Wednesday afternoon I took Hattie to the doctor so they could "check her out" since she had been so thirsty lately. We ended up being admitted to the children's hospital immediately.
An hour later she had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, formerly known as "juvenile onset."
Fortunately we had caught it early enough that she hadn't gone into ketoacidosis. Too frequently parents find out that their child is diabetic only after a trip through the ICU. So we avoided that, but not the two-day hospital stay. Hattie will now be insulin-dependent for the rest of her life.
After the initial bone-jarring impact of hearing the diagnosis, Tim and I have been focused on educating ourselves about the disease, the symptoms of hypo- and hyperglycemia, and the various treatments that will now become second nature to us all. Even Hattie is quickly becoming accustomed to half a dozen or more fingersticks and a minimum of 5 insulin shots daily.
As our vision clears and the dust settles, we are finding that there is a strong support network for families living with diabetes. Our families are doing everything they can to help. And we are assured that with proper management of her blood sugar she can expect to live a normal and full life. While it will be a challenge initially to figure out exactly how she is feeling and what her schedules will be since she is only 2, eventually all the processes associated with managing diabetes will become so commonplace for her that as a teenager and adult she should have no trouble keeping up with them all. And research continues, so who can say how many advancements will have been made 20 years from now?
Panic and fear by themselves, while sometimes unavoidable, are not as helpful when trying to reach an objective. It is the redirection and application of their energy that helps you achieve your goal.
Our first priority is keeping Hattie healthy, and we are directing all our energy towards that.