add, she could count carbs and she knew how to work her pump and give herself the insulin she needed to stay alive. Yes, my friends, without insulin she would DIE! Insulin is not a cure for Kacey, it's life support!
We are now in the process of upgrading her Cozmo pump to an Animas Ping.