I’m trying to think back on when I started doing things myself and, to be honest, I’m not totally sure since I don’t remember a lot of it, it was a while ago now. Also like, I don’t know if any of this would be the “right” age for anyone else but it’s a rough estimate of my own self-management timeline growing up.
I was testing my own BG (with supervision and assistance if needed) in pre-k and kindergarten.
I was programming my own boluses (exclusively using the Wizard tool) when I first got my first pump in 1st grade. I don’t feel like I remember anyone really verifying my ability to bolus properly or checking my pump screens before I hit go but maybe someone should have been, not sure lol. I would definitely relay the information (BG, carbs, bolus) to the nurse to note down during the interaction so I guess that was probably the verification step. (Prior to this I was on injections with a syringe and vial, which my saint of a mother would leave work to come give me at school.)
I was able to carb count fairly independently by like 6th-7th grade, although there was a lot of “practice” with my parents in the years before that. Up to that point my mom would pack me a lunch and include a carb count on a sticky note for me to bolus by.
I want to say I started doing infusion sites myself around 8-10 maybe, because my mom wouldn’t let me sleep over at anyone’s house until I could do it myself (motivation, lol). The turning point for me actually being able to do it myself was mostly down to needing a transition from manual infusion sites (Animas Comfort Short style) to one with an inserter (like the Animas Inset II/Medtronic Mio). I suspect with the Omnipod auto insertion, Liam could probably do this younger than I did.
I’m really not sure when I started doing reservoirs myself. I know I did do it when I was on an Animas pump, and I think I switched to Medtronic when I was 13 so it had to be before then. This was kind of complicated by the fact that I was doing mixtures with some amount of Symlin injected into my pump cartridges for a while, as instructed by my “experimental” endo, so cartridge fill process was a lil extra complicated. I’m gonna tentatively guess like 7th grade on this one, so like 11-12.
I think I did Medtronic CGM insertions by myself first because they had an auto-inserter, and I feel like I was maybe 13/14 for that. Although I do recall I was freaking horrified by the first round of Medtronic CGM I used because the inserter was basically like a harpoon gun. So probably 14. I didn’t do Dexcom again until after I lost all faith in the Medtronic Enlite sensors and I feel like I didn’t use them for more than a year, so that would put me at 17. The Dexcom insertion was definitely scarier than the Medtronic since it didn’t have an auto-inserter at the time, but once again I think the G6 will be a lot easier than both the Medtronic CGM and Dex G4/G5 because it doesn’t hurt and is basically painless.
When I had a driver’s license and a car at 16 I started going to endo appointments by myself and have mostly been managing things fully independently since then (my parents didn’t know my A1cs at that time unless they asked and I told them, for example). Although I really didn’t start ordering supplies myself until Sophomore year of college (lol) because my mom would order them and ship them in small enough quantities for me to store properly in my tiny dorm room freshman year.
Let me know if there’s any other self-management milestones I’m forgetting. I do think Liam will have an easier time with most of this since the technology is so much better now than it was back then. Plus - I didn’t get my first CGM until 5th grade, and it was not to be used for treatment decisions (Dexcom 7, not even the 7 plus!) so I didn’t see the point of it and it was hard for my parents to convince me to let them put one on me haha. I think the fact that Liam will have all this awareness of the trends and behavior of his BG from such a young age will certainly help out