Three years ago, on April 24, 2007, shortly after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, Caleb started pumping insulin. I remember this date as much as I remember his birthday. There were lots of smiles and celebration. It was a huge relief. It meant more freedom to eat, drink and be merry. It meant less shots and less pain. It meant me not having to put on a performance pretending that three 50 carb meals and three 20 carb snacks, precisely timed, included exactly what Caleb wanted to satisfy his appetite every day.
Since then, Caleb has used more than 450 Pods, has pumped more than 15,000 units of insulin and consumed more than 220,000 carbohydrates.
He’s also eaten pizza, devoured cupcakes, dined on Chinese food, eaten off-schedule, partaken in indulgent Thanksgiving feasts, and enjoyed goodies from his trick-or-treat bag. Don’t get me wrong – there’s a lot of healthy eating in between that would make Jamie Oliver proud, but those of you who understand diabetes appreciate how difficult eating pizza and carb-filled cupcakes can be. Pumping makes it easier for Caleb, if not just simply possible.
As demanding as managing type 1 diabetes is, I think often of what it was. I am thankful that Caleb has a pump available to him to make it less limiting than just 10 or 20 years ago.
Caleb pumps with the OmniPod. That choice was an easy one for us. Since the day he started pumping, at just 4 years old, he was able to deliver his own bolus’. He, himself has delivered each dose of insulin while at school, including preschool. From the beginning, he has helped change his Pod and just recently, at the age of seven, he has started doing Pod changes completely by himself.
In appreciation of allowing a photo of Caleb to be included in their 2009 annual report, Insulet has made a donation of $500 in Caleb’s name to the Faustman Labs at Massachussettes General Hospital. Dr. Denise Faustman and her team are doing such important work to find a cure for type 1 diabetes and I’m thrilled that Insulet has supported them.
Caleb also received an autographed poster of Kris Freeman with the inscription, “Dream big, Caleb!” As you can see, he was over the moon about it.
Caleb wrote thank you notes to both Kris and Insulet. Here is his note to Kris, spelling, punctuation and all:
Dear Kris Freeman,
I think you should be proud because I am a kid that looks up to you. Thank you for the poster. I was really excited when I saw you on it.
You are my inspiration because when I see you, I feel like I’m not the only one with diabetes.
I would always want an American to win a race, but I would escpecially want you to win! Good luck!
extra love From the big dreamer…
Thank you to all the pump manufacturers for making devices that make life with diabetes a little better for so many. Please keep working to make improvements. As great as pumps are, they are but crude replacements for a functioning human pancreas, and people who live with this every day deserve better.