Have you ever heard someone say to think outside the box? Today starts a contest which I think has accomplished just that. I wanted to mention it because I love when people use creativity to communicate with others. I believe this is a more effective way of teaching someone rather than just telling them about it. The contest was created by the President and creator, Manny Hernandez of the Tu Diabetes community. To learn more about the contest and to enter: http://tudiabetes.com/notes/Making_Sense_of_Diabetes
In 2006, my daughter received her first Animas 1250. Getting her to that point was challenging. Since diagnosis in November 2004 my daughter had gone from 5-6 shots a day and then gradually to 3-4 shots. I created a small chart tailored to Maiya's reaction to specific foods and exact carb intake at different times of the day. I had everything calculated to perfection and I felt I was doing the most I could possibly do to make sure she was mostly in her range most of the time. Her A1Cs were a little on the lower side 6.9 and yes we did experience some lows but she did a great job of detecting her hypoglycemia in the early stages.
Outside everything seemed to be going well as planned and I felt as though I had a good hold of the situation. The truth is inside I was OVERWHELMED from the strict schedule and the stress was beyond any stress I had ever experienced in my lifetime. After weeks of crying and hardly getting any sleep I decided something had to change. I began researching insulin pumps on line. As I sat and looked at all the different pumps I started getting angry. I didn't like the fact that this was the only other alternative but I also knew I would regret it if we didn't try it.
After speaking with my husband, we decided it was time to speak with Maiya about the pump. As expected, the moment I brought up the pump Maiya began crying and said she didn't want it. She was scared and frankly were also concerned of the unknown. After a long talk we had finally convinced her to try it. I promised her if SHE didn't like it then we would put that behind us and go back to shots. She agreed.
Prior to getting the pump we had to attend insulin pump training and carb counting classes to better educate our family. We also did a saline trial to test it out and it was intimidating at first, but once we began learning all the buttons and commands we began to feel more comfortable. The best part was Maiya was beginning to take interest in the pump. We were ready for the real thing!
Putting the site in was a struggle since she would sometimes move my hand when I was ready to insert the canula. She would cry and tell me she didn't want another needle in her body. Holding back my tears I looked at her in the eyes and calmly said at the count of three we would insert the needle. She eventually got used to the steps and remained mostly calm since she also had some control over the moment. Maiya was FINALLY wearing her pump.
It was our first day pumping and it was time for her next BG check. Her blood sugar was a bit out of range. Had she been on shots she would have had to correct with the Humalog and wait until her next check which was also snack time. Of course as you know high blood sugars make you hungry so she was "STARVING," it was at that moment when I said it's o.k you can eat and correct. She chose her snack, we counted the carbs, input the information into the pump and with a HUGE smile she bolused. Her response "I never want to go on shots again." I hugged her and told her how proud I was of her for being so brave and for trying it out.
Our lives had forever changed due to this wonderful tool in diabetes management. I know pumps are not for everyone depending on your lifestyle, your needs and your body. It is truly an individual choice but for our family it has been a blessing in disguise.
Like many of you, I have a story of how diabetes disrupted my family’s life. I remember the fear and uncertainty that gripped me the moment we learned of our daughter Maiya’s diagnosis. I could have never imagined checking a 4 year-old’s blood sugar—on her toes—let alone giving her an injection every few hours. It ripped my heart out every time I had to look into her tear-filled eyes and tell her it was time for another shot. With each injection I felt like I was stabbing her. I would have gladly taken her place. Angry and afraid, I knew I had to be strong for Maiya.
Type 1, Juvenile Diabetes is not a part-time condition; it’s a lifelong challenge. I knew that I would do whatever it took to keep my daughter healthy, but I needed a shift in my thinking. The road ahead was going to be difficult and I knew that my positive attitude could pave the way to a happier life for my daughter. So we changed our approach.
My husband and I confronted the situation head on. We educated ourselves and learned as much as we could about diabetes. The more we learned the more confident we felt. Before long were prepared to do everything possible to make Maiya’s life easier. That meant finding the best medical care, the best insulin pump, the thinnest needles and even the best skin numbing cream. We would stop at nothing to help make our daughter’s life with diabetes as comfortable as possible.
One day my daughter told me, “I only wish I could have a happy bag to hold my supplies.” I was devastated. Not only did my child have this terrible condition, she had an ugly diabetes supply case that made her sad and she was embarrassed to use. So I decided to do something about it.
I’ll never forget my daughter’s face when I showed her a design for what her diabetes supply bag could look like. She was ecstatic! The new design was practical and fashionable and exactly what she wanted. Finally we had some hope on our journey, something we could fix. And we haven’t looked back since.
I launched Skidaddle Bags in 2007 with the hope that I could share this feeling with all of you. I hope Skidaddle’s designer diabetes bags allow you to express your love of fashion and make your life with diabetes a little more colorful.
Wishing you all the best of health!
Skidaddle Bags, Inc.
I am a wife, mompreneur, founder, CEO, and designer for Skidaddle Bags, Inc, which creates highly functional, fashionable and fun medical supply bags for those living with diabetes. More at: http://www.skidaddlebags.com