One Year with T1D

Today is Elizabeth’s 1 year “diaversary”!

December 20, 2017 was the day that Liz’s world was turned upside down.

I still remember the day vividly.  She had cheer practice, and I picked her up from it telling her I was taking her to the doctor for a check-up because she had been really tired and thirsty and I just knew deep down something was wrong.  My mom “gut” told me it was diabetes, but I honestly wanted to make the appointment just to prove to myself that it wasn’t TID and she was fine!

The words I never wanted to hear were uttered by Elizabeth’s pediatrician, “I”m sorry, she has Type 1 Diabetes.”  Those are the words I will never forget on her diagnosis day.

I LOST it in the doctor’s office.  I cried and cried and cried.  I remember Elizabeth looking at me and asking if this meant her life would be completely different.

I told her, “Yes, it would be different, but it would not slow her down or change who she was.”

I called my mom and my sister and my friends and shared the news with them.  I was heartbroken, but strong for Liz at the same time.

She was supposed to go to a friend’s party that evening to make cookies and go Christmas caroling.  Chris let her stop by for a minute and see her friends before we headed to the hospital.  That picture of her and her friends will always be one of my favorites because it shows the raw emotion of them all.  They cried right along with us.

THE FIRST DAYS

The first few days of Liz living with Type 1 Diabetes was very overwhelming.  We had to attend education classes on how to handle this new disease and how to take care of Liz.  We learned how to give shots, count carbs, how to correct her sugar if she was high, and how to administer Glucagon if she was low.  SO MUCH information!

When we got home, it was like we had a newborn baby again.  I watched every move she made and even watched her sleep!  I was so scared.

THE FIRST WEEKS

Thankfully, all of this happened during Christmas break and Chris and I were off work  and able to be with Liz.  We were able to adjust to our new lifestyle really well and learn all there was about diabetes.  I read every article I could find about TID and connected with many people that were in the same boat as us.

I’ll never forget taking her to school after Christmas break that first day and just crying and crying.  I was so sad to leave her, scared to trust other people to take care of her, and just mad at the whole situation.  My first hour class that day was so nice to me because they knew I was upset and worried about Elizabeth.  I wasn’t afraid to cry right in front of them and tell them why I was sad.

We received our Dexcom in January and that was a total game changer!  It allowed Chris and I to get a few more hours of sleep at night knowing an alarm would go off if her sugar got too low.  I am still to this day so thankful for the Dexcom.  It has caught many scary lows and highs for us.

THE FIRST THREE MONTHS

Throughout the first few months, we adapted really well to TID.  We realized it’s something that was constantly on our minds, but it didn’t change who Elizabeth was.  She was (is) still our sweet girl, she just has to take a shot every time she eats and has to watch her sugar.

Her first appointment went excellent and her A1C was down from 11.6% at diagnosis to 6.9%! Wow!  They really bragged on Elizabeth with how well she did taking care of herself.  I remember beaming with pride.

Also, during this time carb counting was easier and we were finally getting in the groove of everything.

THE PAST SIX MONTHS

We have learned that diabetes comes second, and Liz comes first.

Diabetes will not bring Liz down or stop her from doing anything she wants to do or loves.

She still leads her normal life and is an amazing girl!

We have also learned that her friends are the best! They are constantly there to help her with her diabetes.  For instance, one time a stranger was staring at Elizabeth’s Dexcom and her friend pretended that it was a “robotic” device and turned her “on” and Liz acted like a robot.  Or another time when a friend STARED a stranger down because that stranger was staring at Elizabeth giving herself a shot at Chick Fil A.  I know her friends will always have her back!  This helps managing her diabetes so much easier!

Liz has also taken more control of her diabetes and doesn’t need Chris or I to help her as much.  She carb counts everything on her own and rarely will have to ask us for help.  She gives herself her own shots and knows how to take care of her highs and lows beautifully.  She couldn’t make me any prouder!

THE FUTURE

I know diabetes will just be a “part” of Liz’s life and will not define her!  She is going to do WONDERFUL things and I can’t wait to get a front row seat to watch it.

I look forward to seeing how well Liz will be at being an advocate for people living with T1D.  She is such a great role model to others, especially those with Type 1 Diabetes.

We are hopeful in the future that Liz might want an insulin pump to help control her diabetes even better.  The pump would allow for less shots and more accuracy on giving the insulin.

I pray in Liz’s lifetime that we can turn Type 1 into Type NONE and there is a cure found.

Elizabeth Faith is a ray of sunshine and is the best girl!  I’m so proud to call her my daughter.

She is definitely stronger because of her TID.

Happy 1st Diaversary, Liz!  Being diagnosed with diabetes isn’t something to celebrate, but the hard work, preseverance, and bravery you have shown throughout this year definitely is!

You AMAZE me!

~Jen

13 thoughts on “One Year with T1D

  1. Way to make my mascara run this morning 😀. I love this girl so much and so proud of her. She handles it like a champ. Granny loves you Liz!

  2. What a year of learning for you all. Jen, I had not a clue in the world about T1D until you, so thank you so much for educating me over the past year. You all are such a strong family and always in my prayers. I loved this post and the raw emotions. Thank you for sharing your heart and your life!

  3. I am so proud of how you all have handled such a difficult diagnosis. T1 is a game changer for sure, but what joy you all radiate. I love keeping up with you all, and Liz is just so brave!

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