Friday, April 11, 2014

An Anniversary

As with everyone I have certain days that are etched in my mind...the day we got married, Abby's birthday, the day we finally got to bring Abby home...these are all important anniversaries that we celebrate. They mark wonderful things. They mark life changes. They should be celebrated.

Today marks another anniversary, one that is bittersweet because I can't say that it marks a wonderful life change.....but it should be celebrated none-the-less.

Today marks the first anniversary of Abby's diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Just like the other pivotal times in my life there are vivid memories of that day. I remember calling her peditricitan because I'd taken note of her excessive thirst the night before. I remember them telling me that the doctor would want to see her, as soon as possible. I remember arriving at her school and crying all over her teacher because I was so worried it could be diabetes. I remember her first finger poke. I remember the doctor telling us that there was only one thing this all could be. I remember wondering if her new diagnosis was something I had caused. In the span of a few seconds our life turned sharply, and we would have to learn to adjust.

And that's just what we've done.

Although I don't celebrate the fact that Abby has to deal with this disease, I do celebrate the grace with which she does it. Abby takes the 4 shots, and the numerous finger pokes that go along with them, as if they were nothing. She doesn't flinch or complain, in fact most times she will thank us when we are done. She has also adjusted so well to the fact that she can't have some of the treats that other kids can, or eat whenever she feels like it, like so many of us do. She even tolerates the times when I have to force her to eat something, because I know it can be dangerous if she doesn't. As I think back to those first few shots and pokes I can't believe how amazingly well she has adjusted to all of this. Her strength of spirit continues to astound me - that alone is enough to celebrate.

I also celebrate the job Jason and I have done managing all that goes into having a child with type 1 diabetes. The number of calculations we've done this year blows my mind. I've lost count of the times I've figured up carb counts, carb to insulin ratios, and dosages. I've learned the signs of Abby's highs and lows, and how to treat both. In essence we have learned to become Abby's pancreas - and I'm proud of us.

I celebrate the army of doctors and caregivers that have supported us along the way. From her diabetes doctor who invited us to call him at home whenever we had a question, to the nurses at the diabetes center who had the patience with my near daily calls in the beginning. I celebrate the teachers, secretary, and principal at Abby's school who so fearlessly learned how to check her sugar and give her shots each day before lunch, and who keep an eagle on her to make sure she is right on target with her diet and activity. I can honestly say that we would not have had such a successful year without them. They are to be applauded.

Finally, I celebrate the fact that no matter how draining, tiring, and inconvenient diabetes is, it is manageable. Each day Abby has the medicine she needs to live a healthy and happy life. I can't be more thankful for that.

I look forward to a time when a cure will be found, but until then we will celebrate each victory along the way.

So, happy anniversary, Abby. We made it through our first year, kiddo, and I'm more in awe of you than ever.

There isn't much that slows this kid down!

What lessons can I learn from Abby? First, not to dwell on the negative. Even when she isn't feeling great she can find something to smile about - even if it's just a bowl of ice cream.