Living with Diabetes
through the use of Community Advocacy, Social Media, & BLUE Flamingos!
April 1, 2009. The day our lives were turned upside down. In some ways it seems like it was just yesterday. We have lots memories from that day. Waking up that morning and realizing that something was seriously wrong with Audrey . Her blue lips and sunken eyes are burned into my memory. She wouldn't eat and was just drinking. She wouldn't put her cup down.
At the doctor’s office, we remember our doctor walking in and telling us that we need to get her admitted to the hospital right away. They had tested her blood sugar there and it was high enough the meter couldn't read it. (I know now how serious that was!) Then came the phone calls, picking my daughter up from school, and trying not to break down every time I opened my mouth. Going home and packing for the hospital and the long ride there. Getting her admitted and watching them put an IV in my little girl’s arm, it was horrible. We remember the sound of her screaming for hours and then the quiet from her finally sleeping from exhaustion. The doctors asked if it was normal that she slept that much. I said no, but she had never been sick before either. She was so tired and looked so sick. I kept wondering what was going to happen next. Then the ER doctor coming in with the official diagnosis…..Type 1 Diabetes. It all seemed so surreal. I knew it was serious when they told me, but just how serious we would soon find out.
When the sun came up the next morning I remember wondering if it was a bad dream. I looked around, thinking, nope, it’s real. Then the nurses started to come in. A friend stopped by with her computer for me and some coloring books, crayons and stickers for Audrey. Then I met the Endocrinologist, and the Diabetes Educator. My head was spinning. I wanted to break down but was trying to stay strong for Audrey. I didn’t want her to see how scared I was. I remember wondering how I was ever going to take care of her.
Then the news came that we would get to go home that day, but only after 3 hours of training. Training, so we could take care of my little girl at home. This was critical. If we didn’t know how to do this right, she could get seriously sick again. Those were the longest three hours of my life. Learning how to give shots, check blood sugar, use the meter, signs of high and low blood sugars, ketones, filling and changing insulin insulin pens, how to use a syringe, draw insulin from a vial, counting carbs, reading nutrition labels, and how to calculate doses, just to name a few things. My head starts spinning just thinking about it all over again. We gave her first shots at home that night, then let out a big sigh of relief when we realized, we could do it.
In the weeks and months that followed, we started learning all we could about Type 1 Diabetes and how to control it. We researched insulin pumps. We thought that would be something that we would look into down the road in a couple years. The more we learned though, the more we realized how much the pump would benefit her. So, I took our research to our Endocrinologist and he agreed. In July we were on our way to getting Audrey’s insulin pump. Then on September 10, 2009 we started pumping with the Animas Ping Pump.
A week later we walked in our first Walk to Cure Diabetes for JDRF. That was when it really sunk in that she has this horrible disease. That she won’t ever outgrow this. She is stuck with it, as well as our whole family, for life. Unless we find a cure.
That is our ultimate goal, to find a cure. In the meantime, we are helping The Diabetes Dude spread awareness of our disease. We are also there to help other families diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. We have been there and are getting though it with help from others. We want to help other families anyway we can.