Tuesday, July 17, 2012

One Great Thing

5 years, 5 months and 28 days ago at the age of 22 I was advised that my 2.5 year old daughter Alyse Evangeline had Juvenile Diabetes. 

When Aly was diagnosed to be honest I was taken back. I barely knew that type 1 diabetes even existed. I knew of 1 other person who had type 1 diabetes because he was in youth group at church. I knew that he had to have candy bars with him but I never knew why (and honestly as a middle schooler/high schooler) I didn't care. All I knew was that my daughter was very lethargic, peeing excessively, horrible yeast infection, and sporadic episodes of vomiting. 

2 weeks before Aly was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes we took her to the pediatrician; we were first time young parents and only knew that something was wrong with our baby but had no clue what. She wasn't running a fever, but there was definitely something wrong. (This is the part that pisses me off as a parent) When we took Aly to the pediatricians office we were just kind of shrugged off. They had an "explanation" for every single symptom she was having. "She is drinking so much because her throat hurts", "She has a diaper rash because you aren't cleaning her well enough", "She is throwing up because her tummy hurts" ... We were told that she just had an "illness" and they wrote us a prescription.

The day that Aly was diagnosed I received a phone call from my mother advising me that my daughter was lethargic and almost unresponsive. My mother in law had mentioned to me the day before that she thought Aly may have type 1 diabetes, so I got my Google skills on at work and found many websites that had the symptoms, info on DKA, and so much more. Google literally saved my daughters life!! I immediately left work and had my sister go with me in the middle of a snow storm to Children's Mercy Hospital's emergency room. When we got there I told the receptionist that I needed them to check my daughter for type 1 diabetes. 

After what seemed like FOREVER they finally called us back. They did the usual check temp, height, as about any meds she may be on normal intake procedures. THEN they brought out their HUGE blood glucose meter that took a lot more blood for it's sample than the home meters do. The meter greeted us by telling us HI. What did that mean exactly? To me it meant HI to type 1 diabetes ... HI to a whole new lifestyle ... HI you will now fight the hardest fight for both you and your daughter ... and HI you will now find your true calling.

Ok in reality when a blood glucose meter tells you HI, it is NOT being nice!! It is telling you that the individual whose blood sample you just used has a blood sugar over 600 .. yes you read that right over 600 (a normal blood sugar in a child without diabetes is 70-130)  

So you are asking yourself by now ... the title says One Great Thing .. What is so great about everything just posted above. I will tell you what is Great! In the last 5 years and 5 months I have found MY personal calling in life, what I want to make a living doing eventually, what I thoroughly enjoy spending my time doing. I have found diabetes education. I started Hope for Aly, I go out into the Kansas City community and educate the general public about type 1 and type 2 diabetes, I have started support groups, started a diabetes information and facts page on Facebook and networked with thousands of people affected by diabetes through Facebook and Twitter.

I love everything that has already come to me because of Aly's diagnosis and I look forward to the future!! 


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