Stephanie Started Pumping Just Before Turning 14
Stephanie was diagnosed with diabetes on November 11, 1994, two months before her Bat Mitzvah, at the age of 12 and1/2.. She had not been feeling "right" for about a week, or so, but just kept saying her head hurt and her stomach was not right. She went to school and actually went on a field trip to a museum in New York ( we live outside of Phila.) the day before she ended up in the hospital. She had lost around 10 or12 pounds in a week or ten days - very quickly. She also was getting up at night to drink and go to the bathroom - one night she even "wet" her bed which had never happened before -but I kept saying if your are not better in a day or two we'll go to the doctor because her symptoms were so vague. She had had bottom braces put on her teeth a month before and when we went to the orthodontist for a check-up her gums were so inflamed that he felt the new braces should come off. A few days later we went to do that and he saw a yeast infection in her mouth - that was when I said enough! I called the pediatrician from his office and she said she would see us in an hour - meanwhile Steph had been so tired all week that she could barely keep her eyes open. I thought it was just that she went to bed too late and never got enough sleep ( which is still the case ).
Anyway after a few errands we went to the doctor who was sure she was suffering from an eating disorder. I told her it had happened too quickly and she did mention that she smelled a fruity smell on Steph's breath which can be a sign of diabetes. So she sent her to the bathroom for a urine specimen and in the few minutes she was gone the doctor was trying to console me about having a child with an eating disorder. When Steph came back and the doctor put the dip stick in the urine cup she took one look at the color and reached for the telephone and called Children's Hospital. We never went home but straight down to the hospital where Steph was having trouble staying awake in a waiting room full of screaming children.That was the beginning of our experience with diabetes. Steph goes to an all girls private school and another kid who is a year older also attended the same school at the time and she had diabetes. SHE HAD AN INSULIN PUMP. Steph kept wanting to find out more about it but I just wasn't sure - she was doing great with multiple injections - her A1C's were wonderful and I felt we were handling this pretty well, why upset the applecart. We went to hear another teenager discuss the pump and finally I said I was willing to look into it further. Stephanie got her pump on March 1, 1996 - one day before her 14th birthday.
She loved it immediately - she feels like she has her life back, She can sleep as late as she wants ( and the kid can sleep ALL DAY!) and eat what and when she wants. At first I didn't love it but I realize that the whole family no longer revolves around when Steph has to eat and there are just a lot less things for me to worry about. Although since Steph will be driving in less than a month I will have lots of new things to worry about. I keep telling Steph that she should go to work for a pump company because she is like a "moonie" in how much she LOVES her pump and she could be their greatest salesperson. Thanks so much for starting this website.
Randie - Steph's mother
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