I’d like to introduce you to Heather of Sweet to the Soul.
Tell me something about your child.
Audrey is our “love bug.” She is the extremely loving and caring. Without a doubt she gives the best. hugs. ever. She LOVES Fancy Nancy. She is carefree and very energetic. She is also extremely silly and has a contagious laugh.
How old was your child when diagnosed?
Audrey was diagnosed exactly one month after her 3rd birthday on April 1, 2009.
How was your child diagnosed?
Audrey was diagnosed informally over the phone by our girls’ doctor, who also happens to be a good friend of ours. She had the normal symptoms, which gradually got worse over a 5 day period. She lost weight, drank all the time, was wetting through diapers every 1 to 2 hours. She lost her appetite, she got blue lips and her eyes started to look sunken in. She was very clingy and whiny.
I called and scheduled an appointment the morning after I talked to the doctor. I will never forget the dread of going into the office and hearing the words confirmed. Type 1 Diabetes. I remember standing in complete shock and breaking down when I got to the van. I had to break the news to my husband over the phone. It was horrible. The worst day of my life.
How has your child’s life changed since diagnosis?
Audrey has adjusted so well. We are so very proud of her! She rarely ever complains about anything except on the occasion when she is playing and doesn’t want to stop. She is very proud of her pump and her “Dexie” (our CGM) and loves to show them to everyone. Audrey is pretty carefree and seems to go with the flow.
How has your family’s life changed since diagnosis?
At first life change a lot. We had to go from a pretty laid back life to a very rigid scheduled, everything planned out life. It was hard at first. I really struggled to keep our “schedule” so it would benefit Audrey, but it was extremely hard when we went anywhere. It was hard to work around her schedule, all the extra snacks, eating every couple hours, and remembering to take her diabetes supplies with us everywhere we went. She started on the pump just 5 months after her diagnosis and it was a wonderful change. It made life seem a little more “normal” again.
It has also changed the way we eat a little. I care a little more about which foods we eat and where it comes from. We have also learned more about nutrition and what foods affect her blood sugar more then others. It’s all kinda crazy when I think about it! I have never been a math person and now math is my life.
How has connecting online helped you cope with diabetes? What online resources do you use?
Connecting online is something I wish that I would have done right after Audrey was diagnosed. I just found this wonderful online community a couple months ago and it has been one of the best things that has happened since her diagnosis. This group of people who experience the same struggles and feelings that I experience is priceless. I would recommend it to everyone.
I use as many resources that I can get my “eyes” on. Blogs and websites about diabetes. Blogs written by other moms, ones written by adults with type 1 and blogs about research and technology.
How do you manage diabetes?
We have been using the Animas One Touch Ping Pump since September 2009 and the DexCom SevenPlus CGM since June 2010.
What would you tell parents of a newly diagnosed child?
Get connected. Find other parents out there who have been and are going through what you are going through. They understand and are a invaluable source of information. You will also find that they can be the best of friends too.
What do you know now that you wish you had known at diagnosis?
That I would still be struggling with the emotional roller coaster over a year later. I wish someone would have told me that it gets easier but the heartache doesn’t go away.
Meet other D-Moms and D-Dads each Monday.