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A Canadian Butterfly
An Update To 'Butterflies Are Free'

Thank Heavens this one is not as long as the original :)

Butterfly To Star!

Update, December 9,1999.

My butterfly really sprouted her wings and flew last night. In case you don't know who my butterfly is, her name is Erica Chafe, she is 11, and she started pumping on March 17, 1999. She went from 'a caterpillar in a cocoon to a beautiful butterfly', in the words of my dear friend who gave Erica a silver necklace decorated with multicolored butterflies the day after she began pumping.

Last night Erica not only flaunted her freedom from the rigors of diabetes, she SHONE!! It was her Christmas concert and it will be one I will never forget. She was one of a group of 6 actors who presented skits throughout the 2.5 hr concert. I was flabbergasted with her composure and steady voice as she spoke her parts into the microphone in front of a huge audience. With her hair done up by her older sister, a little makeup to emphasize those beautiful eyes, and a white sweater TUCKED into a pair of black pants (the school musical band uniform), most people didn't know who she was!! The tubing was threaded through a hole in her pocket so the pump lay totally unseen.

Although she always likes to just clip it to the top of her pants, last night she was 'front and center' and she didn't want a bulge at her waistline, NO PROBLEM! She didn't have to gulp down food whilst waiting in the wings for her next appearance! No more looking frantically at the clock wondering if she would remember her snack!! I never enjoyed a Christmas concert more. My young lady has come full circle from the child who entered the hospital 9 months ago to start pumping. Truly from a caterpillar to a butterfly. I never realized then how parallel that descriptive statement would be .

Socially her skills have gone through the roof. She doesn't feel so different anymore. She can stay with everyone else in the schoolyard, hang out with Mr MacDonald (a teacher who is a shining example of what teachers should be), drop over to a friends and stay there until she wants to come home (thank heavens she calls me, I would never know where she was!!), and on impulse, stay at a friend's for supper!! I remember, pre-pump, when I would see a few sugars in 'the zone' in the run of a day. Now, they are the rule, not the exception. Boy, how far we have come!!

When I was looking at Erica last night, voice steady and clear, and a sparkle in her eyes, my eyes were shining. It was hard to hold back the tears, as my eyes weren't the only thing shimmering....a silver necklace of butterflies was around her neck. It had been awakened from its nest in the jewelry box where it had been lying safely for the past few months. This was her night, made possible by a Minimed insulin pump safely tucked into her pants pocket. Her metamorphosis is butterfly is not only happy and free, she is a STAR!

Is Pumping Easy?

No, of course it isn't. Things can and will go wrong from time to time. It is a bit of a joke, although not a funny one, but every time I go on and on an on about how great pumping is . . . something happens to frustrate me to no end!! And, it always seems to happen late at night. I am a member of the Insulin Pumpers website, and it seems when I post something on the Digest about how well things are going BOOM! You can be assured something will go wrong :) I told some people it felt like there was an evil gremlin or something watching over us and when we felt HAPPY, he decided to take us down a notch or two. So, I decided one morning at 3:00 a.m. when we had to do an unscheduled site change, and I was waiting for EMLA to take effect, that I would write something to that Evil Pump Fairy. Pump Fairy or not, would we ever give up pumping? NOT A CHANCE!!
Here is my rant at the Pump Fairy.

Evil Pump Fairy

Evil pump fairy
please stay away
Or at least when you visit
make it by DAY

When I spread the word
of our pumping delight
your big ears are open
and you visit by night

I can picture you sitting
on Erica's toes
magic wand weaving
under her clothes

Finding its way
to her wonderful site
wreaking your havoc
in the dark of the night

Can't you please visit
when daylight is dawning
I hate spending my days
with sore jaws from yawning

So 'evil pump fairy'
Wherever you be
your point was well taken
This morning at three

I'll not post our joy
Where it will be read
I'll keep it low key

Barb Chafe, November 1999