Mason Wants Dessert — A Story in Pictures

2/24/17
WRITTEN BY: Erin Gottis
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One brownie. Seems easy right? Buy a box of brownies; mix, bake, devour. All of that changed for our family on July 12, 2014 when our son Mason was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 3. Eating takes a lot of preparation, work and patience when you have Type 1. Imagine wanting one brownie for dessert and realizing your “pancreas” has no insulin in it to process it. Instead of just eating the brownie, you need to endure a painful insertion of an infusion site for your insulin pump. You need to weigh your dessert, carb count and dose insulin. And you need to wait. Remember — you are just a 6-year-old kid.

First we prepare our “stuff.” For a site change you need a new site (the needle that lives in your skin for 3 days), a vial of insulin, a reservoir to hold the insulin and alcohol to clean the area you will insert your site at.

Next we make sure we are cleaning all our pieces before they go into Mason’s skin.

We also make sure to clean the top of our vial especially since it lives permanently in the butter compartment of our refrigerator.

Time to fill up our reservoir. Insulin is so precious and we are thankful each time we have a full reservoir. Many people do not have the access we have to this life-saving liquid.

Just the right amount of insulin will sustain Mason’s life for 3 days. Every 3 days we fill up his reservoir and change Mason’s infusion site so that we can deliver insulin for every carbohydrate he consumes. And even without eating everyone needs insulin throughout the day.

Between a 6-year-old’s little fingers is enough insulin to keep him alive for 3 days. It’s amazing to think that without less than 1 teaspoon of insulin throughout 3 days he could be seriously ill or die.

Then we make sure our pump is ready to go. In this step, we fill his tubing so his pump is able to deliver him insulin.

Our site is ready to insert. Mason spends 24 hours a day 365 days a year attached to this life-saving device.

We will spare you the stalling, little bits of tears and sister holding brother’s hand. Mason has a hard time with changing his site and currently will only tolerate it on his bottom. Pain is not something you get used to especially when you are a kid.

Mason’s battery-operated  “pancreas” is ready to go! But we still aren’t done prepping for him to eat his dessert.

Everything Mason eats must be measured in some way. The most accurate way for us is to weigh what he eats and calculate his carb count based on that.

When you have Type 1 diabetes, every gram of carbohydrates matter. We weigh Mason’s brownie and he can hardly wait!

 

Finally! Mom’s boxed brownies never tasted so good. The first thing Mason always says when he talks about being cured of diabetes; is that he will go to the refrigerator, open it up, get something to eat without having to do anything. We hope that happens for Mason and every person living with this disease, because eating a brownie shouldn’t be this hard.

Read Life with Type 1 – Photo Essay by Anne Marie Moran.



Erin Gottis

Erin resides in Northern California with her husband Matthew and their two children, Mason and Violette. She has worked in special education providing behavioral services for the past 15 years to children both inside and outside of the classroom. During her off time she produces custom art pieces. She is also determined to spread awareness about the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes, and uses social media to document the journey of her son Mason who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 3. You can follow their journey on Facebook at @MasontheMighty or on Instagram @1mightytype1family.