As I was searching for blogs written by parents of diabetic children, I found Joanne. Her daughter is much younger than mine and it’s got to be difficult to get a diagnosis of diabetes when your child is not yet verbal.
I invite you to read about Joanne and her daughter Elise and then visit her blog Death of a Pancreas.
I’d like to introduce you to Joanne of Death of a Pancreas.
Tell me something about your child.
I don’t think I have the right words to describe what an amazing child Elise is. She has a delightful, quirky personality, and has never met a stranger. She might be a bit shy at first, but give her 5 minutes and you’ll be best friends.
She said her first word at 7 months and never looked back. My days with Elise are filled with non-stop chatter, and I love it!
How old was your child when diagnosed?
She was diagnosed at 12 months, just two days after she turned one.
How was your child diagnosed?
She was diagnosed by a complete fluke.
We knew something was wrong with her, we just didn’t know what. When we took her to her 12-month Well Child visit, we discovered she had not gained any weight during the time between her 9 and 12 month appointments. Elise had a UTI a few months prior, and her pediatrician wanted to do a urine test to make sure it was clear. To everyone’s surprise, they found sugar. They did a repeat test, and it was still positive for sugar. We then had an A1C done, and when the results came back at 6.5, they had us admitted to the hospital.
How has your child’s life changed since diagnosis?
Elise has not known anything different. She has now had diabetes longer than not. For her it’s normal to get her fingers and toes poked, to get shots at least three times a day, and not be able to eat what she wants, when she wants.
How has your family’s life changed since diagnosis?
The diagnosis has definitely brought us closer, and it has really opened my eyes to what an amazing man I married. It has also made us more aware of what is important and what is not, and not to get so caught up in the little things. It has made a lot of things a lot harder–holidays, schedules, nap times meals, travel–but we are learning what works for us.
How has connecting online helped you cope with diabetes? What online resources do you use?
Right after the diagnosis, I used message boards, but it was too time consuming to keep up with all the posts.
I’ve always used writing as a type of therapy, so I started a blog, never thinking anyone in their right mind would want to read it.
Now, over a year later, I have met some of the most wonderful women (and men too)! Their support has gotten me through some very rough times, and I love that we all come from different walks of life. We laugh together, cry together, cheer each other on and help each other cope. There are none better…
How do you manage diabetes?
We do multiple daily injections (MDI), carb counting (using carb factors), and checking her BG.
What would you tell parents of a newly diagnosed child?
It WILL get better. It will. It may not be for awhile, but there is light at the end of this very dark tunnel.
Life with D is like riding a roller coaster that you can’t get off. There are ups. There are downs. Sometimes you feel like everything is spinning out of control and you are scared. Other times you feel like you’re going to throw up from the pressure of it all. Then you’ll feel like you have everything under control and you’re on top of the world. Until you plunge down that hill and start all over again.
What do you know now that you wish you had known at diagnosis?
I wish I had taken the time to read up on carb factors. Because Elise is so little, EVERY carb makes a difference. Even 5g can affect her BG by 100. So we are very strict about weighing everything she eats.
Someone had told me about carb factors when she was first diagnosed, but I was too overwhelmed to read about it. About 6 months after the diagnosis, I decided to give it a whirl and it has made my life so much easier. I have a whole post dedicated to it on my blog.
Do you do any fundraising?
My husband and I formed Team Elise just two weeks after her diagnosis to walk in the annual JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. We’re also on the Family Team Committee (contacting families to get them involved with the walk), but my husband really does all the work on that one.
Meet other D-Moms and D-Dads each Monday.