Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Diabetes Journey - Part 4

Okay, I'm moving forward in our story. A year, almost to the day, that she was diagnosed, we switched Nikki from N & H insulins to Insulin Pump Therapy. It was the best thing we could have done. The pump has given Nikki the ability to live a much more "normal" life. She can eat pretty much whatever she wants, whenever and we now have a better ability to try and keep her blood sugar levels stable.

We tease Nikki and tell her that she has super powers because when we tell her how much insulin to program into her pump, she does - then reads that number back to us - to confirm we are all saying the same thing, then our reply is "ACTIVATE", which means activate the pump so it starts delivering the insulin. Nikki has been so great at educating the kids in her school that none of them pay much attention to the fact that Nikki has diabetes, however; whenever I stick my head in her classroom (I am a teacher in her school) and we go through the routine of inputting numbers, the entire class will now shout "ACTIVATE" before I can.

Another of the biggest blessings we have received through our diabetes journey is the friendship of the Hawkins family. I was the cheerleading director and a coach for our community's Upward Basketball and Cheerleading League for several years. Through this ministry a new family joined my squad (which was also the squad NIkki cheered on). Turns out that the 'new' cheerleader was not only the exact same age as Nikki, but she also has Type 1 Diabetes and wears an insulin pump. This by itself isn't really enough to make 2 young girls fast friends, but the fact that they are a lot of like made that very thing happen. Now they both have someone nearby to lean on when they begin to suffer from "Diabetes Burn Out". M is a sweetie and last year the two girls attended Camp Korelitz together. This is a camp only for children with diabetes. For 7 days each year, M and Nikki are just like everyone else. Diabetes can be a very lonely disease, especially for young ones. No matter how great your friends and family are, they simply cannot completely understand what you (the diabetic) is actually going through. Camp Korelitz provides an opportunity for these kids to see that they are truly truly not alone in this battle and for a week each year going low, going high, checking blood sugars, getting shots, and all the other stuff that goes into daily life with diabetes does not draw stares and questions from people around them. It is completely normal, everyone does it.

All for now,