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[IP] NW Florida Kids "livin the good life"(insulin pump)
- To: undisclosed-recipients:;
- Subject: [IP] NW Florida Kids "livin the good life"(insulin pump)
- From: email @ redacted
- Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1999 07:36:36 EST
- Reply-To: email @ redacted
<A HREF="http://www.nwfdailynews.com/today/newshel1.html">Northwest Florida
Daily News</A> (there's a picture of all the children on the webpage)
Livin' the Good Life
•Insulin pumps give area kids more freedom
by PEGGY MAY, Daily News Senior Staff Writer
The bionic man had his day.
Now it's time for seven local diabetic kids to show off their
wave-of-the-future medical technology.
They range in age from 3 1/2 to 17, and they now have much better
control of the ups and downs of their blood sugar as they go through
their days - in school, sports, musical activities, and just hanging out
Their small insulin pumps are programmed on a 24-hour basis, customized
for each person's needs, lifestyle, and the severity of the disease.
The pump activates a cannula (small tube) that's inserted beneath the
skin to deliver micro doses of insulin, a regimen that's easier than
injections and also more proactive and responsive to what's going on in
the patient's life and body.
Five of the children are patients of a pediatric endocrinologist in
Tallahassee. Two have area physicians.
•Griffin Dalton, diagnosed at age 2, is now 11. He's been on the pump
for six years. He runs cross country and plays trombone for the Meigs
Middle School band and also is involved in Senior Pee Wee Football in
Shalimar. He'd like to become a doctor.
•Christine Benson, diagnosed at age 7, is now 11. She's been on the pump
for four years. Her passion is riding horses, and she's also involved in
her church choir and in the band at her school, First Baptist Academy in
Destin. Her ambition is to become a competitive rider.
•Bryan Griffin, diagnosed at age 2, is now 17. He's been on the pump for
two years. Bryan is involved in soccer at Niceville High School and he
also loves to surf. He wants to be a doctor.
•John Doolin, diagnosed at age 12, is now 17. He's been on the pump for
three years. He's an active member of the wrestling team at Fort Walton
Beach High School. He wants to be a doctor, specializing in treatment of
•Emily Bradley, diagnosed at age 7, is now 17. She's been on the pump
three months. She's a member of the honor society at Choctawhatchee High
School, plays flute in the school band, and is also a ham radio
operator. She hopes to become an engineer.
•Rebecca Akers, diagnosed at age 7, is now 8. She's been on the pump for
just a few weeks. She performs in plays at Edge Elementary School, and
also sings and loves to swim and bike. She wants to be a veterinarian.
•Nathan Hobbs, diagnosed at 12 months, is now 3 1/2. He enjoys bike
riding, deer hunting with his dad, working on his farm, and fishing.
When he grows up, he "wants to be a chicken truck driver, like my
The parents as well as the kids welcome the freedom and flexibility that
the pump provides.
"Diabetes is the thinking man's disease," says Anna Dalton, mother of
"Ask any mom with a child who has diabetes. She will give it to you
straight. That insulin pump gives us the edge we need to help us help
our kids live a good life."
All of the kids except the two older boys have the cannula inserted in
their lower back.
Bryan has his on his hip and John has his in his leg.
Other sites could be the arms or stomach, the children said.
At the beginning the school year, Rebecca's mother went to her class to
explain how the pump worked.
"I wasn't sure if they were going to tease me," Rebecca said.
"Yesterday, a little boy asked me how I got diabetes. I told him about
genes from my parents and that my little sister has a good chance of
A friend asked Rebecca how it felt to be the only one in the class to
"If you feel pitiful and sorry for yourself, you feel left out," said
Rebecca, who far from feeling sorry for herself, explains the whole
situation in a very mature way.
For Emily, it's not necessary to share knowledge of her pump with
"I keep it in my pocket. My friends know," the quiet, smiling
Christine and Griffin both have some problems with playing their musical
instruments when their blood sugar goes too high.
"You mess up if you have high blood sugar. It's hard to concentrate,"
said Griffin, a trombone player.
"When my blood sugar is up, I'm not playing well. I can't concentrate on
my music and the keys," Christine said.
What's a normal blood sugar?
For Christine, it's anywhere around 100. Rebecca said normal for her is
from 80 to 100.
Several of the children did their finger pricks and checked their blood
sugar during the interview to explain how their pumps worked. Even
little Nathan did it without flinching.
Bryan said he takes his pump off when he plays soccer.
"There's no pocket in my soccer shorts."
John said during wrestling practice he keeps his on, but during matches
he takes it off.
Christine takes hers off during horse shows.
They change the cannulas every few days or sooner if needed.
When Emily's was first inserted, she had thought it would hurt, but with
the use of a numbing cream, there was no pain.
Sometimes the pump alarms wake the kids up when the battery gets low or
they've inadvertently pushed a button in their sleep, but having the
pump on doesn't normally affect sleep, they said.
•Staff Writer Peggy May can be reached at 863-1111, Ext. 434 or
email @ redacted
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