“Only those who…

“Only those who risk going too far will possibly find out how far one can go.” -T.S. Eliot

Have you reached a wall, a plateau, run out of breath, lost interest in the game because the score hasn’t changed in a while?   Diabetes is utterly boring.   The scenery never changes. It’s like living in a climate where the season never changes. The static nature of the disease is not sexy.   It’s like that annoying, loud person in the next cubicle who will not shut up about how much he hates the company but never does anything about.   Yeah, ok, so what can you do to make the situation more tolerable?    Please tell me.   How do you do it?   I look at people with type 1 and wonder how they think about their constant companion, their unwanted appendage.    I really don’t buy the “it’s really not that bad” mentality.    Smells like denial to me.   Or a show boat.    Yep, a superiority complex.  Like saying “if you can’t take the pressure, get out of the kitchen.”   Except they forgot that the kitchen is the only room in the house of diabetes…  Haven’t you met people who say,  

“I am like so together, so cool, so psychologically healthy, so immune to whatever challenge comes my way.  Plus, people with type 1 diabetes bring it so much more than people without it.  Just look at Mary Tyler Moore, (my idol since age 9) Halle Berry or Gary Hall, Nicole Johnson or Crystal Bowersox.   All hotties.”

Yikes! Another life saved, by a Grandma.

My name is Ainsley Faith. I’ve been diabetic since I was 18 months old.   I’m almost 5 now, so that means I’ve had this disease a lot longer in my life than I haven’t had it.  I don’t remember life before at all.  Even though my mommy and daddy know it’s rough dealing with a kid with diabetes, they figure it’s probably a lot worse dealing with a kid who already knows what it’s like to eat and drink without a care in the world.

At my diagnosis, the doctors said that it was a miracle that I was being diagnosed before diabetic ketoacidosis, DKA.  Most toddlers become unconscious and fall into a coma.  That’s the parents’ first clue something is wrong.   Mama says that God told her something was going on,  because she said she knew I had diabetes before I even had symptoms.  Really. My grandmama is a type 2 diabetic and mama wanted to use her meter to test my blood sugar a couple of weeks before I was hospitalized. Grandmama said that she was NOT gonna make the baby (AKA me!) bleed because my mama was neurotic. That’s a big word for crazy.

Then, I started getting sick to my stomach.  I turned REALLY crabby. I cried a lot and always finished my drinks as soon as they were handed to me.   One night, Grandma was babysitting me and she called my Mama to say I’d wet my pants and gotten urine on my jeans. Mama insisted that Grandma check my blood sugar. The meter didn’t have a number on it, though. It just said, “HI.” Grandmama said she didn’t know what that meant. Mama said it meant she was right and I DID have diabetes. We went to the Children’s Hospital that night,  and everything in my life changed. My blood sugar was 587. I was given 1 unit of NPH  insulin and 1 unit of Humalog insulin.   I dropped to 43. Less than 2 drops of insulin did that. Talk about scary.

It was a Friday and they kept me until Sunday morning, teaching mama and daddy about insulin.   I slept a lot, but then, Saturday afternoon, when my blood sugar was more normal I woke up and wanted to play. Our Children’s Hospital is pretty cool—it has wagons and scooters to ride in the hallways in case the patients get bored.

Mama didn’t like the NPH a whole lot so she fought with the doctors over the next couple of months. See, they said that you couldn’t have an insulin pump until you were 6. Mama said that was silly. I started pumping in February of 2009, just before I turned 2. I’m still one of the youngest kids in my state to pump. A new endocrinologist moved here and she’s cool about pumping. I hope a lot more kids get to pump because it made a big difference.  And, not to brag or anything, but I also have a CGM so that mama and daddy can see my numbers as they happen. That helps a lot, too–especially since I have a bit of a sweet tooth.

So, that’s my story so far. I started kindergarten last year.  When I get a little bigger, I can type all of this myself. Right now, all I can really say about diabetes is that it stinks.

 

Death of Diabetic Dad, who was saved by his daughter

Death of Diabetic Dad, who was saved by his daughter

So sad to hear that the so-called “Diabetic Dad” in the UK whose 5 year old daughter saved him during severe hypoglycemia was found dead today.  Life with type 1 diabetes is so fragile.   It is tragic to me whenever someone dies from hypoglycemia.   It happens often.  1 in 20 people with type 1 diabetes die from hypoglycemia induced cardiac arrest, according to the JDRF.  I haven’t yet heard all the details.  It just happened today.   Feeling so sad for his family, especially his little girl, so brave and smart.

Giving

Steve Case has a lot to to give, and he thinks we all do.   “You can give in 3 ways.  One, write a check. Two, give your time. Three, share your connections with those you would like to help.”  We can all give to the cause that matters most to us in some way, even if just one hour.   Even sending one email or making one phone call.    Reading an article, attending an event, or visiting a website are all ways to give your time as you raise your own awareness of the issue.  In so doing, you will become an advocate, first to yourself and then to others.