I started this blog as a way to express my feelings and to hopefully shine a light on a disease that is often misunderstood. I posted my first piece a few days after Luna’s one month “Dia-versary.” At the time, I shared it with a handful of people. I was torn whether or not I wanted to continue documenting something so personal and questioned if I was strong enough to put my writing into the universe. After much thought and some persuasion, I decided to go for it.
Writing has always been an outlet of expression for me and my hope is that this blog brings visibility to life with T1D and provides comfort to anyone struggling. It should be noted that I’m no expert and everything I post is my personal opinion or thought unless stated otherwise. The next couple of entries I wrote a month ago. I wasn't brave enough to share them then, but if nothing else these last few months have been one giant lesson on being brave and accepting vulnerability.
I want to take a moment to thank my husband who always encourages me to be strong, assures me that I am capable and loves me through it all. A special thank you to my friend, sorority sister and fellow T1D Mama, Zeida- I don’t know what I would have done without you those first few days and all the days to follow. You and Karima inspire me.
Lastly a few words for my Luna, from the day you were born we joked that you demanded the very best of care, and even though your strong-willed ways drove us to the breaking point at times- I now understand and appreciate your strength. Thank you for being the rule-defying, obstacle crushing, light shining little girl. I want you to know that every sleepless night, every carb I count and weigh, all the hours of research and every word I write is for you. I love you, my girl. Thank you for choosing me to be your mama.
It was a typical holiday season filled with school concerts and festivities. This particular Christmas my little family decided to stay in Chicago and then head to Texas to celebrate the New Year with our families. Luna was buzzing with excitement as she would soon be reunited with her grandparents and cousins. Finally, NYE was upon us! We spent the day lounging and watching the kids run around. Later that evening we stepped into our festive wear and we were off to ring in the NEW YEAR!
The next day, our little one who spent most of the night dancing with her cousins was exhausted. We’d stayed up really late, so we didn’t pay it much mind. The only striking difference was the copious amounts of water she was consuming. We attributed that to the warmer Texas climate and again, paid it no mind. The lethargy and thirst would continue until we arrived in Chicago, a few days later. The entire time, my husband and I knew something seemed off; when she wasn’t able to run up the stairs to our third-floor apartment, we knew something wasn’t right.
Her doctor’s office was already closed for the evening, so we decided to put her to bed and call in the morning. That night was very restless – I sat down at my computer and googled the words, Tired and very thirsty child, that simple five word Google search produced three words: TYPE 1 DIABETES. With my heart racing, I begin an all-night, one woman internet diagnosis rabbit hole. When my husband woke up for work the next morning, I was in a full blown manic mode. He assured me that we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves and reminded me that "Google-ing" symptoms is never a good idea. I stopped to think for a moment and prayed that he was right.
A few hours, one urine test and a "Can I speak to you in my office," later- those five words were replaced by five new words; “I think Luna has diabetes.”
With my world spinning, I took my little girl on the longest walk down to the children’s hospital. The only thing I remember, is Luna asking if she was going to get shots. The word shots lingered; I didn’t know much about diabetes but I knew shots were definitely involved. It would only be a matter of hours until my husband and I knew exactly how many pokes this would require. Sitting on the bed, explaining to my six-year-old that this would not be just a "hospital thing" and that she would have to do this for the rest of her life, is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. The look of fear and confusion on her face was enough to destroy the last pieces of my already broken heart.
We remained in the hospital for a few days. Class, after class, we learned more than I hope anyone else has to know about this disease. We took turns poking her tiny fingers to check her blood sugar, counting carbs and giving her insulin shots before each meal. Once we were deemed competent by the nursing staff, we were discharged. Driving home, I sobbed quietly and I prayed that we could leave it all behind but unfortunately, Diabetes followed us home that day.