Sooooo…about me. I am first and foremost the Mother of two wonderful kids, Madi & Drew! God was gracious enough and blessed me with a girl AND a boy so I couldn’t be happier! 🙂 ….Now for the reason I started this blog, I am a Type 1 Diabetic and BOTH of my children are also Type 1’s…hence the name for my blog, type1x3thatsme!! How strange is that!?
My story goes a little something like this:
I was diagnosed with Type 1 Insulin-Dependent Juvenile Onset Diabetes at the age of 4 (I added all of the ‘old’ names in there because that is how I have known it my whole life!). I can still remember the day I was diagnosed sitting in the doctor’s office and hearing the Dr tell my Mom that I had diabetes. I actually vomited all over the place so maybe that is why I remember it so well! It definitely had to be a life-changing time for my Mom, but she handled it superbly if I must say so myself!
Over the years she and family took an active role in keeping me healthy by educating me constantly on diabetes and myself; for this I am so very grateful today. After all of these years with diabetes I am VERY proud to say that I have absolutely NO complications or any type of pre-complication from it! Hard work DOES pay off 🙂
Don’t get me wrong, I have definitely had some very tough times with diabetes along the way. I tend to be very insulin sensitive and suffer from lows pretty often. I like to keep my blood sugars in the range of 70 to 110 because I feel better at those ranges, but that also causes me to drop rather quickly. I have had several incidents of unconsciousness and even lost my heartbeat a few times because my BG was a 0….but, Thank God, I am still here and going strong! I have also acquired a view of diabetes that I don’t often find in other diabetics so I am once again thankful to my family for that. I don’t view it as a burden or struggle too much, but rather as a gift of sorts. I feel lucky to have diabetes because it has helped me to be completely in-sync with my body and I feel this is a virtue because so many people (diabetic & non-diabetic) are not! I hope to share this view with other diabetics and maybe help them in some way to view their diabetes with a positive outlook rather than a negative one.
I am also the oldest of four girls….and I love my sisters with all of my heart! 🙂 When I was 19 years old, my youngest sister was also diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 9. At the time, I could not imagine what my Mom and family must have been going through knowing they had TWO diabetics now instead of just one…but life would help me to totally understand that feeling soon enough. Having my sister as a fellow diabetic in the house was a relief of sorts to me…it also helped me to fully understand the differences in diabetics; just as two people are totally different from each other, two diabetics also are different.
Both of my pregnancies were very eventful with constant lows and multiple doctor visits, but my babies turned out just fine! I went through the common procedure of checking my baby’s blood sugars if they coughed the wrong way, had smelly breath, or peed too much when they were young. But, for some reason, when they reached above age 5 I felt a bit more at ease that they were ‘safe’ and not going to be diabetic. I did always hold a secret belief though that my son would be the one diagnosed if either of them were ever to ‘get’ it. Those silly assumptions I held probably only added to my stunned phase when my daughter first showed signs of diabetes about 4 years ago.
She woke up in the middle of the night and peed. I thought this was weird because she never woke up to use the bathroom…and I was horrified when she came back from the bathroom, grabbed a bottle of water, and almost drank the whole thing in one shot. I remember the voices in my head battling each other, “Oh my goodness, this is it”….”No, No it’s Not! She’s probably just getting sick or something!!”. But my better thinking took control and I checked her blood sugar first thing in the morning. It was a 197…and I had a mixture of such emotion. I called the doctor after taking her to school and took her in later that day to have her A1c done. Results came back as a 7.5. BUT, I still was not convinced. Which is strange because I KNEW full well that this meant my baby was a diabetic! I took her to the ER and told the doctor that I wanted them to be totally sure. I remember the look he gave me….like he couldn’t understand why I was asking this when I myself had been a diabetic for years and knew that she now was also! I even asked him two times….”So, she really is a diabetic?”. And the answer was what I already knew….she was and is.
I went into the hallway and just cried. I remember thinking “Why am I upset? I know she will be okay, I know she will do great with it. I am thankful that it’s not something really bad, so why am I so upset and sad??”.
That night my daughter did her first injection and she did wonderfully. I could not have been prouder! I remember feeling so scared that the insulin would affect her body negatively…my way of still being in shock and not accepting that she was truly a diabetic now. All at once I felt a whole wave of emotions that I had never experienced concerning diabetes. I was, for the first time, on the opposite side of the spectrum. I was my Mom. I was so many other Moms of newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetics. I was scared. I wanted all information that I could get. I was worried. I was fearful for her future. I was fearful for how I would influence her to think of and care for herself and her diabetes. I was fearful for mistakes. I was fearful for complications, low blood sugars, high blood sugars, doctors visits, carb counting, sick days, and educating others who have no idea about what my baby is dealing with daily. Those were my thoughts of a Mother.
But, I was also excited. I was excited that she would also know exactly what I felt like. She would know what it really meant to be low or high. She would know what food made her feel what way. She would pay attention to ingredients and nutrition facts on the things she was putting into her mouth now & forever. She would constantly be paying attention to her body and know exactly what shape it is in. She would know what being a Type 1 Diabetic is. Those were my thoughts of a Diabetic.
I remember feeling bad for my son after Madi was diagnosed. I didn’t want him to feel ‘left-out’ because Madi & I were checking our blood sugars before we ate. I tried to keep it positive though and told him that he was lucky he didn’t have to poke himself all day long! He would often agree with me because he had a serious fear of needles…all types and sizes. My bad feelings did not last long.
It was April…and Madi had just been diagnosed in November. I remember thinking Drew didn’t look right. That he looked like he didn’t feel well. I remember thinking he looked like a diabetic…like his blood sugar was high. I looked for common signs of him waking up to pee in the middle of the night, drinking more often, or not having energy but none of those things happened. We had went to a movie and I remember thinking that I didn’t want him to drink any soda because I felt he was high…so I got a diet for us all to share. He kept saying that he didn’t feel good…that his stomach felt funny and he barely drank anything. When we got home and were having our night snack before bed, I gave him some fresh carrots and dip because I didn’t want his blood sugar to be any higher. I was having these thoughts and didn’t even know for sure that this was the case! Because of his severe fear of needles, I woke up around 6am to do his blood sugar. I wanted to do it while he was still asleep so he wouldn’t be so scared. The first one I did was above a 300. I immediately assumed it was the machine…my stunned phase. So I got two extra machines from the bathroom, ran a control test on one of them, and did his blood sugar again on both of them. Same results. I sat and looked at that number for what seemed like an eternity before I went into the bathroom and shut the door. I cried and cried and cried. This was a whole new wave of emotion for me. Not only was my daughter diagnosed 6 months earlier, but now my son was too. I felt very much to blame. I felt that I may have somehow caused this. Like I had secret control over his immune system and somehow provoked it to destroy his beta cells. Even though I knew full well that this was not the case, I guess my motherly instincts were to think that way. He was my baby!! I just did not want him to have to take this on.
So….four years later, both of my kids are doing wonderfully with their diabetes. They have grown into recognizing how their body feels with certain blood sugars, foods, activities, etc. and I could not be happier. Thankfully we have not had any serious events with blood sugars and I am so very grateful for that!
Ahhhh…now that I have shared those moments with you, please read my blog often and let me know what your life stories are, what views you have, what experiences you go through, and what ways we can help each other through this wonderful thing called life…with diabetes! 🙂