Soon after Isabella's 6th birthday, we had the scare of our lives. She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, Juvenile Onset Diabetes and is insulin dependent for life. All the signs had been there but I did not realize as I did not have the awareness. Excessive thirst,nausea, frequent urination, pale and sunken-in facial features. She looked thin. Upon picking her up from summer camp, the counselor brought her, lethargically, over to me. For a girl who was rarely sick, this was shocking. I thought she'd caught something from someone at camp so I brought her home and told her to rest and drink lots of water. She kept falling asleep. I thought she must be exhausted and dehydrated. This continued from about 5pm at 10:30pm when she finally stopped and fell asleep next to me.
About 6:30am Bella awoke very dreary and pointed to her heart and that it hurt. It was racing. We went immediately to the ER, where she vomited on the scale and was hyperventilating. We were so scared. After several tests the ER doctor confirmed that she was dehydrated but because she has Type 1 diabetes. I was shocked and in denial. I put on my "just take action and do what you need to mode."
Bella slipped into a diabetic coma in transit to Boston Children's Hospital with me by her side. She did not awake until late that night. We spent 4 full days and 3 nights in the hospital while she gained strength and began to understand that life had just changed drastically forever. We were given a great deal of information, calculations to learn and were not allowed to leave the hospital until we had a firm grip on it and giving her 2 kinds of insulin through injections.
Today we check Bella's blood sugars, administer insulin, count carbs and do calculations that change at any given moment. She has learned to do much of this on her own and is blessed with technology today that assists with much of this. She is a real trooper and I could not be more proud her. She lives a healthy lifestyle and is an inspiration to others living with this disease.
Life is not always fair but we have learned to deal with it.
We attend support groups and are blessed with an amazing local hospital that cares and has a great deal of support, provides camps, functions, events and classes to learn and grow for children living with diabetes and their families. We do fundraising for organizations like JDRF who aids in research for finding a cure and helping children of Type 1 have a better life living with diabetes.
And Bella has become a camp counselor for a diabetic camp she has attended since her young diagnosis, giving back to others and paying it forward. She is a mentor for others living with Type One diabetes and certainly has a bright future ahead of her! A true warrior and one of the bravest people I know.