Personal Update \\ Our New Life
What started out as a quick urgent care visit for what we thought was an infection ended up turning our whole world upside down. If our lives were a movie this is the part where the storm clouds roll in and start torrentially down pouring.
The urgent care doctor came in and explained to me that we need to get Maeley down to Seattle Children’s to avoid her situation becoming dangerous. We need to go now? Yes, now. And we would be staying a few days. I knew the answer but I still asked, are you certain this is what the is? There is no mistake. No matter what I did I couldn’t hold the tears back. My eyes stung with anger and fear. 519, keytones, ketoacidosis, insulin, finger pricks, hospital admission ….. My head was spinning. I tried my best to retain all the information being thrown at me, but all I could think was please God not my baby girl.
Phone calls to our parents, figuring out where Cayson would stay the night, and driving down to Children’s. The next hour flew by in what seemed like 2 minutes.
We had spent all day driving home from Long Beach, Washington where we had spent an amazing weekend and Maeley was exhausted and hungry. My heart ached as I told her we can’t eat yet knowing that it may actually be hours before she could eat. Please God not our baby, please let this be a mistake.
As we walked into a waiting room full of sick children I could feel the knot in my stomach growing. It took everything in me to not turn and run with my sweet girl in my arms. I’m a runner you see, whenever things are difficult I want almost immediate resolution and if there isn’t I run at full speed. I couldn’t run from this. The nurses were expecting us and rushed us back into a room and while that made us feel like our daughter was a priority and well taken care of, there was also an icky, heavy feeling attached to it. After a second round of tests it was confirmed.
Type 1 Diabetes.
And then the waves of information began. One after the other, the waves didn’t stop. The tight chest, desperation for air, and all the salty tears made the drowning sensation seem very real. But we had to be strong for our little princess who had no understanding of what was going on.
That first night was so hard. She screamed and begged us to not let them give her the insulin injection. We held her and told her we had to do this and that it would all be ok. After being moved to a room in the endocrinology wing, she was finally able to eat and along with that came what would be our routine from then on out. Counting carbs, testing blood sugars and calculating her insulin dose. I was both intrigued and repulsed at the same time. I wanted to know everything about how to take care of Maeley but my heart ached in a way it never has before.
Maeley finally fell asleep and so did we. An hour later during routine vitals Maeley looked at me with the saddest eyes and said you promised no shots mommy and immediately dozed off. Again came those hot, stinging tears. I had promised her that. On the way to the urgent care having made the assumption that a round of antibiotics would fix all the symptoms she had been showing, I answered her typical will I have to get shots question with what I thought to be truth. Sleep didn’t happen for me after that.
Morning came and education started on how to manage Maeley’s diabetes. It seemed complicated and simple at the same time. The calculations and corrections made sense but the application of this to our day to day life came with immense stress and uncertainty. “It’s a lot” is what we kept saying. The fastest, most jam-packed education course we have ever gone through. By lunchtime on Day 1 we were in charge of her blood sugar checks, by the afternoon we were calculating and administering her insulin.
Dinner time rolled around and we couldn’t avoid Maeley’s questions anymore. We explained to her that she had Type 1 Diabetes and what that entailed. She cried and asked why and after more explanations it all seemed to click and it all went uphill from there. It was magical getting to experience her strength and determination. Every round of insulin her disposition improved, from less tears and screaming to no tears to no screaming. She started saying I have Type 1 Diabetes and wanting to learn about her how her body works. Our hearts swelled with pride and admiration.
The next day was filled with more education and then we were sent home with what felt like way too many supplies and not enough knowledge. And while our first few days at home were difficult, they were also extremely successful. Maeley’s disposition continues to improve, Cayson is eager to comfort his sister and learn all about her diabetes and we are getting more and more comfortable with our responsibilities as Maeley’s caretakers and advocates. We all feel confident that our family can not only handle this diagnosis but will thrive because of it.
The last few weeks have brought us closer and have shown us how incredibly blessed we are by all the amazing people that God has placed around us. Our closest family and friends have cried with us, helped pick us up and are so eager to learn along with us. There are not enough words to describe the gratitude we feel already for the love and support we have received.
With the decision to share Maeley’s diagnosis publicly, as a family we ask just a few things. First and foremost, we ask that Maeley be treated no different than she was before her diagnosis. As a family we are moving forward with life simply adding to our daily routine not taking away anything from it. She can run and play and live life exactly as before, the only exception is she needs special princess juice (insulin) to have enough energy to do so. We hope for her to continue feeling the freedom of childhood and all of the magic it entails.
Secondly, please ask us anything. No question is too silly of a question. We are happy to answer to the best of our ability and hope to pass the torch on to whoever is interested so that Maeley’s support group is everything she could ever ask for.
And lastly, while we are happy to chat and know we will have many people reaching out to us after reading this, we ask for patience and grace as this is all still very overwhelming at times. Our priorities are focused on our family during this transition and we may be slow to answer texts and calls at times, but we will get back to everyone. We thank you all in advance for the love you have for Maeley and our family.
God has more in store for you than you can even imagine. – Ephesians 3:20