Magical T1D ModSquad

by Erin

There is a group on Facebook to which another mom of a child with type 1 diabetes added me shortly after Grasshopper was diagnosed 4 years ago this year. If you had told me 5 years ago that I would regularly ask the advice of 10,477 people on the internet of whom I only personally know about 7, I would have thought you were nuts. But this group of parents of children with T1D has been a sanity saver, a place of understanding, humor, uplifting thoughts and sharing of sorrows. It all helps. T1D Mod Squad was founded by Rebekah Rap as a way for moms of diabetics (MODs) and dads of diabetics (DODs) to connect, and share their stories while navigating T1D with their children.

During November we saved all of Grasshopper’s type 1 diabetes supplies as we used them. We stored them in our pumpkin decorated with a blue circle, the international symbol of T1D. In one month we have used five black cans of One Touch Ultra Blue test strips (50 strips/can), two vials of insulin, eleven round blue insulin infusion site inserters, eleven insulin cartridge and tubing sets, three Dexcom sensors, twenty six AccuCheck FastClix lancet drums for poking Grasshopper’s fingers, twenty five packs of Annie’s Fruit Snacks for low blood sugar, a lot of One Touch Ultra Blue Test Strips, and several green ketone meter test strips, each test strip marking one finger poke.

There is one fellow MOD I wouldn’t have known if it wasn’t for the T1D Mod Squad Facebook group. Nichole Johnston and I only live 45 minutes away from each other but it is unlikely we would have connected otherwise. To date I have yet to meet her in person! Her oldest child recently switched from using the Animus Ping pump, which Grasshopper uses, to the OmniPod pump so they had leftover Ping supplies. Nichole contacted me and asked if Grasshopper could use them. I picked them up from her husband. Her generosity was astounding. The retail price of each of the blue circular infusion site insertion devices, called an Inset, shown in our blue pumpkin photo and here below, is $125. We use a new one every three days. She gave us seven boxes of them, and of the insulin cartridges that go into Grasshopper’s pump.

Nichole also passed on the One Touch Ultra Blue test strips they had left. Each can of fifty strips is about $50.00 retail. You read that right. $1 per test strip. And, because success in managing diabetes means having a backup plan for your backup plan, Nichole gave us the extra Lantus and Novalog insulin pens her family had in case of pump failure. If Grasshopper’s pump stops working for whatever reason, we will get a new one but the fastest a pump company would be able to ship it is overnight. We have to be able to give him insulin and these pens offer a quick way to do that.

Nichole’s offer to pay it forward could not have come at a better time. We have health insurance but Mr. Mister recently switched jobs to a much larger company and we are waiting for all the health insurance information to be finalized. We were down to our last box of Insets. I have a few more squirreled away in medical bags but that’s it. If we had to we would have bought a box on our own and then filed for reimbursement, but thanks to this fellow MOD’s kindness we didn’t have to do that. I am so grateful for her thoughtfulness and so grateful for the diabetic online community (DOC). Knowing your child’s life depends on these supplies is a powerful motivator to help other families dealing with the same. I’m happy to pay it forward when and where I can. T1D Mod Squad is an amazing resource. My experience connecting with this community has made me realize that no matter what you are going through, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. If there is something you are struggling with, whatever it is, please talk about it, reach out and look for a group of people, online or in person, who are dealing with it too. Cancer, depression, anxiety, diabetes, moving to a new city, becoming a parent, losing a spouse, losing a child, losing a parent… whatever it is, medical, physical, spiritual, mental, please know there are other people who have experienced and are experiencing similar issues. Just the act of connecting with someone else who can say, “Me too,” makes the darkness lighter.

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