Happy Anniversary?

by Leighann on May 2, 2009

Today marks the one year anniversary of my daughter’s diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes.

I began writing a post describing the ups and downs, but I realized that I didn’t really have it in me to dig to the depths of my heart today.

And I certainly am not going to sit here and complain. We have nothing to complain about. Yes, it sucks for my daughter to have diabetes. It sucks for her, not for me. I do what I have to for her and would do even more.

But you know what? I bet if we asked her if her life sucked, she would say no.

Just this morning she announced to the librarian matter-of-factly that she has diabetes and couldn’t have the orange juice they were serving with pancakes. The librarian remarked that it’s great that she knows what she can and can’t have.

And having diabetes did not ruin our morning or our outing.

Yes, we had to rearrange meal and snack schedules. Yes, we had to test and inject in front of a room of strangers. Yes, we had to bring our own syrup.

But in every other way, she was a happy-go-lucky four-year-old participating in a great activity at the library.

At the farmer’s market she didn’t ask for home made sweets, instead she went right to the last row and asked for a bag of sprouts. And that has nothing to do with dietary restrictions and everything to do with her sophisticated tastes.

She and my husband went to the other library in the afternoon for a screening of the latest Scooby Doo movie (her favorite!). I packed popcorn as her afternoon snack.

Minutes before dinner she told me that she was hungry and needed to eat something. She said she couldn’t wait.

I checked her finger and she was going low. 73 to be exact (her target range is 100 to 200 and anything under 80 is considered hypoglycemia).

I reached in the high cabinet for her emergency juice and then poured her a cup of milk.

At not-even-five it’s difficult to articulate how you are feeling when you are going low. But we have noticed that she usually and suddenly feels very hungry.

Today we finally received notice of the school that she will attend for kindergarten in the fall. We got the school that we put down as our first choice. A school chosen by us not only because we loved it when we walked in, because academics seem strong, because there appears to be a real sense of community. But also because my husband and I can get there the quickest in case of an emergency, because there is another diabetic child there now, and because the staff did not skip a beat when we started asking questions about caring for a diabetic.

A year ago today I was wondering how I could care for a child who’s life is literally in my hands. And today I begin wondering how I can trust total strangers to care for her almost seven hours a day in my absence.

I have not even begun to add up our out-of-pocket medical bills from the past year. I am thankful that we have decent insurance.

In the past year we have (minimally)

  • Checked her blood glucose level 1,460 times
  • Used 1,460 test strips and 1,460 lancets
  • Used 1,460 alcohol swabs
  • Given her 1,095 injections with a pen needle
  • Given 365 injections by syringe

Lather, rinse, repeat. Right?

I could check her BG level in my sleep…and sometimes do in hers.

Last week as I conversed with David the Pharmacist about our co-pays going up and supplies per refill going down, I asked how diabetics without insurance do it.

He said they don’t. It’s catastrophic. They have to go on public aid. Many people aren’t testing as often as they should.

That’s sad. It’s sad that in America people can’t get the medical care they need, that they can’t get affordable prescriptions.

In fact I consider myself a pretty savvy consumer and only found out within the past month of a service that has the potential to save me $50 a month on testing supplies. No one told me about this and I went an entire year without this service.

I don’t think you’ll ever hear “whoa is me” when it comes to my life. Of course it has its ups and downs. Maybe more than some people, but definitely less than others.

So is this a “happy” anniversary? Though it marks something that I would rather not have as part of our daily lives, I am happy with where we are today given what we have been dealt.

Life is good.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 DebLouBed June 9, 2010 at 7:28 am

Your daughter is a credit to you in the way she is clearly dealing with her Diabetes. Before you know it, she won’t have to say no to the OJ, she will be adept enough to test and bolus for it! Who knows, she may just want water but she will have the choice and she will make it. I understand your concerns about her going to school but if she can clearly demonstrate that she has to eat ‘now’ then she is clearly acknowledging her hypo warning signs! That is half the battle won.

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