I'll always remember the day that the doctor called from the walk in clinic. It was Oct 4, 2001. He said that my daughter Trinity, who had just turned two years old two months prior, had developed diabetes and that we needed to take her to the hospital. I had known that this call was probably going to come. Trinity had been drinking like if she didn't take another sip of water she would die. I knew the symptoms. I was in denial. Didn't want it to be my child.
I started to sob uncontrollably into the phone. That poor doctor, I'm sure he wished he could have told me in person.
Trinity was in the hospital for a week. Being a type 1 diabetic myself for 28 years, I was very familiar with how to test her blood sugars and count carbs. I think I was trying to be too brave, because when I went to give her her insulin for the first time, I did it too hard, got a muscle, and wound up making her cry. I felt terrible. Wouldn't be the last time.
Her dad and I were going through a messy breakup around the same time, and the stress was huge, but I wanted to do everything I could to be there for my daughter. She is the most important person in my life. We did the carb counting and multiple dosing for about two and a half years. I was researching pumps for awhile online, and was very eager to see if it was something Trinity could do.
Thankfully, my work benefits covered 90% of the $6,400.00 that the pump cost. So I had different pump reps come into my home and tell me all about their products, so that I could make an informed decision.
We (her father is still a large part of her life, and we try to make decisions regarding her together)decided to go with MiniMed's Paradigm 512. (Trinity got purple -- only because they didn't have hot pink). My boyfriend and I wore a loaner pump with Trinity for the first week. (It had saline solution running through, so that we could "practice.")
Last week Trinity went "live" with insulin in her pump. I have had some real challenges with putting in the sites every 3 days. We are using the Silhouettes. Although, I put Emla cream on Trinity, she is still very afraid and makes a large fuss. Crying, and trying to hide her tummy. I tried to use the quick sets on her, thinking that the smaller needle would be easier for her, unfortunately, today we had a terrible time. Her sugars just kept getting higher and higher -- didn't matter that as per the doctors advice, I was giving extra doses of Humalog. I had to pull out the brand new site, and reinsert a Silhouette again. Needless to say, both Trinity and I were emotionally drained after that. I was by myself, and there was no one to assist me with the change, as well, because her sugars were so high, there wasn't any time to freeze the site. I feel like I traumatized my child, and I feel terribly guilty.
She's fine now, sleeping soundly, and she gave me butterfly kisses before bed, so I'm thinking she forgives me, but I find myself having second thoughts. I know that this will benefit her quality of life in the long run, and she will have much more freedom. I have read other success stories of children her age. I suppose it will get easier with time. God only gives us what we can handle right?
So, that's my story up to now. I'm scared, excited, and just want the absolute best life possible for Trinity. Hopefully I'll be able to add an update saying how wonderful Trinity's life has become due to the pump. We'll see.
Any one who would like to email me, please feel free. Good luck to everyone. I tell Trinity all the time, she is my hero. All diabetic children are.
January 2005 Update
Trinity has been on the pump for a few months now. And after re reading what I wrote in her story (as well as my own in the parents section) I am pleased to give this update.
Trinity has adapted to the site changes like the trooper she is. I was so concerned at the start of using the pump. Second guessing myself all the time. We have quite the routine down now.
Every third day, I go into her room around 6am, put on the Emla cream and let her sleep for another 45 minutes or so. Then when I wake her up, we just take off the cream and I do the site change. She still gives a little fuss once in a while -- she is only 5 after all, and it is a pretty intimidating needle -- but I'm pretty fast to insert it, and then it's done, we do her blood sugar test and have breakfast, get on with our day.
We even do her butt now too. Getting her to let me do that was a challenge. She really wasn't happy. But after constant explaining that we can't continue to use the same spots, (just like when she was on needles) she finally let me do it, and now she realizes it feels just the same as in the tummy, probably better since there is more fat there. She'd never admit that though.
I wanted to update this as I have received lots of emails from wonderful people who have sent me encouragement,and told me to hang in there, that it gets easier. It does. There are still days that we fight with low sugars, especially when she had the flu over Christmas, but disconnecting the pump and letting her sip on regular ginger ale was a benefit that we couldn't have done before the pump.
I'm so grateful, and feel so blessed. My daughter is bright, healthy and still, as stated earlier, the bravest person I know. Good luck to everyone out there. God bless.
Tara and her daughter Trinity can be reached via email at twogirls314 AT hotmail.com.
January 10, 2005
October 14, 2004
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