Or Diaversary, as they say in the DOC (Diabetes Online Community).
I am no artist but I felt this was a decent way to commemorate the milestone.
At this time last year we were in the hospital. What started out as a routine well-child visit with the Pediatrician ended up an inpatient hospitalization. A full year of living with T1D… Also at about this time last year we learned that V’s initial Celiac screening came back highly indicative of the diagnosis. We didn’t even know they ran the panel but turns out that they now do it automatically with all newly diagnosed T1Ds.
I thought I would have so much to write in my reflections of the past year. Yet here I am sitting in front of the computer, my mind going blank, feeling tired. It was a busy day today. I drove kids to and from school, then took them to piano, then to the dentist for semi-annual cleaning and check-up, and then to gymnastics. We were going to get GF cupcakes for dessert but didn’t get our act together in time to swing by Trader Joe’s to pick them up. So we had ice-cream instead, complete with chocolate syrup and whipped cream. In almost every way today was just like any other day. After a year of living the T1D and gluten-free life, it feels “normal” and OK. Our lives are full of finger poking, carb counting, speaking in code (such as “bolus for 48 and extend 50-50 over 3 hours), numbers, numbers and more numbers, reading labels, finding alternatives. And at the same time our lives are full of just life.
I wasn’t sure how I’d handle today. I thought that maybe I’d lose it a little. But it ended up being way too normal of a day after all. V was downright happy to celebrate her anniversary. That is, until she learned at the dental appointment that she has a cavity that needs to be filled – her first one. She spent a few hours in the afternoon crying on and off, upset and fearful. She said she prefers Diabetes to cavities. Go figure!
Once you have one child with T1D, you can’t help but be hyper vigilant about signs of Diabetes in another child. We know quite a few families who “won” the lottery and have multiple kids with T1D.
Our 6-year-old son has been eating a lot lately. And he’s been really hungry and sometimes rather tired. He hasn’t been drinking much. But last week when he weighed at the doctor’s office, the scale told us he was about 1/2 lbs lighter than a few months ago. And he’s been rather moody lately. I’ve been thinking about testing his BG but would shrug it off time and again. “He’s fine. He’s growing. I’d know if something was wrong.” But didn’t I say the same things to myself as I observed clear Diabetes signs in my daughter?
Today, after another episode of “hangry” (hunger induced anger), I could not wait any more and asked him to check his BG before lunch. Bad timing. He FREAKED.OUT. He cried and screamed and ran away upstairs. And V became very, very upset. “I don’t want him to be traumatized? Please don’t test it.” We had to abort the mission but I was determined to try again. Before bedtime, I was able to talk to him calmly. Please, can we do it just once? We just want to make sure everything is OK. I will give you a quarter!” He was afraid, did not want to do it. I offered to test myself first and he finally relented. I made him pinky promise me that he’d let me test him after I poked myself. I go first. Prick the finger, squeeze a drop of blood, wait a few seconds. 93. I pass with flying colors. Now it’s his turn. Prick the finger. He hates it, says it hurts. Squeeze a drop of blood, hold my breath for a few seconds. 97. I could have cried from relief and I am breathing again. He is still upset and complaining how it hurts. We hug him but also remind him that his sister does it every day, sometimes over 10 times a day, and she never complains.
I don’t believe in living in fear. Day to day, I refuse to live in fear, but once in a while we have to face it. I hope that tonight’s finger prick was the first and the last one for our son.
And now I’m off to check on V’s BG while she sleeps. That bugger was at 300 nearly an hour ago…
This is teacher’s appreciation week, and I finally got around to writing a letter to the principal and the superintendent about our wonderful nurse. Then after I sent it someone told me it’s also National Nurses Week. How timely! The letter is below, with some identifiable information redacted due to public nature of this blog.
Dear Principal and Superintendent:
During this teacher’s appreciation week, I would like to take a moment to thank our wonderful school nurse Lisa. Our daughter V is a 3rd grader at the elementary school. Last May she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and Lisa became an invaluable part of our team right away. She called us while we were still at the hospital to provide support, get all necessary information, and prepare for return to school. She provided education to V’s teachers, helped us set everything up at school, and from the first day V returned to school we felt safe and comfortable about her health and well-being there.
Lisa is very informed about Diabetes treatment and is always providing excellent care for V. However, Lisa she does so much more than checking out daughter’s blood sugar and administering insulin. She has been coordinating care with V’s doctors, educating and supporting teachers and staff, advocating for our entire family, and is a compassionate and caring friend and mentor to our daughter. She goes above and beyond to ensure that V’s time at school is as normal and unaffected by her medical condition as possible. In January of this year V transitioned to an insulin pump, which was something Lisa has not had prior experience with. However, she was determined to learn whatever was necessary to best support our daughter. Remarkably, Lisa came (on her time during school break!) to the training at our house, and then attended pump start appointment with us a week later. When V returned to school after break with her new insulin pump, the transition was smooth and problem-free.
We are deeply appreciative of everything Lisa does for our daughter. We are extremely grateful that V has such amazing care and support at school. Without any doubt it helps her to not only manage her health but also to adapt to many difficulties, changes, restrictions, and social challenges associated with living with Type 1 Diabetes. This in turn translates into academic success and positive experience at school.
Lisa is an asset to the [elementary school] and to the school district and we would love for her to be recognized for the amazing work she does. We are copying this email to [district nurse] and would appreciate your help in directing it to other relevant district personnel.