So when we left off the doctor had just told us Abbie was T1D and they were getting ready to give her the first dose of insulin dose. This was on February 21, 2017 just after Abbie’s 9th birthday. We were told a Certified Diabetes Educator would be in later that day to teach us everything we needed to know. I have always considered myself a strong person… that day I was not. I made an excuse and told Andy I needed to go check on Jamee and get her to school and I would be back later. I won’t lie… I was scared. We lived in this happy little bubble for the last 15 years of our marriage, had two beautiful children without any complications and now we have this curve ball. Could our marriage handle it? Could Abbie handle it? Could I handle it?
I got home and as I was walking through the door the phone rang. It was Andy and the endocrinologist telling me I needed to come back to the hospital as soon as I could for education. Well at this point I made up every excuse, I needed to take a shower.. I needed to get Jamee and get her to school.. I needed to be at home with the dog. I just couldn’t bear to see my daughter in the hospital again. It literally broke my heart that I couldn’t help her and take it away. Dr. R told me he understood but that I really needed to be there and that I could bring Jamee and her and Abbie could go play on the game floor while we had education. Well I broke down in tears at this point, there were no more excuses left. I remember asking him, “What did we do? What did I do to cause this to happen to my daughter?”. He very kindly said, “Julie, there is absolutely nothing you could have done to prevent or to have caused this. This is an autoimmune response and unfortunately it just happens. It has nothing to do with what she eats, how she plays, or any type of vaccines or medications she was given. It just happens and I am sorry it happened to your child, but now we need to teach you as a family how to get back to your normal.”
Normal? What was normal going to be now? I had already picked up Jamee, so I took a quick shower and took 10 minutes to quickly research Type 1 Diabetes… not sure if this helped or hurt but more on this later. We headed back to CHKD. Once there Abbie told me all about how she let the nurse check her blood sugar this time without crying but their little needle hurts and she wants a new one if she has to do this at home. I wondered if they had told her she was going to have to do insulin shots yet since her currently insulin was coming through an IV. There was a small petite woman talking to Andy who stood up and introduced herself as Nicole. She told me she would be our Certified Diabetes Educator and would be teaching us how to care for Abbie once we got home.
Over the next 4-5 hours we learned about different types of insulin (long acting and short acting), syringes, low blood sugar, high blood sugar, ketones, how to give a shot, where to give a shot, and when to give a shot. Then we learned how Abbie’s diet was going to have to change… no more juice whatsoever unless she was low (like extremely low, below 70) and no more sugary candy like sour patch kids which were Abbie’s favorite. Nicole told us that because Abbie’s blood sugar responded so well to the long acting insulin they were going to start her on that once a day in the morning. She would need to check her blood sugar at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before bed always and anytime she felt low or before strenuous activity. Nicole then showed us her new Glucose Meter and how to use it and then she introduced us to Rufus. Rufus was a JDRF teddy bear that had patches on him so that Abbie could test out the syringes on the bear before we tested them out on her first. The next morning was going to be the first run of Levemir Fast Acting Insulin before she was discharged that afternoon…