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Re: [IP] holding off cuz of diabetes (long)

Hey Sara:
       We can always count on you to JOLT us out of diabetes doldrums with 
       Thought I'd share 2 items with the IPers: first, our Phila region 
"Moms Brunch Bunch" suport group was treated to a visit to ANIMAS 
headquarters this morning. About 40 of us toured the manufacturing facility & 
saw how the pumps are assembled, tested, and repeatedly re-tested.... We even 
saw a pump that "lost" a battle with a hungry dog!! (Wonder if he "alarmed" 
afterwards??) We also heard the CEO, Katherine Crothall, discuss her 
work-to-date on an implantable sensor. Kudos to Animas ( even though Melissa 
has always worn an MM pump) for being so responsive to their customers' needs 
& for so graciously hosting a bunch of inquisitive parents!
      Secondly, on the topic of HATING diabetes vs. NOT letting it "hold you 
back"......easier said than done apparently. I also had the privilege of 
attending a meeting at the Univ of Penn last week at which 2 islet tranplant 
patients ( Penn has now done 10) spoke about their experiences. The male, who 
had had diabetes for 30 years (since he was a teen) told us how he'd always 
been very "open" about his diabetes & thought he'd handled things 
well...until he was NO LONGER diabetic, and after being off insulin for 
months, he had had an epiphany which had previously escaped his 
understanding.....that what had kept him for achieving his "life goals" 
wasn't a mean boss, or a too-demanding job, or his own laziness, or difficult 
colleagues....but rather it was the "what ifs", the "what if I go high or low 
or embarrass myself....", those nagging fears that too often influence our 
children's "comfort zones" in social situations, those "what will I do if" 
questions that accompany sleep-overs, school trips, visits to "new friends" 
homes, parties, driving, college, etc that can circumscribe their willingness 
to venture forth, literally & figuratively........The more I "journey" 
through diabetesland, the more I see the insidious toll those relentless 
"mental gymnastics" take on even the strongest souls. I speak to so many 
"guilt-ridden/frustrated/ embarrassed" mothers who confide, with tears in 
their eyes,  that their child is depressed, or isn't as "social" as he/she 
once was, or is being less than truthful about his care or is simply - WEARY 
- of the constancy of diabetes. When Melissa attended a DRI luncheon in NYC 
with us last fall & heard yet another islet transplant recipient speak, she 
turned to us and said wistfully : I'd go through that too for "just one 
    So just my own 2 cents worth of "reality check".....from a mom's 
perspective, watching all these children I know, deal with the equivalent of 
juggling 2 full-time careers......they are, & will always be, my 
Renee (Melissa's pump mom)
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