Thursday, February 16, 2017
six year anniversary since diagnosis
Our sweetie is now 9 years old. She was diagnosed the day after Valentine's day, six years ago. How is she doing? How are we doing? She is joyful, and lights up the room she enters. She always has a group of friends following her and she loves and anticipates every new adventure that she gets to have.
She wears an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor at all times. She carries a little backpack full of supplies and a blood meter. At school, her friends take turns carrying her backpack for her. This backpack which of course is in the shape of a pikachu, has given her freedom to participate in activities. She always has what she needs in case she is low or high.
She has grown used to the idea of having type 1 diabetes. It has become part of her identity. She excels in school and is quite the natural organizer but diabetes follows her, wherever she goes. During Sunday school, I have to stop and check her blood sugar to make sure she is okay to be left for an hour. At school, I pop into the classroom during the day at different times to check in on her until she is able to give herself insulin. She can only be left with caregivers that are familiar with diabetes care. and yes, we still get lots of confusion from well meaning people thinking that knowledge of type 2 diabetes qualifies them to understand type 1 diabetes.
Quick refresher: type 2 can go away. their body still produces insulin. their blood sugar levels are still fairly stable, yet high at times.
type 1: will never go away. their body no longer has a functioning pancreas and no natural insulin. their blood sugar numbers have no floor and ceiling. They can roller coaster all day, everyday, forever from as low as 30 upto 600. (normal is about 90)
One thing that we have matured about is feeling more comfortable with her numbers at 120, where they should be. We used to always be so afraid that if she was close to 100, which is good, she could drop under 70 (which is dangerous) and therefore we would worry. With her cgm, we are now more comfortable when her numbers are lower because, it can alert us if she starts dropping (due to exercise or needing to eat)
We have become reliant on the cgm at night as it can sit by her bed and alarm us through the night if she goes over 200 or less than 70. I always joke about the (not so funny) death sounding alarm of when she drops under 50, that mimics the sound of a pac man character dying in a video game. That sound will make me jump out of a deep sleep and run down the hall to her room faster than anything! I think the lowest we have had was a 40 which is really scary. juice is given and then you wait for the numbers to come back up to over 70 where they should be.
do we wish there was a cure? yes. Taking my child out to eat that doesn't have diabetes is so easy. Her sister just eats. and that's it. no thinking required. The burden of diabetes follows our sweetie like its own entity and would love for it to go away and give her a new found freedom. but for now, it is there, and in spite of it, she thrives.