Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

New Mom Helps Thousands

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

New Mom Helps Thousands

Article excerpt

Every member of the disabilities and special healthcare needs community--from individuals, parents, and caregivers to physicians and therapists--has moments throughout the day when they wish it were all a little less difficult. It is easy to grow frustrated from a lack of treatment options, exhausted from taking medications, and wish that there were certain products out there that would make daily life a bit less complicated. For Catherine (KK) Patton, a housewife and new mother, there was something that would help her greatly in the management of her diabetes--she just had to invent it first.

Patton was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in 2001, while pregnant with her son. Immediately after her diagnosis, she began insulin injection therapy, taking four shots per day. Initially, they thought that it was only gestational diabetes and that everything would be fine after delivery, but two months after giving birth she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

As the mother of a newborn and a newly diagnosed person with diabetes, Patton began to find difficulty in learning how to effectively manage the disease on a day-to-day basis. "There is no exact formula. Because of this, I often found myself needing more than four injections a day," she explains. "If I went out to lunch and guessed how much insulin I would need, I often would gauge incorrectly and needed a 'correction dose' after a meal. Even though I am good at counting my carbohydrates, I never can know exactly how much sugar is in a dish at a restaurant or even exactly how much I am going to eat at home. Keeping good control of blood sugar can become extremely invasive and takes a lot of effort."

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After KK was officially diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and not gestational, she began to look at things very differently. "Not only was I a new mom, which made my health even more important to me, I was now faced with dealing with a very difficult disease for the rest of my life." She describes herself as someone who was never scared of needles but that after taking a minimum of four shots a day for several months, she began to dread injections and mealtimes and started doing things that she shouldn't, like skipping breakfast and not taking the correction doses she needed. "I was constantly trying to make my treatment regimen less invasive," she remembers. "I was tired of feeling like a pin cushion and hated all the bruises." Knowing that this was not good for her long-term health, she explored other options and tried the insulin pump, thinking that it was going to be the answer to all her problems. However, after wearing the pump for about six months, she realized that this wasn't the option for her either. "I was tired of letting diabetes control my life," she explains. So, motivated by her husband and son to take control and do what was right for herself without sacrificing her health or her family's happiness, she came up with the idea for the i-port[R].

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"I knew that there could be something that would fit my needs," says Patton. "I wanted the simplicity of injection therapy with the flexibility of unlimited dosing and fewer needle punctures. I wanted the best of both worlds." No machine and only one needle puncture every three days seemed like the perfect solution to her struggles, so from there she came up with the idea for the device. …

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