Elissa's Story Is Told By Her Mother
(Elissa started pumping at age 3)

Elissa was born with spunk. Little did I know we would have to draw from it so soon in her life. She was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at 15 months of age. She was always very cooperative about her blood tests & injections (although watching that little face wince just before the "prick" broke my heart). In spite of intensive monitoring of blood sugars and 3-4 injections of insulin a day, Elissa was very poorly controlled, one time even reaching an A1C of 18! Many different insulin regimens were tried, with no improvement. When Elissa was 3 1/2 years old, our endo, realizing our frustration and concern for our little cherub, asked us if we would consider the pump for her. I was somewhat surprised, since pumps were fairly new and had definitely not been tried in the United States on one so young. But, since nothing else seemed to be working, my husband and I agreed.

Elissa was hospitalized for a week during the transition from shots to the pump. Of course, at the first insertion, Elissa would allow "only Mommy" to do it. This time I winced! The little girl was a trooper. We all adapted to the pump fairly quickly. Life became so much smoother. Within a week, my mother noticed how much more even-tempered Elissa was. No more constant wide swings from high to low. No more dragging around vials of insulin and syringes. Meal flexibility - a spontaneous trip to McDonald's was not a problem. And, best of all, great A1C's. Once she even got down to 5.0 (nondiabetic level by the lab standard).

Did she still have high & low blood sugars? Of course - diabetes can be unpredictable, even with the pump. BUT ...... high blood sugars can be brought down quickly and low blood sugars do not have the impact they used to before the pump.

Elissa is now 16 (that's right - 13 years on the pump). She is a confident young lady. She does not feel "different" because she is on the pump. All her friends are aware of her diabetes and respect her for the effort she puts forth to stay healthy.

Like all the rest of us, we hope a cure is coming SOON, but Elissa plans on taking care of her body the best way she knows how until that blessed day comes.

Judy Premerlani

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