We’ve mentioned this in the past that sometimes the workload of a small family company like ours can be daunting… until we connect with our readers. Ellyssa Simpson is nothing short of that inspiration. Her perseverance, energy and attitude has us revitalized and calling her Fruityland’s Reader of the Month!
While I was visiting some schools in North Carolina, I had the pleasure of meeting Ellyssa and her exceptional mom, Tiffany. I was impressed with their communication regarding nutrition and how great both of them looked despite Ellyssa’s condition. ‘Elly’, as her mom calls her, developed type 1 diabetes when she was twelve months old. She is now 5 and looks great! I know many parents have the same difficulties as Tiffany does, so I asked her what has worked for her and if she had any recommendations for other parents.
“Elly eats a balanced diet and I think that has been important with her good health today. She enjoys fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains, so I know that helps too. She has been taught that eating is a priority and she cannot play or have privileges unless she has eaten all of her meal, so I have never had issues with her and eating. She takes multivitamins and probiotics, but no other medications other than insulin.
Her exercise routine is whatever she wants to do that day, bike riding, playing on the playground or just playing tag with me or her dad in the house. Basically, her exercise routine is just being 5
Elly uses an omnipod insulin pump and a dexcom G4 glucose monitor. We have been using this equipment since February 2013. Prior to that she was on insulin shots and took a minimum of 4 shots per day. Her A1c and control have greatly improved since we started using the pump and cgm.
As far as advice for other parents, I can only say this: you are your child’s best advocate. You have to educate yourself to make the best outcomes for your child’s health. Your child’s doctor and diabetes educators are the first line of care, but it is ultimately you who takes care of your child from day to day, and education is key to doing that. Diabetes is unpredictable and sometimes things just happen. Don’t spend time beating yourself up if something goes wrong with your child’s care. Just allow the mistake to be a teaching moment and vow not to make that mistake again “
Are there any parents with a diabetic child that would like to share their experience and wisdom? Please leave a comment below or drop us a note. We love to hear & learn from our readers. By the way, we’re posting a special recipe that came all the way from Italy that might be your family’s summer favorite. Until then!