Our daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 9. The medical staff was reassuring. She was a trooper. She checked her numbers.
We had our share of difficult times dealing with teachers who thought she was on drugs when her numbers dropped to 35; listening to well-meaning friends who judged us for serving birthday cake; managing our fears when she went to a sleepover; or learning she conned her brother into giving blood when she knew her number was high. There were also great times. We still went skiing, and camping. She represented our state at JDRF’s Children’s Congress in Washington, DC. She joined the track team and cheerleading squad. We were living our life with Diabetes one day at a time. We thought we were doing okay.
We got complacent. Her AIC’s were high – double digits. About age 23 things fell apart. She had neuropathy, retinopathy, arthritis, and severe depression. She cried when she needed to walk more than a hundred feet. Her balance was terrible. She was briefly legally blind. She had many eye injections, laser treatments and two surgeries. She did PT twice a week, including light therapy on her feet. Her friends disappeared. I cried every day. I read blogs for some glimmer of hope and found little. This took a severe toll on my marriage and although we had insurance, was difficult financially.
Today, she is 29. Her eyesight is 20:25, although she’s lost some peripheral vision. Her feet have healed and she enjoys hiking – sometimes she’ll even put on her pretty heels. Her arthritis is controlled. She got married last year. Her A1C is below 6. I’m so proud of her.
No one knows what the future will hold. Diabetes still sucks. I wanted to share my daughter’s story and hope it helps someone going through complications of life with diabetes. Hang in there.