Living with Diabetes
through the use of Community Advocacy, Social Media, & BLUE Flamingos!
Halloween weekend is supposed to be a great time in a 7 year old child’s life. That wasn’t the case for Morgan in 2009. The past few months she had been increasingly irritable but this was different. Morgan was exhausted with dark circles under her eyes. That weekend she slept every afternoon for 3 – 4 hours at a time, and woke up 3 times a night to use the bathroom. When Halloween night finally came, she was too tired to go to all the houses. Morgan ended up in her little brother’s stroller on the way home.
Ultimately it was the nighttime bathroom breaks that made us suspect diabetes. We called the doctor Monday morning and they had us bring her right in. “Nervous parents” was the diagnosis we were hoping for. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Within 5 minutes of them checking her urine, the doctor came in and said “You were right. She has it.” They confirmed the diagnosis with a blood test done from her finger. Little did we know that she would be doing that 8 times a day for the rest of her life. Morgan had a blood sugar of 440. We had to ask if that was high. A healthy blood sugar is between 80 and 120. Anything over 200 is a strong indicator of diabetes. We were then sent off to Children’s Hospital Boston. They told us not to even stop at home for clothes.
There are not enough wonderful words to say how we were treated when we arrived at the hospital. When I told the triage nurse why we were there, Morgan was whisked away to a bed and had a constant stream of doctors at her side for the next 4 hours. As parents we were worried about all the attention. What was wrong with our Baby Girl that she was under constant supervision and what did all of this mean for the rest of her life?
Although Morgan is still experiencing so many “firsts” since her diagnosis; a first birthday party, sleepover, play date, field trip, vacation, sickness, she is facing it all with a wonderful attitude and incredible bravery. Her first day back to school she was loaded with books about children with diabetes. She will tell anyone who will listen about diabetes and how it has affected her life.
So many fantastic people have entered Morgan’s life because of diabetes. These are people that we may not have had a chance to know before. Noah, The Diabetes Dude, was the first person to visit Morgan at home after the hospital. He answered all her questions and made her feel like she could have diabetes and be a kid too. Because he’s a boy, and therefore has cooties, she can’t come out and say how special he is to her, but we know.
Diabetes has not changed Morgan. She is still the same, sweet, big-hearted, wonderful girl she has always been. She says “I’m still Morgan, I just have to think about things a little different.”