For as long as we can remember our McKinley Grace was as healthy as could be. We had a pretty scary pregnancy with her, where both McKinley and I were monitored by Maternal Fetal Medicine until delivery. However , the only known medical condition we were aware of was unilateral congenital ptsosis; where her eyelid muscle causes her right eyelid to droop/partially block a portion of her pupil.
A fews months before her diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes, we started to see a decrease in overall appetite. She would constantly drink milk, and rarely had hunger for actual food. It’s something we brought up to the pediatrician but it was hard to determine if there was an underlying cause or if this was your typical “picky” toddler phase. She was growing, and getting taller, but I started to notice significant weight loss. We were at a hockey tournament out of town when other symptoms like chapped lips, excessive thirst, and frequent urination came into play. McKinley couldn’t physically make it 30 minutes without using the restroom This was not normal behavior for her, and an incredible friend spoke the words that may have saved her from DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis), “Is she a diabetic?” Those words played in my head over and over until the next day when I remembered I had an old glucose monitor from my pregnancy with Landon. I did a quick finger poke and the number was 523. For reference, a normal fasting blood glucose number is usually between 80 and 150; depending on the individual. Another friend in the medical field encouraged us to take McKinley to the hospital immediately, where she was admitted and officially diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
The next 3 days were a blur. My favorite saying I heard from a fellow diabetic caregiver was, “It feels like you’re drinking from a firehose.” While we were absorbing everything we were told/taught, I was filled with an immense amount of guilt and sadness. She was scared, we were scared, but we were (and are) determined to do everything in our power to help her battle this life-altering disease.
JDRF is a nonprofit organization that funds research for Type 1 Diabetes. This organization brings together individuals of all ages and advocates for their medical needs and advances in technology needed to hopefully one day find a cure for this disease. Our team, B1G & BRAVE, will be walking to end Type 1 Diabetes.