Kayden was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on January 26th, 2016. The signs were there for around 2 months prior to this but we obviously had no idea that they were signs of anything. She began drinking 5-8 bottles of water a day, having ‘accidents’ at night, weight loss and persistent stomach aches. We weren’t sure if she was faking the stomach aches or if we needed to change her diet. The Saturday prior to being diagnosed, she was so excited because I was finally taking her snow tubing. She had been begging to go for weeks. But the stomach aches came and all she wanted was to stay in the lodge and drink orange juice and milk. (Whoops!) That was the first time that we really started toying with the idea that there was something wrong. We had scheduled her a doctor’s appointment for Thursday of that following week but on Monday I asked if they had anything sooner and luckily we were able to have her seen that evening. When the nurse came in with the test results we knew something wasn’t right. The doc wasn’t quite sure what to say to us and I could see he was shaking a little. Now retired, anyone that knew Dr. John, knew he always had something to say. He sent us the ER, only saying that we needed more tests and going to the ER would be the quickest way to get them. Three days later and on information overload, we finally went back home. We were lucky enough to have family come to the hospital and learn the ins and outs right along with us which helped to not feel so alone. Now 2 years in, Type One Diabetes has weaved its way into every single part of our lives. Every decision that is made must include T1D in some way. While we ultimately manage her diabetes for her, she must always be responsible and conscious of how she feels, what she eats and remembering to bring her supplies with her everywhere she goes. Yet in between all of that, let her have the same free-spirited childhood as everyone else. She gets poked with some type of needle on average of 9 times a day. Just let that sink in. It hurts. The pain doesn’t go away, she just gets tougher. No spur of the moment snacks or eating samples at the grocery store on Saturdays.The options for carb free snacks get really boring for a 9-year-old. Sleepovers are always at our house. How can we ask those parents to learn all of this and be willing to give her a shot? Luckily, she found a friend with parents that were willing to do just that. But all of this is just normal life now. Just a part of our everyday. When I asked Kayden if there was anything she wanted to say here, she said she wanted people to know that she gets asked a million questions over and over again. She says that if you know someone diagnosed with Type One Diabetes, take some time to learn the basics because they have probably been repeatedly asked the same questions you will be asking them. (Is it contagious? Can you eat that? Doesn’t that hurt?) And never, ever tell someone with T1D that you hate the sight of needles.
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