I’m a mother, a daughter, wife, friend, and a type 1 diabetic. I was diagnosed 37 years ago, at the age of 10, and thrown into a life, much different, than the one I had to leave behind. A new diet, daily injections, no more candy, no sugar at all, and urinating on a stick to see if my BG was high. Growing older, I didn’t think much of my disease. I wasn’t educated about T1D. I took my insulin, tested my sugar on occasion, and just went on as a kid would. I was in the hospital a few times, but I would be released and life went back to “my” normal. Fast forward to adulthood. So many changes came along, I met my husband and his son, now my son, bought a new home, got married, and decided to try and have a child. That’s when the fact that I had T1D really hit me. When I found out I was pregnant, that was the minute I knew I had to take it seriously for my unborn child. My pregnancy was wonderful, and on July 8th of 2010, I met the most perfectly beautiful little person, and fell head over heels, in love. When I first saw her face, I knew that being a mom was what I was supposed to be!
From day one, I had a little voice in my head saying, “her diaper is too wet”, or “she’s drinking too much,” resulting in poking her little finger to see what he BG was, so thankful when it came back normal. On 01/05/2015, another poke, this time reading, “HI”. I remember looking at the monitor and not really understanding. When it hit, it hit HARD! I knew what this four year old was about to face for the rest of her life. The hospital was rough, three days and nights of screams, tears, little sleep, too much information, and a million questions, only to be released home to ask myself, “how am I going to do this?” I was petrified! As soon as possible, we started the Dexcom and Omnipod. “We” refers to Lillie and I, as we were going to do this T1D thing together. I was put on both right alongside by child, fighting the fight with my best friend.
As much as I hate diabetes, I have to respect and embrace it. It’s enhanced an already strong bond between Lillie and I. We will be warriors together for the long haul. We feel each other’s frustrations, understand each other’s physical feelings from high’s and low’s, and have genuine compassion for anyone fighting to survive. T1D has also brought individuals into our lives that we would have never had the honor of knowing. Dr. Mark Watkins and Lisa Richards are, not only our medical team, but are considered family, and we love them both, dearly. Diabetes Youth Services, you have given us a forum to vent, ask questions, feel supported, and given Lillie the opportunities to meet other kids, “just like her,” which I cannot thank you enough for. Not only has she met other warriors, but she met a best friend that she can confide in, vent to, and know that she’s been heard and understood. The confidence Lillie has gained has been mind blowing!! Watching her bolus herself, change her sites, and read labels has made her more responsible and I’m so proud of her. You’ve also offered me the opportunity to meet other parents fighting the same battle, which has been a blessing. You not only open your hearts to us, but our extended families as well. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends also feel welcomed by DYS. I have met some of the most incredible people on this journey, one, in particular, who has pulled be back from the edge of the cliff, provided me with verbal “face slaps” to get me back on track, made me laugh even when it hurt to do so, shared insight and advice, and has become one of my most cherished and wonderfully wonderful friends. Thank you Brie, for being you.
So, this is our story.