Monday, February 11, 2013

4-year anniversary

Here we are again.
The day that marks the anniversary of a day that changed our lives forever.
The day our second daughter, not quite 9 years old, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Somebody said to me recently, "Has it been that long already?"
Absolutely.  And then some.
Or so it seems to me.

I've worried much over this last year that has seemed crazy-out-of-control in regards to her blood sugars.
Worry makes the days just drag along.
I had made the mistake of thinking that at nearly 13 years old, she would take responsibility for her health, and would actually check her blood sugars before every meal, would actually correctly calculate how many carbs she was eating at each meal (versus "guesstimating"), and would medicate every time she put something in her mouth.
Not so.
She was only doing what she needed to stay alive.
As a result, her A1C has hung out at 9.9% for many months.

I think back to those midnights when she has been sitting in front of the toilet with her stomach just burning with pain and nausea from a mixture of a stomach virus and high ketones.
With tears pouring down her face, she whimpers "Why do I have to have diabetes?"

It was like we were handed a newborn again......only with no warning.
No preparations.
Nothing to care for this newborn.
Having to learn how to train ourselves to take things with us when we leave the house, scheduled meals, routine doctor visits, nightime feedings, mental exhaustion.

I think back to how far we've come from those early weeks of having to stick with a set amount of carbs for every. single. meal so we could learn how to wrap our brains around counting the carbs for each food she's eating and drawing up the insulin into a syringe {making sure we have all the supplies with us if we're away from home}and writing down each and every blood sugar number on a chart.
And here we are with insulin-to-carb ratios and a little more freedom with insulin pens.

But yet, we still have a long way to go.
Her numbers are still wacky.
Her A1c is not where it should be.
And that is constantly gnawing away in the back of my mind.

4 years ago we walked into our pediatrician's office not knowing why she had these horrible,
sporadic headaches that were relieved with one bout of vomiting.

I should have known for sure by just looking at how emaciated she was.....

but that had come on so quick we hadn't really noticed.
This picture was taken 3 weeks and 3 days from her diagnosis.

There were other obvious signs going on that did finally prompt me to get her in to the doctor, but if I had known at the time what a crisis her body was in I would've just rushed her to the ER.

But thankfully, our loving Heavenly Father had this all planned out.
He knew when she was born that this day was coming.
Would we change things if we had that option within our power?
I don't know that we would.
It is really hard some days.
But we know that we are being prepared for something right now.
We don't know what that is.....but it's an assignment.
A mission.
And right now, we're in boot camp.
We are so thankful for what we're learning about how to minister to those families who are in crises.
Maybe at a deeper level than others who've never had a medically fragile child.
Or maybe we'll meet some more folks along the way who, like us,
have a child with Type 1 Diabetes that we can be a blessing to and vice versa!

The journey has been difficult....I'll not lie.
But it is made sweeter because we must be on our knees...every day in conversation with our Lord.
Our eyes ever on Him, lest we like Peter who was walking on water toward Jesus, lose our focus and begin to sink in fright because of the storm swirling around us.

Ashlyn celebrating her youngest sister's 5th birthday with her and a friend
just a few weeks ago.