as told by her mom, Kim Huffman KHuffman@pacific.net
Our daughter Stephanie was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of six, in June of 1995. She was on the usual routine of Regular and NPH, later switching to Humalog and NPH. We lived our lives by the clock, as those of you with children with diabetes know all too well. The worst time was after she would get home from school. She seemed to be hungriest at this time, only to be restricted to 15 grams of carbohydrate. If she wanted any more she would have to take a shot of humalog to cover it. Even when she did that, an hour later she would be wanting something else. We always had to contend with the vicious cycle of not being able to eat when you want to, or having to eat when you don't. In February of 1998, I came across the Insulin Pumpers web site and CamelsRFun, which has numerous stories about children and insulin pumps. From that day onward, I knew the pump would make a better life for Stephanie.
I spent the next several months asking questions of the members of the Insulin Pumpers group, gathering as much information as I could. By summer vacation, Stephanie started having some reservations about getting the pump. She just wasn't sure what it would feel like, or if it would hurt, etc. At our clinic appointment in August, we spoke to our D team about getting the pump, and the possibility of trying a pump with saline first, to see if she would like it. She wore a loner pump for the weekend, and was convinced that she wanted to go on the pump. The insurance process took a few more months, and on November 11, 1998 Stephanie went on the Minimed 507C.
Life on the pump is infinitely better than the rigid life of shots. To not have to keep one eye on the clock all day is so liberating!! Stephanie can sleep in as late as she wants to, she can graze as much as she wants after school. We went to Disneyland shortly after getting the pump. It was wonderful to be able to not worry about NPH peaking, and be able to get in one of those long lines for a ride without worry. We got into one line at 6pm, and didn't exit the ride for an hour and a half! Earlier that day, a family in front of us in line, saw Stephanie's pump clipped to her waist. They asked us about it, as they had a young child with diabetes. The father wore a backpack with all of their "supplies" such as food, insulin, syringes, etc. All we had besides her pump, was her meter which I wore on my belt, and a few glucose tablets, just in case.
I could go on and on! I would be happy to talk to anyone who is interested. I can be reached at KHuffman@pacific.net