I’m not supposed to be on Facebook at work. But sometimes I am anyway. A week ago Tuesday was one of those days, and it’s a good thing I was goofing off, because otherwise I wouldn’t have seen what my friend Tina shared on her page – a link to a fundraising website. She had typed in “Every little bit helps” before the link to a page featuring a picture of an adorable little boy wearing a blue backpack. I saw the familiar letters CGM and clicked the link. This little boy, the same age as Piper, was a Type 1 diabetic starting kindergarten in September, and was in need of a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) to alert his teachers of potential highs and lows during the school day. His parents’ insurance wouldn’t cover one, due to his age. Without insurance, they cost thousands.
I immediately thought of my own CGM, sitting up on the shelf in the closet off of our kitchen, where it had been sitting for over a year. I was approved for one in 2011 when planning my second pregnancy. Mine was covered by insurance, for just a $25 copay, plus the cost of sensors.
I wore it for a while, but didn’t like it; I found it difficult to insert the sensors correctly (although I could do it, it was a hassle and not pain free), I had constant problems calibrating the sensors, and I just did not enjoy sticking yet another medical device to myself 24/7. Also, I thought it would let me check my sugar less, when in reality I ended up checking it more because I had so many false alarms. And did I ever tell you about the time I got pulled over for speeding while distracted by a false “Low Predicted” alarm? In short, it just wasn’t for me. I tend to feel my lows and always check my numbers throughout the day, but for many diabetics, particularly those who don’t feel their lows, these devices are an absolute necessity.
My next thought was of Piper starting kindergarten in the fall, and how much that scares me. How scared would I be if she had Diabetes and I had to rely on strangers to monitor her blood sugars during the day?
In just a few short minutes, through a comment on my friend’s Facebook link, another on his family’s fundraising page, and a phone call with his dad that night, I arranged to donate my CGM to Nicholas.
The very next day our office door opened and in came Nicholas – his mom and baby brother in tow. A boy version of Piper, in his excitement and appearance, he wore winter boots, jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt with a boombox on it. He wanted to see his “new” sensor right away, so I obliged while talking to him and his mom. We compared insulin pumps (his was blue, mine is purple) and talked about kindergarten, and he insisted I open the gift they brought me: a framed picture of Nicholas wearing his backpack, and flowers.
Before they left I shared a hug with Nicholas, and a few more with his mom.
Nicholas has his CGM training next week.
I know as I’m crying watching Piper go down the road in the school bus in September, I’ll also be thinking of Nicholas.