When you get a new pump, do you name it, like a car?
Well, let's start at the beginning - we had to have quite a fight to obtain the funding to move away from daily injections to the flexibility of using an insulin pump. This was back in 1998, when Alissa was 11, and it was just as the National Health were bringing in funding for pumps.
Thanks to the support of our local MP and a nice chap called John from a kids diabetes support group, we finally got approval.
We were impressed by the comprehensive training provided by Minimed (thanks Susan!) which made it all so much easier - and having someone on the end of a 'phone during those first few days made the transition far smoother.
When Alissa first got her pump, we felt it was important to give him a name. Every other family member has a nickname and Phil was going to be with us for a long time - Alissa chose the name Phil.
Phil is a hard-working chap, he's only had one holiday when he went away to relax and have a week or two off - get his internal workings checked and seen to.
Phil joined us in 1989 and was retired in 2007 for a newer, hotter (and more purple!) model, named Patrick.
By the way, he doesn't usually look like this, he has a black neoprene cover which has lasted all this time!
Phil was a Medtronics Minimed 508 insulin pump, replaced by newer younger (purple) Paradigm model, capable of greater agility and far more functions.
Despite his compact size, Phil has a value in excess of £2000 and is precision engineered to deliver tiny, precise amounts of insulin just when they're required. A pretty cool piece of kit!
This is one piece of equipment where there's no room for error, which is why there's a built in self-test facility for those who start to wonder if their pump is working OK.
Imagine the consequences if too much or too little insulin was delivered, hence the requirement for this kind of sophisticated technology.
You can read more about how we got on with Patrick in Jen's blog for January '07.
FAQ - frequently asked questions of what, why, when, where and how about diabetes.
Insulin Pumps vs Injections - why we felt the pump was right for Alissa
The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star.
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin