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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Beach Bound with a Pumper: what’s a mother to do?

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We have the opportunity to go to the Bahamas this summer. Woo Hoo! Awesome, right? Yes it is….until I start to think about the logistics of taking a kid on an insulin pump there. So my brain is in overdrive, trying to plan for every contingency.

DisneyWorld worked out great last year. How can I make this trip just as easy?

Here’s my plan:

-my husband is traveling a day earlier than the rest of our crew so he will be bringing the suitcases
-the kids and I will each have a backpack; mine will be filled with KC’s diabetic supplies

And then:
-have a letter from her endo stating all her meds, pump, cgm and supplies + medical need for juice boxes and snacks while traveling
-pack instruction manuals for pump/cgm to show TSA
-I plan on asking for “wanding” for KC- or at least no x-ray of pump
-contact airline in advance to ask what else we can do to make this easier

Medtronic has great suggestions on their website:  http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/customer-support/traveling-with-an-insulin-pump-or-device including a travel card to present to the airlines/TSA regarding insulin pumps and CGM’s.

I also printed out information from TSA and the JDRF website

Okay….that just gets us on the plane and hopefully, through customs….

We will be staying at a resort with lots of water activities including a water park,  “river,” and swimming with dolphins.  Yeah….and we are still using a traditional insulin pump.  Not a tubeless patch pump….as KC reminds me daily that she now wants.

I want her to be able to do everything she wants to do on this trip. So I need to figure out ways to accommodate those wants.  We will only have two and 1/2  days at the resort which is a good thing!

She will be needing a site change on the first full day on the island.  I’ve told her she can go cgm-less that day and the next to do her dolphin swimming etc.  Fear of losing CGM in ocean now set aside.

We are used to taking her pump off for swimming, but what to do about walking on the beach?  I dread the thought of sea water and sand + insulin pump.  I spent some time surfing the DOC and discovered a product called an Aquapac.  It is a waterproof case for insulin pumps that has a place for the tube to come out.  It is not recommended for long term immersion/submersion.  Ours has already arrived and KC is excited about trying it in the shower—great to use when she is running high but needs to bathe! **Please note that the manufacturer states that the insulin flow will be slightly restricted due to the watertight seal.  I know I will feel much better about letting her hang out on the beach with this product.  I’ve also bought a Pelican 1060 waterproof hard case to store the pump when she is disconnected.  I can put the Frio cooling case we took to Orlando in the Pelican to help keep the insulin cool.

We are weeks away from this trip….keep us in your prayers as we plan!

I’ll let you know how it goes!

Diabetes Blog Week Day #7: Diabetes Hero

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Thanks to “Diabetesmine” for this image!

Who is my Diabetes hero?  KC, of course!  But you know that already…

So who else inspires me?  Celebrities/athletes with Type 1 help my daughter see that any dream is still a possibility, so I love when they are advocates for children with Type 1. But my real heroes are more ordinary people.

  • Joe, an old friend from my high school days, who has just completed his 40th year with Type 1.  He’s a successful husband and father and has always been an all-around good guy (and his wife, Heidi-although we’ve never  met-is one of my heroes as well!)  His words of encouragement have been a huge help.
  • Kelly, a mom I met when KC was in kindergarten, was diagnosed at 19 and  never hid her Type 1. She was the first person I knew with an insulin pump.  She was also one of the first people I contacted after KC was diagnosed.  Kelly is an active, creative mother of three.  (and I can’t forget her husband, Don!)

Why are they my heroes?  They represent KC’s future.  An adult life with a spouse and children.  A career.  Love.  The dreams a parent has for any child.

Joe and Kelly are just two of the amazing people living full lives with Type 1 Diabetes.  Before KC was diagnosed I had no idea the challenges they faced.  They are real-life heroes as is every person living with Type 1 (and those amazing parents who try to “think like a pancreas” every day!).

Diabetes Blog Week Day #6: Saturday Snapshots

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What can a kid with Type 1 diabetes do?

Diabetes Blog Week Day #5: What They Should Know

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If I could tell non-diabetics one thing about living with Type 1,  it would be…..

okay, I may as well admit that I can’t stop at one thing, but I’ll try to be brief…

…Type 1 diabetes is NOT the same thing as Type 2.

…it isn’t caused by poor diet and lack of exercise.

…cinnamon, licorice, and improving your gut flora will not make Type 1 diabetes go away!

…that people with diabetes don’t have to eat “sugar-free” crud.

…managing Type 1 is even harder than it looks.

…don’t tell us “I could never give injections/prick my finger/count carbs etc etc etc”.  If you had to in order to survive, then you would!

…when I tell you KC is “doing fine,” I really mean that this disease sucks but we are trying to lead normal lives in spite of it and not telling you how bad last night was is one way of coping.

…when I tell you that I only had two hours sleep last night because of her high/low blood sugar, I really mean that diabetes really sucks and today I don’t have the strength to pretend otherwise.

….when I tell you that KC is my hero and I am in awe of her, I really mean that mere words cannot reflect how amazing my 12 year old is and that I would do anything and everything I could to keep her from having to fight this battle alone.  And that I pray fervently that she WILL have a CURE in her lifetime.

Diabetes Blog Week Day #4: Fantasy Diabetes Device

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This one is easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy!  I’ve said it before but it is worth repeating….

I want a

  • tubeless pump
  • combined with cgm in one unit
  • one handheld device that meters blood glucose, operates pump and cgm with an app that allows the stored data to be viewed by doctor/parent etc. at any time
  • a remote monitor (with battery back-up) that provides a read-out of the same information as on hand-held device but can be in caregiver’s room

until there is a CURE!

Diabetes Blog Week Day #3: One Thing To Improve

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Diabetes Blog Week Day #3:  One Thing To Improve

One?  Only one?  Wow, let me try to narrow that list down to only one!

Ok, I’ve decided.  We are aware of how stress and activity affect her and are learning how to ward off post-exercise lows. But because she reacts so strongly to those factors, we don’t look as closely at specific foods. I would like KC and myself to work on watching how certain foods affect her BG.  We know some things; i.e., real ice cream sends her sky-high but no-sugar added ice cream doesn’t cause the same reaction.  So our goal for this summer will be to pay closer attention to foods and trends. This should be easier to do because the stress/excitement of school will be gone.

P.S. Chick-Fil-A’s  “ice dream” cones are one type of ice cream that KC can cover with a bolus!

Diabetes Blog Week Day# 2: One Great Thing

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Dancing Backward in High Heels

One great thing we do…hmmm…that’s a hard one! Somedays I feel like I don’t do anything well, but I am always proud of KC for the grace and dignity with which she carries herself. She is not embarrassed or ashamed by her T1; she wears her pump with pride. The one great thing she does is that she LIVES (yep, with all caps) with diabetes! She does not let the disease keep her from doing what she loves. She doesn’t let it control her life.

When she was a little girl, we saw a bronze sculpture on the sidewalk on Main Street in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. It is of a girl who appears to be dancing or leaping with  unabashed joy. That was my KC then and it is my KC now.

So I guess my one great thing is that I help her live her life to the fullest and I encourage her to do so. KC’s battle with diabetes reminds me of Ginger Rodgers–dancing as beautifully as Fred Astaire but with the handicap of dancing backward and in high heels. It’s hard but not impossible!