CONRAD — Calvin Krause is a typical four-year-old boy. He loves playing with his puppy Oscar, brother Easton, and parents Tyler and Amy. About a year ago, his life took a turn his family could have never expected. When he flexes his muscles, you’ll see he’s got a patch on his arms no other Montanan can say they have—and they’re helping keep him alive.
The Krauses noticed excess water consumption and urination which ultimately led to a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis, something no parent wants to hear.
Pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Marwan Bakhach explained, “It was quite a challenge at the beginning and adjusting to a new diagnosis of type 1 diabetes can be very difficult because your whole life is not the same. Eventually you will establish a routine and you will know what to do.”
As quickly as doctors discovered Calvin’s diagnosis, Amy and Tyler had to adjust to an entirely new world as they learned how to take care of their son.
“We were incredibly lucky that it was found as quickly as it was. The four days and three nights we spent on the pediatrics floor at Benefis was for them to teach us how to manage this disease and how to keep our kid alive. We were holding back tears for sure,” said Tyler.
Fortunately for them, they easily got a new device that makes managing the disease much easier. It's called an Omnipod 5 insulin pump, which is the first tubeless, automated insulin delivery system and is integrated with a continuous glucose monitor sensor.
“What makes this new pump a little bit more appealing for families who were refusing pumps in the past is the fact that it’s smaller in size, it doesn’t have tubes. Especially younger kids who are very active, they’re walking around. I would say it’s definitely a huge step,” said Bakhach.
The diagnosis has put the Krauses through a lot, but the new technology from the Omnipod 5 takes a lot of the burden off Calvin’s parents’ shoulders.
“This particular pump has algorithms in it where it now knows the sugar is going up so it increases the insulin. It now knows the sugar is going down so it decreases the amount of insulin. So really working hard at keeping them out of highs and lows,” said Deb Bjorsness, Diabetes Education Care Specialist at Benefis. “It’s extremely important that we keep our families, our kids, our adults for that matter, safe living with Type 1 Diabetes. This device is extremely valuable.”
Tyler and Amy both agree it’s helped bring their house and son’s life back to as normal as possible.
Calvin’s mom beamed with pride as she talked about how strong her son has remained throughout this impossible situation.
She said, “He has been a huge trooper through it all. It has already given him his childhood back and that has given him his freedom. Before, he’d do the shots because he knew it had to be done but now, he can just run around, and we don’t have to worry as much. It was a tough pill to swallow at first, but this is much better to live with.”
The medical team at Benefis working with Calvin has also noticed lots of improvement since he got the tubeless pump.
Brianna Crowe, a registered nurse, commented, “I can see he’s always been a happy healthy kid. As far as speaking from the endocrine side, I’ve heard nothing but great things as far as how his pump and the new Omnipod 5 are correlating with it and learning with him and that his blood sugars have been much more in range and controllable since he started it. It’s been fun to watch him grow and learn all the new things for him and continue to be a kid just as he’s supposed to be.”
They expect many more kids like Calvin as well as adults to apply and get this gamechanger of a device. It is available on a case-by-case basis, but the Krauses say to fight for it if necessary because it is that valuable to them and to Calvin.
Thanks to the Omnipod, the Krauses have less to worry about - except when Calvin wreaks mayhem with his Legos and monster trucks.