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[IP] What IP has meant to me

Hi there,

Like many other people from the IP who have been around a number of years, I
read (almost all) the digests, and respond to many privately but don't post
often.  So although most of the newer IPers don't know me, I am lurking, and
recognize the excitement, frustration, happy, or sad, supportive and
questioning manners of your postings.  My daughter started pumping on March
17/99 at the age of 10.  We started our quest in 1998.   Trust me, I have been
there, but with the support of my fellow IPers, pumping has become *easy* for
us.  That is not to say that we don't still deal with highs, lows, and black
holes :)  It is to say that we are at a point that the pump is a fact of life,
nor have we perfected it in an adolesence, and we have had to solve many
little problems, but the experience we have gained over the years gives us
much confidence to handle things in an enlightened manner.  Of course, now
having said that, SOMETHING extraordinary will happen today <VBG>.  Evil Pump
Fairy......I hope you aren't listening!!

So, when asked to give a 'little' input as to what Insulin Pumpers has meant
to me, I was more than happy to do so.  Many thanks to Jeff from CWD and Ellen
from KidsRPumping for being my first connections which helped lead me to IP
and for being such a source of inspiration and information over the years.


..my daughter would not be pumping as I would not have written a tear stained
letter to Erica's endo begging her to allow us to try insulin pump therapy (
early 1998) after being refused a few months earlier.  I was strengthened by
the support I received from my fellow Ipers.  Erica would have been the first
child using insulin pump therapy in Nova Scotia at the time.

...my daughter would not be pumping as I would not have met the wonderful
people who helped me wage a 101/2 month battle with insurers to earn coverage
for the pump & pumping supplies.  Letters, emails, phone calls, it was
humbling.  Erica finally started the pump in March/99

... my daughter would not be pumping as two glorious months into insulin pump
therapy, the bottom dropped out of our life when her sites started
deteriorating after 24-30 hours.  No way could we change sites every day.  She
was so little.  My fellow IPers came through with a tip about mixing insulins
which gave us back the 3 day site.  Erica's endo has suggested this idea to
other patients of hers.

...I would not have found such a up to date means of self-education and
sharing of experiences.

...I would not have connected with many fantastic people, from all over the
world.  Never would I have had a chance to share successes, fears, goals,
support, laughter, tears, frustration and information with these amazing
people.  Many have become close cyber friends while others we have met in
person too!!  BONUS!

...I would not have met two people, in particular, who have enriched my life
in too many ways to mention.  I met JB (mom of a pumper) through fellow Ipers
(R&E) who put us in touch with each other.  I met DP (adult pumper) through
postings on the IP.  My whole family benefits by their presence in our life.


....we would not have been interviewed by the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting
Corporation) for a nationally televised health show.  They found me on the web
and called to get a 'little' information on insulin pumps.  A quick call
turned into a long conversation and an invitation to take part in the health
show about diabetes.  We were the Pumping segment.  The spin off from this was
exciting and far reaching.  Erica became a celebrity!!

.... I would not have started a pumping webpage of our own
www.canadianbutterfly.ca.  The need to share what we had discovered was too
much for me.  I had to let people know how pumping had changed our lives.  It
wasn't too good to be true!!!

... I would not have started a support group as a means of helping new
pumpers, adult and child, make the transition.  Our other goal was to inform
people about pumping and invite them to our meetings.  Most of the people who
have attended meetings over the past year, as a way of learning more about
pumping from *real people*, are now pumping themselves or have a child
pumping. YEEHAW!!   As of the Spring of 2002, there are more than 60 children
who are pumpers out of the clinic that originally wouldn't consider it for
Erica.  Although the number of adult pumpers is increasing, it is not doing so
at the same rate as children.  It is much slower, but we are working on that

.... I would not have started Insulin Pumpers Nova Scotia, a natural direction
our support group went in as we were so much more than support.  We meet 6
times a year but are available 24/7/52 :)  Michael Robinton granted us the use
of the name Insulin Pumpers, and we are very proud that we are associated with
such an internationally respected institution.  It has given us confidence to
go places where no Nova Scotia pumpers have been before!!  We are having an
impact, and that is exciting!!

... I would not be the advocate I am now for diabetics.  It is an awesome
feeling to have a hand in helping others.  A BIG bonus from that is the
'paying forward' these people are now doing themselves.  A ripple into a wave
into a tsunami...

Letterman <g>). . . . .

I was on hand to watch my daughter turn into a butterfly, overnight.  B r e a
t h t a k i n g . . .

Bless you Michael, and all the gang!!


Barb Chafe
Insulin Pumpers Nova Scotia
Mom to Erica, a Canadian Butterfly
Visit our pumping website
via http://www.canadianbutterfly.ca
for HELP or to subscribe/unsubscribe, contact: HELP@insulin-pumpers.org
send a DONATION http://www.Insulin-Pumpers.org/donate.shtml