Madison is our 7 year old daughter. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) last year, two weeks before her birthday.
On July 4th she wasn’t acting like herself (thirsty, tired, going to the bathroom more than usual, etc.), so I called the doctor the next morning and made an appointment for July 6th, however, by that evening we knew something was really wrong because it looked like she was having trouble breathing. We immediately took Madison to Nemours Emergency Department. By the time we arrived I suspected she may have T1D, and urged the nurse to check her blood glucose (BG) right away. I didn’t know what a normal BG was supposed to be, but I knew by the nurse’s reaction that nearly 500 was not good. Madison was immediately admitted to the ICU for Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). She was very sick and spent 3 days in the ICU, and another 2 on the Endocrinology floor while we got a crash course on everything we needed to know in order to take her home. To this day, it shocks me how quickly she went down hill.
While there is a ton of information available about T1D, here are 8 things that I would you like you to know…
- There are two kinds of diabetes and they are not equal. Type 1 is far less common (represents 5 to 10% of all diabetics). It occurs when the body’s immune system has destroyed the cells in the pancreas that release insulin, without which the body cannot absorb glucose.
- Type 1 diabetes is not preventable. (This one was hard for my mama heart to accept, I still look for opportunities to blame myself… surely I did something that caused this.)
- There is no cure for diabetes. She needs insulin to SURVIVE.
- Her life depends on accurate, regular monitoring of her glucose levels in addition to accurate administration of insulin EVERY SINGLE DAY.
- Yes, it’s manageable. But type 1 diabetes requires more time, effort, and energy than we ever could have thought possible. We monitor her glucose levels day and night, weekdays and weekends, at home and at work. ALL THE TIME.
- Madison lives a normal life. She loves dance and gymnastics… It just looks different these days. Activity (of any kind) makes her glucose drop and FAST, so we keep a “go-bag” of sugary food/drinks on hand at all times.
- Madison will not outgrow T1D, therefore we manage her Hemoglobin A1c closely to avoid complications she could experience later in life as a result of her diagnosis (heart disease, kidney/eye/nerve damage, etc. just to note a few).
Lastly – 8. More awareness will lead to better understanding, research and treatment. Research that could someday lead to a cure. Please consider donating or joining our team, with your support we will help JDRF turn Type One into Type None.
Thank you for reading, and to our T1D warrior… you are fearless, brave, resilient, courageous, and FIERCE. We love you and are so incredibly proud of you. GO MIGHTY MADISON’S MUSKETEERS!!!!!