Introducing Fred

Once upon a time…

I think that is how all good stories start!  But mine starts a little differently, more like late one night.  But, to follow this story you need to know a few facts.  I was blessed with a wonderful doctor and supportive parents after diagnosis of T1D at 10, and a year later I was getting an insulin pump.  This was after a year of having to give 4-5 shots a day to control my blood sugar.  An insulin pump is a little device that contains insulin and connects to my body.  This little machine give me the amount of insulin that I program into it.  In a way it does what my pancreas fails to do.  Ok, back to the story…

Late one night, my mom came into my room to test my blood sugar.  I was about 11 years old at the time and she would come in and test my blood sugar before she would go to bed each night.  This night my blood sugar was high, so I needed insulin.  My mom asked for my pump.  In my sleepy dreaming state I yelled, “Fred!”  Calmly my mom said, “No, I need your insulin pump.”  Once again I yelled, “Fred!”  This went on for a few minutes and ended with me grabbing my pump and saying Fred as I handed it to her.  She took it and programmed the insulin I needed.

Of course the next morning my mom had a great story to share.  My mom asked me if I remembered her coming in to test my blood sugar.  I didn’t.  She then retold the Fred story.  Oh the laughter that followed!

Who would have guess that the name stuck all these years later.  So let me introduce Fred to you.  He is my lifesaver.  He is by my side all the time and I couldn’t live without him.  He is amazing!

Side note: In college a few of my friends and I convinced another friend that I had a boy friend named Fred!  Guess my pump is just that cool! :)

Talking about my pump is so much more fun when I can say, “Oh that is just Fred” or “Oops Fred is yelling at me” or “I forgot Fred” (yes I have gone off without him before).  Something that is with you 24/7 needs to be something that you love and can openly talk about.  There are challenges though.  The supplies that are involved are very expensive and so is the pump itself.  Packing up to go on a trip is not easy.  There is a lot that must go with me.  If my pump would stop working, I have to have a backup plan to keep my blood sugars in control.

The thing that makes me most excited about insulin pumps is that they keep advancing them.  I currently have a continuous glucose monitor that I wear.  It automatically gives me a blood sugar reading and is very helpful with knowing if I’m going up or down so I can plan ahead.  This really comes into play with working a 12 hour shift as a nurse and for when I go to the gym.  Recently the FDA approved an insulin pump that will function more like a real pancreas.  It has both insulin and glucagon.  It will be able to treat high and low blood sugars!  The rumor I have heard is that I might be able to get one in April!  I can’t wait!!!!!!!

Technology is great but what I really want is a cure.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Fred and what he allows me to do, but this is nothing compared to not having to worry about high and low blood sugars. Life would be amazing.


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