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[IPn] How it all began - part 2



Where we left off in the story was in August, camping on the American 
River. I forgot to mention in my last post that this was a year after 
Lily's diagnosis, so she'd been on the old fashioned "shots" regimen 
that entire time. I had just found out that the gentleman in the next 
camp site had diabetes. This was my first contact with an adult (or 
anyone for that matter) with diabetes from whom I could get some 
first hand knowledge. We talked for a while then I asked him about 
the odd looking square sunburned patch on he belly. His reply - 
"that's where the infusion set for my insulin pump was, I forgot to 
put on sunscreen when I took it off". Well as you know if you read my 
last post, my next question was "what's an insulin pump?" He had a 
Minimed 504 or 506, I'm not sure which, but an old one by today's 
standards. After learning a little about pumps, this set me off on my
next odyssey.

After returning from the camping trip, I set out to get a pump for 
Lily. The first place I tried was Stanford Medical Center where Lily 
had been when she was diagnosed. There reply, "we don't do that". (It 
would take Standford another 2 years to start prescribing pumps). I 
continued my search by going through the telephone book (no google 
back then), calling every peds endo I could find. Nada, nothing, not 
a single one prescribed pumps or had any pump patients. You see, back 
then, while pumps had been available for adults for a few years, they 
had not yet been approved for children and would not be for another 
couple of years. I found out later that at the time there were only 
about 5,000 kids on pumps in the entire US.  

Having run through all the peds-endo's in the SF Bay area without any 
luck, I started down the list of adult endo's. I finally found one 
that said that he had no peds-patients, only adults, but he was 
willing to talk to us. A few days later Lily and I visited the doc 
and after chatting with us for a few minutes had said, "come back in 
a month after you've learned more about pumps and we'll talk".  

I continued my research on pumps and stumbled across John Walsh's 
wonderful book "Pumping Insulin". I read it cover to cover and gave 
it to Lily (now 12 years old) and she proceeded read it in a day! The 
days ticked by unitil our next appointment with the endo. We went for 
our second visit and the doc started to question Lily about her 
thoughts on a pump and out of her mouth came the contents of "Pumping 
Insulin". The questioning stopped rather quickly and a pump 
prescription followed minutes later. We scheduled a follow-up 
appointment to "install" the pump the following month in December. 
...time crawls by ever so slowly, and the pump finally arrives. Lily 
and I go to the doc's office and he set her up for a saline trial to 
get used to operating the pump. I don't remember now how long that 
was, a week or two as I recall. All went smoothly. After that, we 
made a return visit to go "LIVE" with insulin. I remember that day 
vividly. The doc put Humalog in her pump, gave her some instructions 
and well wishes and we left and went out to the car. As we turned out 
of the parking lot on to El Camino Real, Lily turned to me and said 
"Dad, can we go to McDonalds and get an apple pie?". To this day when 
I remember that moment, it brings tears to my eyes. A twelve year old 
girl new that this device could free her from the restrictive diet 
regimen of "shots". I was blown away.. and... of course she got her 
apple pie.  

More tomorrow.

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