Mason Wants Dessert — A Story in Pictures
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.
When you have Type 1 diabetes, every gram of carbohydrates matter. We weigh Mason’s brownie and he can hardly wait!
Read Life with Type 1 – Photo Essay by Anne Marie Moran.