What comes right after a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis? The realization that you now have to lug around a pile of life-saving supplies for the rest of your life!
As a mother, I understand this challenge. I am a mom to 2 beautiful, successful daughters who are living with Type 1 diabetes. Emily was diagnosed at 9 in 2002 and two years later Stephanie was diagnosed at 14 in 2004. Leaving the hospital with a stack of supplies and no idea how to tote them around became a real problem. With Emily, we finally settled on a make-up bag, then I carefully wrote out the list of supplies to ensure nothing was forgotten. (Unfortunately, this method was not foolproof!).
I clearly recall the day I picked up all of the prescriptions that had to be checked before Emily was released from the hospital. I broke down and sobbed in front of the startled pharmacist and was still sobbing a couple of hours later when I went back to pick them up.
Years later, I was working at a high school in Vallejo and crossed paths with a teenage boy who has also been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. He was struggling to stabilize his blood sugar. He would stagger into class, incredibly low or alternatively refuse to check or take insulin. Often he chose the second option, which resulted in very high blood sugars. Consequently, his ability to concentrate on schoolwork diminished and his grades plummeted. In addition, he was engaging in physical confrontations with his peers. He was angry and fed-up and refused to carry any of his supplies.
As a parent and educator I felt a need to help. With his co-operation I designed a diabetes case that he could wear, discreetly, under his pants. He loved it. His numbers, grades and behavior all improved and he began to resume the life of a normal teen. I remember his delight at just the simple freedom of being able to hang with his friends after school, stopping by McDonald’s on the way. Previously he had had to go directly home to manage his disease. This young man graduated from high school and is living and working in Vallejo. I am very proud of him, as I know he has had many hurdles to face.
I thought I had solved the problem and began to move on. However, the school nurse saw what this young man was wearing and was so impressed she insisted I find a way to make more as she believed I could help other kids. No small feat as I cannot sew – at all! A very kind friend offered to help me out with the first one – and I might add did a wonderful job as the cases are complicated to make.
Upon conducting some research myself, I realized the nurse was right. And so the Out of Sight Case was born!
Like the old proverb goes, “necessity is the mother of invention.”
I invented a diabetes supply case that is a necessity for any person who has been diagnosed with diabetes. As you will see from our testimonials, it really makes life much easier.
Mary Day. Owner and designer of Out of Sight Cases
Stephanie, Mary, Emily.
My favorite Mother’s Day pic.