Category: Awareness

type 1 diabetes symptoms

A Brave Girl Beating The Odds and Urging Others To Recognize Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms

A Brave Girl Beating The Odds and Urging Others To Recognize Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms

June 2015, Father’s Day weekend. That’s when I first noticed something was seriously wrong. I watched my then 6 year old, chug bottle after bottle of water, pee 3 times an hour and beg for more to drink. She had been doing this for about a week. It’s summer, it’s hot, she’s just thirsty.

I noticed she had thinned down a bit when she came strutting in, in her new bathing suit saying how skinny was. She’s just growing, I told myself. Dark circles plagued her eyes. She’s been sleeping so much though. Her “diva” like ways had become not so cute anymore. She was just being plain mean these days. She had the sweetest smelling breath, too. She must be really brushing those teeth good!

I was able to explain away every sign, not knowing it could pertain to Type 1 Diabetes symptoms.

Fast forward to Father’s Day. We took my husband out to eat at our favorite hibachi restaurant where the serving size always required a left overs box. Not this time. Mady had polished off a man size plate and only had a bite of chicken, a pinch of noodles and a few veggies left. Odd. She’s a growing girl. I told myself this a thousand times.

Monday rolls around, Madysen was feeling ill. Complaining of her belly and head hurting and saying she couldn’t even walk. Okay, little diva. Whatever you say. I’ll just carry you to the bathroom, I guess. She was still using the bathroom regularly, so I kept giving her bottle after bottle of water and gatorade and told myself that it will pass soon.

Around 1am Tuesday morning, the vomiting started. Uh oh, she has indeed picked up a stomach bug. Dang it. Again a few hours later, I was taking her back to the bathroom, her vomit was bright pink this time. Hmm, Okay. Around 7am I noticed her breathing was rather labored. She was having an asthma attack. I ran and got her rescue inhaler. A few pumps and nothing. Crap. She (barely) sat up in bed, looked over at me as I was changing out of my pajamas and said, “Mommy, put some pants on. We need to go to the doctor. NOW.”

Except, I had trouble making out what she had actually just said. Her words were so mumbled and forced, I wasn’t sure what she had just said but I heard ‘doctor’ and ‘NOW’. That’s all I needed. I loaded her up in the car and rushed to the Emergency Room, which was only 5 minutes away.

Once we arrived, they triaged her and vitals looked good. I told them all her symptoms and they didn’t bat an eye. Just the flu, probably. Sweet Relief.

No one had the slightest idea that this could be Type 1 Diabetes symptoms.

They took us back to a room and told us the doctor would be in soon. Still, even though she could barely form a single word, she was still chugging that water. Within a few minutes of the nurse leaving us to wait, Madysen wasn’t breathing right again. Her eye was twitching and her hand squeezed the water bottle so tight, water went everywhere. I yelled for someone to help.

A nurse came in, and then doctor rushed in, took one look at her, laid her bed down, and then he called for a crash cart. Crash cart. I rolled it over in my head a few times. Crash cart. CRASH CART! Why a crash cart? Panic set in.

The realization of my deepest fear hit me like a ton of bricks. She had stopped breathing. I text my husband, who was home with our other two daughters. I told him to get here now. Seconds later, my daughters lifeless little body was being rushed across the hall to the trauma room. Nurses flying by me, rushing to help. No pulse. She’s not breathing. We need to intubate. Cut her clothes off. These words were flying through my brain and I stood there in shock.

My husband made it to my side and there I stood in total disbelief at what was happening. Watching every available nurse and doctor working feverishly to stabilize my baby. She still wasn’t breathing. The doctor came buzzing by me and I heard him call out, “Type 1 Diabetic, sugar 601. Get med flight here now.”

Type 1 Diabetic? It all made sense now. How did I miss that? How all of these Type 1 Diabetes symptoms could easily be misdiagnosed.

Her body was failing. After a few failed attempts at intubating, they finally got it. By then I was a crumbled, crying mess, sitting on the floor of the ER trauma room and my baby was in a coma, not breathing on her own.

Shortly thereafter, a helicopter landed to take us to Children’s hospital. Once we got to Children’s, which is 2 hours away from where we live, they ran multiple tests on her. Our family and close friends came, we prayed, we pleaded and begged, God just let us keep her. You name it, we said we would give it up, just don’t take her. Madysen remained on the ventilator, it was keeping her alive, breathing for her for many hours.

Finally, she started generating a few of her own breaths. She was fighting. My baby wasn’t giving up. She isn’t going down without a fight. We were standing over her, holding hands, praying to our Almighty, then, a miracle happened. She started fighting the breathing tube. One answered prayer. 15 minutes later, they came in and took the tube out. She was breathing on her own but she still wasn’t waking up.

We tried and tried for a response from her. Hours passed by, no change. We prayed over her again and asked for another miracle. Just wake up already, Mads, I kept saying over and over. I wanted nothing more than to see those big brown eyes.

A few minutes later, I bent down, I kissed her sweet little cheek, I told her how proud of her I was and how much I loved her. I promised her we would get through this. I laid my head down next to hers and she whispered a sweet mumbled, “love you.” I once again found myself a crumbled mess on the floor next to her bed, crying, thanking God for another answered prayer.

After the visitors left, we settled down to rest. My mind was racing. What will tomorrow bring? Will she be okay? She WILL wake up, she HAS to wake up. The doctor told us there weren’t any signs of brain damage. Everything looked good. But she still wasn’t awake. She was in a coma. Now we wait.

5am Wednesday morning, the sweetest sound I have EVER heard broke my drowsy state. “Mommy, why are you all the way over there?” My heart felt like it was going to explode. Tears filled my eyes. She’s awake, she’s talking, and she was seriously confused as to why she had tubes and wires coming and going from all over her body. My girl was going to be okay. I took my first real breath in what seemed like forever.

The next two days were filled with questions and carbs and formulas. How in the world will I ever remember all of this?

Life as we knew it had forever changed and became one big math test. I hated math.

It’s been 14 months since diagnosis and Madysen is thriving. She hasn’t let T1D slow her down. She has accepted that this is life. We are a T1D family. A family that wants others to be aware of Type 1 Diabetes symptoms, for it, could save lives.

June 23, 2015, Madysen was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
June 9, 2016, on her 7th birthday, Madysen was diagnosed with Epilepsy. She is an inspiration to everyone she meets, and has the best support team from our family, friends, and our community.

She is my hero. My fighter. My warrior. My brave, brave little girl.

Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms in Both Children & Adults:

  • Frequent Urination
  • Weight Loss
  • Increased Thirst
  • Fatigue and Weakness
  • Blurred Vision
  • Irritability and Mood Changes

Other Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms Resources:


Diabetesorg/Webmd


share a story


 

what living with diabetes feels like

What Living With Diabetes Feels Like

What Living With Diabetes Feels Like

Diabetes is often perceived as a self-inflicted disease. It’s assumed that someone brought it upon themselves by poor eating and lack of exercise. It’s commonly joked about and mocked in conversation with reference to body image and sugary foods.

With so many misconceptions and negative stereotypes, it causes this disease to be greatly overlooked. For those battling to often feel misunderstood and ashamed. From the outside looking in, it may seem that insulin is the solution—however it’s not, it’s my life support. That maybe if I change my diet all my problems will be solved—unfortunately that will not cure my diabetes.

To be honest, I had no idea that I would get sick one day and never get better. That my immune system would attack the insulin producing cells in my pancreas. An organ that I didn’t know existed prior to diagnosis or how important it actually is.

That I would have to work at this every day—whether I like it or not. By testing my blood sugar, taking insulin injections, and balancing what I eat.

Some would say “that seems tough” or “I could never do that“. But they don’t realize that I don’t have a choice.

If they only knew that diabetes is much more than “just” that. Diabetes is much more than what managing it looks like on the outside but how diabetes feels like on the inside. There’s a lot of emotion that goes into it. A lot of thinking, a lot of worrying, a lot of uncertainty, and sometimes a lot of chaos.

If only they really knew what living with diabetes feels like:

It’s that dry, fruity breath and taste in your mouth. Where nothing can quench your thirst.

The brain fog where you feel out of tune with your own body.

The pain or burning sensation when taking insulin to keep us alive. Constantly feeling like a pincushion.

Having scars left that mimic battle wounds. That are placed on the most insecure parts of your body.

The dazed, confused feeling of where am I and how did I get here. This disease not only alters your body but your mind.

The dependency of not only insulin, but medical equipment, devices, meters, and food when we get low.

Guilt that weighs heavy on us. That is carried from our day to day tasks, our mistakes, and wishing we didn’t have to learn the hard way.

Being extra cautionary towards injuries, infections, wounds, and always having paranoia. Our bodies taking longer to heal.

diabetes and the unexpected - diabetes blog week

The pressure builds from the responsibility on our plates. Having every intention to do good, but doesn’t always appear to work out that way.

Patiently waiting for the highs to come down or the lows to come up. How EVERYTHING affects our blood sugar.

The inevitable being present. This disease takes a toll on our bodies and we feel it. No matter how well in control we are.

The blurry vision and the lack of focus.

The anger that seeps through from the rollercoaster ride of blood sugars and emotions.

The tired feeling from doing this day in and day out for so long and trying to stay strong. With no days off and no vacation.

Having the feeling of everything being wrong but having the inability to put it into words exactly what that is.

I Want To Be Cured—Not Managed.

I can still live a long fulfilling life if I take care of myself to the best of my abilities. Knowing things could be much worse. I’m grateful for all the advances in technology and the everyday improvements being made in diabetes management.

But we still need and deserve more—we need freedom from Type 1 Diabetes. The burden to be lifted from our shoulders and our family members. Where we can sleep soundly, not have to deal with the highs and lows, or be dependent on insulin.

If more people knew more about this disease. How insulin is not a cure, how it is life threatening, and what living with diabetes feels like to those battling it every day. Then maybe—just maybe, they will want to help cure it too.



 

What I Wish Others Could Understand About Diabetes

What I Want Others To Understand About Diabetes

What I Want Others To Understand About Diabetes

Diabetes is an invisible illness. It can’t be explained in a few short words, nor can you fully understand diabetes unless you personally endure it.

I’m constantly explaining to others what it takes to take care of myself on a daily basis. That it wasn’t caused by poor eating or lack of exercise, and there isn’t a simple fix and everyday brings its own challenges.

As much as I’m tired of battling this disease every day. I’m also tired of feeling misunderstood. I’m tired of being judged and feeling like I have to explain myself.

Diabetes isn’t just a matter of taking insulin and watching what I eat. Our bodies are meant to work like machines, where the pancreas is a vital organ and plays a huge part in keeping our bodies functioning properly by dispersing energy to sustain life. Mine just happens not to work, so by taking insulin it keeps me alive and I have to do the work in place of my pancreas.

The big misconception surrounding diabetes is that “insulin is a cure” to which it is NOT.

I’m not a pancreas, I’m only a human trying to act as one, and everything is done with trial and error. I could do the same thing every day and still receive different results. Everything has to be considered for example: what I eat, how much insulin I take, my activity levels, stress, hormones, sickness, and the list goes on. It’s like walking a tight rope, trying to stay in between the lines, while combating factors thrown at me that I can’t always control.

Diabetes not only affects me, but millions of others, and all very differently.

I wish more people could understand diabetes for how it truly affects those that battle it every day, including the families. This disease not only takes a toll physically but mentally.

 

What I Want Others To Understand About Diabetes:

That when I’m quiet or having a bad day, it just means I’m fighting my hardest.

Even though I take the insulin that I need to stay alive, there is still many highs and lows, ups and downs. I still don’t feel great all the time. The same insulin that’s meant to keep me alive, is the same one that can take my life away. 

If I pass on eating something you offer to me, it’s not that I don’t want to eat it. But it might not be the best choice for me at the time.

When I’m feeling tired, it’s not always about how much sleep I got the night before. This “tired” doesn’t go away.

When my blood sugars are low or high, my emotions tend to be everywhere, and it has nothing to do with you. So please don’t take it personally.

That just because I’ve had diabetes for “x amount of years” doesn’t mean I’ll master this disease down to a T. Managing diabetes is an art not a science.

Diabetes is frustrating and makes me feel weak at times when I’m fighting to be strong. I’m exhausted from fighting and working as my pancreas.

I can’t be as spontaneous as I’d like to be. I always have to take in account my diabetes first and plan around that.

I can have sugar just like you, as long as it’s in moderation and with proper insulin dispersion.

Matter of fact, I don’t have limitations. I just have to listen to my body.

why managing diabetes is a full-time job

My A1C (average blood glucose test) does NOT define me. It does no justice to the blood, sweat, and tears I put into this.

I don’t wish to be compared to other diabetics. We all fight our own unique battle. With our own journey, obstacles to overcome, and story to tell.

Most importantly, I don’t want to be pitied. There’s far worse, but at the same time I want others to understand the severity of this disease and that it shouldn’t be minimized or feel less important.

My hopes for the future consist of a cure. A cure that will not only free me but millions of others battling everyday. Even while it is manageable, it is still life threatening.

By understanding what I go through and why I avidly talk about it, that it will help make others aware of this disease, and making coping for those battling much easier until a cure is found.


share a story

11 Type 1 Diabetic Misconceptions

11 Type 1 Diabetic Misconceptions

I’ve had Type One Diabetes for quite some time now – 14 years to be exact – and within those amount of years I’ve become fully aware of how misunderstood Type One Diabetes actually is. I’ve heard an endless amount of diabetic misconceptions. It’s hard living in a world where you’re placed in a category with Type Two Diabetes as well. Don’t get me wrong, we all fight a hard battle – but it’s each our own. It’s two completely different diseases in my eyes.

I’m here to set the record straight…

(11) Type 1 Diabetic Misconceptions:

1. “Did you get diabetes from eating sugar or gaining weight?”

Type One occurs when your body attacks the cells in the pancreas that produces insulin. There’s no specific rhyme or reason behind why this happens. It’s possible to occur due to genetics or environmental causes, but there is no significant proof to back these theories. But what I ate or my weight was definitely not the cause. This is on the top of the list of most common diabetic misconceptions.

2.”Should you be eating that?” 

Yes, I can eat that slice of cake! The myth that diabetics can’t have sugar needs to be thrown out the window right now! I can eat sweets in moderation, along with proper insulin management.

3.”Does using needles hurt?”

Of course, they hurt but I don’t have a choice in the matter. I don’t enjoy having to poke myself several times a day. But unfortunately, I have to in order to stay alive.

4.”My Grandma has diabetes”

Okay, stop right there. Yes, there are Type One Diabetics out there that are grandmothers, which I can totally relate to. But when you finish the sentence with “well she has Type Two” – “she manages with pills” – or “she just has to diet”,  let’s not compare.

5.”Shouldn’t you have this figured out by now?”

No, I wish diabetes was that easy. It’s like trying to figure out a Rubik’s cube every day, only for something to change, and have to start all over again. I can never perfect my diabetes. I constantly need to make adjustments, and all I can do is try to manage my diabetes to the best of my ability with proper diet, insulin, and exercise.

6.”Can you have kids?” “Will they get Diabetes?”

Yes, you can have children with diabetes. You’re considered at a higher risk, but with proper control before and during pregnancy, you’re less likely of complications. Statistics show the odds may be greater with your children getting Type One, but on the other hand, there’s plenty of Type One Diabetics (such as myself) where this diagnosis doesn’t run in the family. So who’s to really say?

7.My sugars low – “Does that mean you need insulin?”

Absolutely not! That would be life threatening in this situation. When my sugar is low I need the energy from food to be able to function normally.

8.”What’s your blood sugar?” “Is that good or bad?”

Honestly, I really can’t answer this one. I’m constantly aiming for a perfect blood sugar number. Trying to keep my blood sugar in a good range is like walking a tightrope, hoping not to fall. I live in a different normal of what’s “good or bad” with my blood sugars, compared to non-diabetics. I have to maintain a good control while being able to function every day.

9.”Let me give you some advice.”

Are you a Diabetic? Are you a physician? If not, just please stop! Just because you can talk the talk – doesn’t mean you can walk the walk.

10.”It could be worse.”

Of course, it could be. I’m thankful that I have a disease that can be managed and can still live a long life. But please don’t make light of the struggle that I go through. It’s not the best situation, but I’m making the best out of it.

11.”I heard there’s a cure.”

There is no cure, however, there continues to be research conducted in order to find a cure. Currently, there are future prospects, but all we can do right now is keep fighting and pray for a cure in the near future.

What’s are some diabetic misconceptions that you despise? Please share! ***