Kristen, Pumping at Age 11

On December 6, 1997, my daughter, Kristen was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. After seeing my daughter waste away to 59 lbs. (losing 15 lbs), I knew something was wrong. As a nurse, my concerns grew greatly. She would drink gallons of water everyday, bathroom trips were enormous, crying all the time, sleeping a lot - you would think that this mom knew what was wrong with her child. But the denial of not my child or this could not happen to us came over me. Finally on December 6, 1997, my husband called me at work and told me that Kristen did not look well. He brought her to hospital (where I work) and I did a one touch on her and to my surprise it was 531. In a sense this was a relief to me. I knew what was wrong with her and we could treat the illness.

Of course, lifestyle changes began (for the better for all of us). Kristen was on anywhere from 2-4 shots a day. With our very active lifestyle keeping her on a feeding schedule was very difficult but we always managed. Kristen herself plays softball, is a cheerleader for her middle school, rides horses, swims almost everyday, plays the clarinet in the middle school and is continuing to find new things to involve herself in.

After long conversations with her doctor, we came to the agreement that Kristen would benefit from an insulin pump (Mini-Med). On August 6, 1998, just 8 months after being diagnosed Kristen was placed on an insulin pump. She has told me that she feels more normal now than she did before. Her HGB A1-C have been wonderful - overall she stays stable with a few highs and low sugars.

Kristen will turn 13 on August 13th (which is a Friday). She is very responsible for her pump and maintaining her diet. I am extremely proud of what she has learned about her diabetes and what she does to maintain her blood sugars. She gets concerned when they are low and when they are high.

Recently Kristen kicked off the Kiss-A-Pig campaign in Savannah for the American Diabetes Association and also attended the Gala at the end of the Campaign. She was also in the St. Patrick's Day Parade on the JDF float. At the end of this school year at the sports banquet, Kristen was given an award for the most spirited cheerleader on the squad. She continues to cheer for her middle school, plays softball, swims a lot, rides horses, plays her clarinet and now this summer is learning to WATER SKI !!!! What next???

Kristen continues to move on with her life and our family is very proud of her. She is a very up beat child, always laughing and making the best of every situation - good or bad. With 18 months of a different way of living - Kristen says that there is life after diabetes.

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