The dawning of a new era in our family, post pump, meant the return of equality to our small girls’ lives. Before the pump, I would cater to the fickle whims of a baby’s appetite, sometimes making multiple meals in order to entice some interest in food from the little lady with the lurking insulin!! Her 3yo sister would witness my attempts at bribery with a small baby who couldn’t even talk and watched as on more than one occasion, completely out of ideas and temptations, I would resort to the chocolate buttons! Being a precocious toddler, it didn’t take her long to try and pull her own ‘not eating that’ stunt in order to be rewarded with chocolate!
This was just one of the many ways in which the pump made our lives better. I was no longer at the mercy of long acting insulin which needed to be fed at all costs. Now, if Pumplett refused to eat, I would be able to smile sweetly and clear the table, ignoring all squeaky protestations for some different food!! Meal times were, once more, restored to stage managed monkeys’ tea parties. My only real challenges now came from identifying how many grammes of carbohydrates had been ingested and how many were being worn as either hair accessories or clothing decorations, let alone the amount that was smeared across the table and chairs!!!!
Party invitations also became a welcome demand upon our time once more. It sounds silly now, as we’ve always been determined that T1 wouldn’t stop us from doing anything, but in those days of regimented twice daily injections routine, a birthday party between 2pm-4pm would be 120 minutes of torture. A table laid with all the usual party fair, children free range grazing in front of my baby, making her tummy rumble when there was no insulin to be fed, were akin to the most horrific of tortures! However, with the pump, this all changed. Pumplett was able to eat anything, at anytime, as we now had the correct tools to administer her tiny doses as and when she needed them. We were a fully functioning party family once more!!!
Tumble Tots became Pumplett’s favourite social engagement of the week as she learnt to climb, balance and dance with the freedom the pump offered her. She delighted in every new challenge and it was a privilege to watch this baby blossom into a confident toddler with plenty of attitude!!
As she started to talk, ‘mine pump’ was a very early phrase that emerged. We respected her ownership of this small piece of technology that had transformed our lives. It was important for us that she felt comfortable with her pump and never self conscious. She relished the independence of freeing her pump from its bag and handing it over to us to complete the insulin transaction after meals! These were the first steps she took in taking up the reigns with her T1. They may seem tiny and even insignificant to some, but for us they marked the beginning of her involvement in the management of her T1. For I have never forgotten that I am only a custodian of this condition. Ultimately, my T1 will be ‘cured’ and I shall have to hand over all responsibility to the host. The star of the show. The little lady who wears her pancreas on her hip. And does so with a whole lot of fabulous attitude!!