Monday, October 31, 2011

Celebrating Six Years....

Today marks the 6th anniversary of the day Charlotte was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Yep, that's right...she was diagnosed on Halloween!

Charlotte just a few days after her diagnosis
November 5, 2005
Thinking back to that day I realize the emotions and harsh reality of the news hit me all at once as I sat there in the pediatrician's office, just me and Charlotte, watching the blood sugar number pop up on the meter...little did I know at the time that it would be the first of many (over 17,000 for her now...but whose counting). The number that flashed on the screen was over 460mg/dl. I honestly can't recall exactly what it was...I think I just mentally blocked it out as some sort of defense mechanism...but I immediately knew what it meant without anyone needing to say a word. I remember feeling overwhelmed as I sat there in that little room calling my husband to let him know that we were being sent to the hospital and asking him to meet us at home so that we could grab a few things first and drive together. And I remember trying to keep it together as I called our family, my supervisor at work, and Charlotte's daycare to let them know what was going on. After that it's all pretty fuzzy except for a few details.

Fortunately, we had some much needed comic relief on our way to the hospital...although I'm not sure it was as funny then as it is now. To this day I still laugh when I think that somehow we knew we were headed to the hospital across town and had a vague idea of where we were going (and directions from the ped), but actually drove right past our interstate exit and into the next state over (just a few extra miles) before realizing we were "lost".

Once we got there we were registered and brought straight to our room. I remember how sweet our nurse was when she came in and brought a cute little pumpkin lantern for Charlotte's bedside table. That Halloween night was supposed to have been a big deal for Charlotte. I had made her little witch costume (it was oh-so cute) and it was going to be her 1st time trick-or-treating. So, as minute a detail it may have seemed to the nursing staff, that little lantern meant a lot to was like giving us a little bit of our special Halloween back!

Within a short time after being admitted, we met our endo (whom we adore) and began the whirlwind education that all newly diagnosed families receive. Over the next few days we learned to carb count, how to calculate and draw up insulin, check a blood sugar, and give our tiny little girl her shots. Once we demonstrated that "we had it figured out" and Charlotte was stable, we were released home...I'd be lying if I said I felt ready to do it all on our own. I remember wondering how we were going to manage to keep our precious girl alive (let alone healthy)! I won't isn't easy. And I agree with doesn't get just get better. There have definitely been bumps in the road along the way...and we've had our fair share of diabetes bloopers. But we have gotten better and we've made it through these past 6 years relatively unscathed.

So  tonite we're going to celebrate! Charlotte will dress up in costume (as a witch, nonetheless) and we will go trick-or-treating! And for those that may be wondering....yes, she can do fact, she'll even eat a couple of pieces of her loot when she gets home - we'll just have to check her sugar before, count the carbs and give her some insulin if needed. We're going to do that not just because it's Halloween...but to celebrate another year that we've made it through and Charlotte has lived to the fullest despite diabetes!