Thursday, May 14, 2015

VitalPak - A Review and Give Away

A few weeks ago, we were given the opportunity to try a new product designed for people with Type 1 diabetes and other medical needs called VitalPak. 

VitalPak was created by nine year old Kyle Houlihan after he was diagnosed with diabetes.  "VitalPak is a medical backpack with a removable snap-in Essentials Kit that allows Kyle and others living with diabetes to carry all their essential medical supplies and devices without drawing attention to their disease.  VitalPak is the brainchild of Kyle, with the help of his father, Tom Houlihan.  The father-son team created the backpack  after searching for a product that would not draw attention to Kyle disease while also giving Kyle the functionality, style and organization to keep all his supplies in one place.  VitalPak can always be customized to help those who suffer from other conditions, such as asthma or allergies, where minutes can make a difference in treatment.  It can even be configured as a portable first aid kit for active families and individuals."

To see Kyle talk about his creation, click here!

VitalPak features include:
  • Durable, water resistant, nylon body material

  • Shoulder straps with layers of foam for added support and comfort

  • Padded back panel with for extra mid and lower back support

  • Large main storage compartment

  • Large front mesh drop pocket

  • Small front panel stash pocket

  • Removable, Snap-in Essentials Kit 

VitalPak comes in black, red, orange, dark grey, light grey, and blue!

Of course, we love supporting people with T1 - especially kids with T1 - who are working hard to make living this disease more manageable and efficient.  Sweets is getting to the age where she is becoming more independent with her care.  She's also starting to want to make her supplies a little more inconspicuous.  This made VitalPak a great fit for us!

We really liked the idea of the removable essentials kit.  We thought that this could really come in handy when traveling when there are times you might need an entire backpack and other times when that wouldn't be necessary.  I can see us using this bag while traveling.  I think it might be the perfect bag for our upcoming trip to Disney.

We like the size and comfort of the bag as well.  It's not quite as bulky as a regular backpack and it's definitely more comfortable.

I must say, Sweets was not overly thrilled with this bag.  She is a nine year old girl and if it isn't purple, pink or covered in glitter or sequins... she's not into it.  It was too plain for her.  Which, ironically, is part of the whole idea of the supplies being kept more discreet.  But like I said - she's all about the glam. 

My husband was a big fan of this bag!  He is used to having to carry around all those glitzy, girly diabetes bags.  He is very tired of our Vera Bradley!  He really liked having a bag that was a little more masculine.  We can really see this bag appealing to men and boys! 

My husband and Sweets like to ride bikes together.  When they do this, someone has to carry the supplies.  And it's not her!  He liked having this bag to use for bike rides.  No more girly bags.  No more uncomfortable bags or trying to rig something to the bike.  This backpack was a good fit! 

I think this bag could really come in handy for those who are athletic and involved in different kinds of sports.  There's a place for your diabetes that is easy accessible and also a place for your sporting equipment, extra clothes, etc.

Want to try it out for yourself?!?

Enter Here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
You can also get your own VitalPak right now by clicking HERE.  Until Monday, May 18th at 9 am the bags are 25% off!  

Good Luck! 

VitalPak provided a bag for this review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day: To All the T1 Moms

Happy Mother's Day!

Being a mom is not an easy job.  It is filled with situations and experiences that you never dreamed you'd ever encounter.  You find yourself doing and saying things you'd never imagined.  You're more tired than you've ever been.  And you find yourself loving those little people who call you Mom more than humanly possible. 

It's not for the weak, that's for sure.

And when you add Type One diabetes into the mix...


The job becomes infinitely harder.

As moms of kids with Type One Diabetes, we deal with all the stuff other moms deal with.  And then so much more.

We keep our kids alive on a daily basis while functioning as their pancreases (pancreai?  I don't know the plural for pancreas.).  We measure and weigh their food.  We count every carbohydrate that goes into their mouths.  We calculate insulin doses and have this constant running dialog of how much we should give based on factors like activity level, illness, hormones, and the phase of the moon.  We learn to give them injections and to insert different devices into their bodies.  We learn to live on little sleep.

We worry that making a mistake could kill our child.  Or affect their long term health.

We have found that diabetes has an uncanny way of making us feel like a failure as a parent.  Because very little of what we do works perfectly more than once.  Because we can't make this disease go away.  Because it shows us how little control we really have.  

If motherhood changes you as a person, being the mom of a T1 definitely changes you.  It makes it so much easier to lose yourself in all of the mothering and caregiving.  We find that one day we look in the mirror and don't recognize the person looking back.  We wonder where that girl we knew went.  If she's ever coming back.  And if anyone even realized that she left. 

Although we knew motherhood would bring it's share of difficult situations.... we didn't expect this.

But we've learned that we can do it.  We can be doctor, nurse, psychologist and mom.

We've learned that we can give our kids shots and do things that other people say, "I could NEVER do that!" - because we've learned that we don't have choice. 

We've learned that we are a lot stronger than we ever imagined.

And we've learned that this journey is so worth it.  Our kids are so worth it.  And everything we've gone through and will go through is making us into some pretty incredible and strong people.

On this Mother's Day,  I want you, fellow T1 Moms, to know that I see you. 

I see the you that drags into a darkened bedroom in the middle of the night to test a blood sugar.
I see the you that fights with the insurance company.
I see the you that gets up after only a couple hours of sleep and goes to work all day long.
I see the you still cries - no matter how long it's been.
I see the you whose heart breaks when your child isn't included in something because of T1.
I see the you with tears in your eyes when you have to hold your child down for a shot.
I see the you that is afraid of what might happen in the future.
I see the you that is full of nerves and apprehension - but still a smile - when your T1 is gaining independence.
I still the you that does everything possible to make sure your child is able to do what everyone else does.
I see the you that tirelessly advocates and fundraisers.
I see the you that hurts because of friendships you've lost with people who don't understand this life and it's demands.
I see the you that is letdown - again - when someone you thought would step up and be there for you... isn't.
I see the you that puts everyone else first.
I see the you that thinks that no one notices how hard this job is.  That no one asks how YOU are.  
I see the you that wonders if YOU even exist anymore.  

I see you. 

And I want you to know that you're doing a great job.

We don't hear it often enough.  So I want to tell you again...

You are an amazing mother.

You are doing a great job.

You can do this!  You ARE doing this!

So today and on those days to come when you begin to falter and question yourself know that I see you.  And I respect you more than words can say.  And I'm honored to be part of this "club" with you.

Happy Mother's Day - to some of the most amazing and incredible women I know!

A facebook friend posted these and I knew I just had to share them with you!  Enjoy!