Olivia – Age 4
When Olivia was almost four years old, she got a baby brother. She also began acting a little strange, but her mom and dad attributed that to the big change that came with a sibling. As time went on though, it was apparent that she loved her little brother and something else was off. At her four year check-up, Olivia’s mom pushed for the doctor to run a test for diabetes and the test came back positive. Olivia had type 1 diabetes (T1D).
Those first couple of weeks were filled with tears, fears, and anxiety, but eventually new routines were formed. Olivia went from hiding under the hospital bed not wanting a shot, to poking her own finger without even flinching. Getting insulin and checking blood sugars became a part of daily life and Olivia began to feel like her old self again. When her mom and dad would take her places, she would play with kids and run around like she used to. She often introduced herself by saying, “I’m Olivia and I have diabetes!” Her love of meeting new people had come back full force and she was excited to share this new part of her life, regardless of the challenges it presented. She proudly gets her insulin injections in front of her 4K classroom and they all champion her for handling a shot so well. Her classmates are very aware of her diabetes and are quite knowledgeable on the subject. They have all accepted that Olivia needs a snack sometimes, and have often sat with her until her blood sugar came up.
Olivia has not been diagnosed long, only since March 2018. Each new season brings a new set of challenges. Spring was all about learning how to take care of Olivia and make sure she was getting the proper insulin. Time was spent measuring food, counting carbs, and trying to predict what a four-year-old was going to eat! Summer was filled with finding healthy meals on the go, keeping Olivia hydrated on the hot active days, and searching for some lower carb ice cream to enjoy on the deck (thank you Halo Top!). As the holiday season gears up, there will most definitely be some changes, but Olivia seems ready.
Life has changed significantly for Olivia and her family; a lot of these changes can be scary. Olivia’s parents have had many panicked moments. From the time Olivia’s mom couldn’t remember how much insulin she had given Olivia at lunch, to the time Olivia’s dad double dosed her before drop off and had to call the school to give her carbs. The highs and lows of blood sugar are truly what it feels like trying to take care of Olivia’s diabetes, it is a constant battle and ever-changing. What has made the entire journey seem bearable, has been Olivia’s support system. From her grandparents, aunts, and uncles being able to check her sugars and give injections, to her school teachers constantly monitoring her and making sure she stays in range. The more information Olivia has given the people around her, the more the have stepped up to learn about T1D. With JDRF, Olivia and her family have found yet another outlet for support. Olivia is thankful for this great organization and excited to see what the future of diabetes will look like!
Olivia and her family participated in their first JDRF One Walk at the 2018 JDRF One Walk – Madison. Team HealthyLIVing did an incredible job at fundraising, but if you want to still contribute, please visit Olivia’s Personal Page. Thank you to Olivia and her familiy for sharing their story and setting a great example for the T1D community!
If you want to submit a story about your diabetes journey like Olivia, please contact Jen Allen!