D-Mom: Gail of Life With Type 1

by Leighann on January 25, 2010

D-Mom Blog Featured D-Mom

As with Lorraine and Rachel, I also met Gail on Twitter. Though her daughter was already wearing an insulin pump, they were researching the OmniPod at the same time we were. They began the OmniPod a month or two before we did so I was able to see her troubleshoot and of course ask her all sorts of questions.

I invite you to read about Gail and her daughter Lane and then visit her blog Life With Type 1. You can also follow her on Twitter; she’s @gjank617.

I’d like to introduce you to Gail of Life With Type 1.

Tell me something about your child.

Lane is a wonderful little girl! (Yes moms are totally biased.) She is 3 1/2 now and doing great. She loves to go to preschool and play with her friends. She is totally obsessed with Disney Princess Ariel!

Personally I think she is a tough little girl for dealing with all life has thrown her way in these short 3 years. She has one older brother named Cole who is 5 years old and loves to take care of his baby sister.

She is most definitely a Momma’s girl but slowly coming around to being Daddy’s little princess.

Gail & Lane

Gail & Her Daughter Lane

How old was your child when diagnosed?

Lane was diagnosed just 2 months after her 2nd birthday.

How was your child diagnosed?

We noticed that she was always thirsty and not just thirsty but SCREAMING for water or juice. She was very lethargic and was losing weight.

Finally I called the doctor on a Sunday and they said to bring her to the ER to make sure its nothing like a virus and they would also test her sugar. We got there and didn’t leave for a week. We were in the PICU for two days and then the Peds floor for four days. That was the worst week of our life.

How has your child’s life changed since diagnosis?

Lane’s life has definitely changed, I think there are worse things and better things, just different. She is much more aware of everything that goes in her mouth, she already knows a lot of the foods she can and can’t have and knows she needs to be tested before she eats anything, pretty amazing for a 3-year-old!

How has your family’s life changed since diagnosis?

Our family life has also changed dramatically. We have a much healthier household now, all sugar free drinks and Lane’s older brother is always aware of what Lane is trying to eat. We all take a huge part in her care and try to make everyone feel part of the process. Hopefully soon big brother will learn how to test her as well!

How has connecting online helped you cope with diabetes? What online resources do you use?

I am not sure how I would have been able to get through the past year without the Diabetic Online Community. It has been a GODSEND! I have this amazing group of friends now that are always there for me with my questions, heartache, concern, or just camaraderie. My main source of communication with the DOC is Twitter, and from there I can read all of my blogs since everyone posts their links!

How do you manage diabetes?

We use the Omnipod pump system. We started out doing MDI and moved on to the One Touch Ping insulin pump. A few months ago we started researching the Omnipod after much discussion about it. We realized this would be a much better set up for Lane since its wireless and pool friendly (we live in Florida). It has worked out great so far. We also check blood sugars at least 10 times per day since she is so young and cannot tell me yet if she feels high or low.

What would you tell parents of a newly diagnosed child?

My number one piece of advice for the parents of a newly diagnosed child is to GET ONLINE!

I really wish I would have been on Twitter earlier on and met these amazing people since the wealth of knowledge just blows my mind. Anytime I have a question or concern I get my answers right away and the support we receive is beyond words.

I feel I can manage Lane’s care better now due to the DOC than I had before and that to me says it all.

What do you know now that you wish you had known at diagnosis?

That life is going to get better. This is not a death sentence. At diagnosis time you can’t think, you can’t eat, you feel like your world is crumbling apart. Now looking back I wish I had a little more confidence in myself, my family, and especially Lane. People are a lot stronger than you give credit for.

Type 1 is hard, no getting around that. Its a way of life until we all have a cure. We are not alone though, and this I try to explain to my daughter – she will always have support and love and hopefully one day SOON we will all have a cure.

Meet other D-Moms and D-Dads each Monday.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rachel January 25, 2010 at 6:58 am

Great post Gail!!!!! 🙂 Lane is such a cutie pie. I’m so glad to have found you on Twitter! You are always there with a word of encouragement! You are an amazing D-mom and a wonderful person! Keep up the great work. 🙂

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2 Nan January 25, 2010 at 10:27 am

go Gail! so glad to know you! when people roll their eyes about Twitter, i just smile…i know a lot (most) of it is fluff…but not w/the DOC!…”wealth of knowledge” is so right!! you are part of that…i love that i can go to my twitter friends and they know exactly what i’m feeling. : )

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3 Sharon Jank January 25, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Great story Gail.. I learned a lot from you and Laney,I
am sure there are many more reading this that will benefit the same.

Keep up the good work and hopefully there will be a cure in Lane’s lifetime.

Auntie Sharon

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4 Cherise January 25, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Gail-

beautiful picture. I love the answers you provided. D-moms rock. So glad to have met you via Twitter.

Type 1 is hard, no getting around that. Its a way of life until we all have a cure. We are not alone though, and this I try to explain to my daughter – she will always have support and love and hopefully one day SOON we will all have a cure.—> Love it!

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5 Heidi January 29, 2010 at 9:12 am

Gail,

Adorable, you too are way too cute.
I am excited to follow your blog, and stay in tuned with you and your cute Lane.

Keep up the good work!!

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6 Kelly Cavin January 29, 2010 at 9:20 am

Hi Gail,
Thanks for sharing your story………I tried to type in your twitter ID and it says the page is not found. My daughter was just diagnosed 2 weeks ago at 18 months. We are going to try her on the omnipod in a few weeks, I can’t wait. Your little girl is really cute. It’s nice to hear other’s stories. I actually have never used twitter before, so maybe I am doing it wrong. I would love to get in touch with others whose kids have type 1.
Take care…..
Kelly

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7 Lorraine February 8, 2010 at 11:19 am

That’s such a great picture of the two of you. I love your tenacity, spirit and unyielding devotion to your kids. I’m so glad we have connected.
And Nan – who on earth is rolling their eyes at the mention of Twitter?! Whoever it is, you must unfollow him/her! 😉

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