Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Today is Brooke's diaversary.  Four years ago today we were told that Brooke has Type 1 Diabetes, and that our lives, and especially Brooke's life, would never be the same.

She blows me away with her willingness to deal with it all.  She's a rock star.  The tantrums and bits of sadness are few and far between.  She just rolls with it.  She's one of my heroes.

Brooke was diagnosed pretty early, before she got too awfully sick.  Don't get me wrong, she was still very sick.  But because we caught it early, she was able to avoid some of the scariest, most debilitating parts.

Read the list of symptoms below.  Really look at them.  Be familiar with them.  File them away.  I'm convinced that somewhere in the back of my head I knew most of these symptoms added up to Type 1 Diabetes.  I believe us realizing what was going on was the first step to an early, accurate diagnosis.

It was the first step to getting help.  It was the first step to Brooke feeling better.

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Drowsiness and lethargy
  • Sugar in urine
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Increased appetite
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath
  • Heavy, labored breathing
  • Stupor or unconsciousness

Call your doctor immediately if one or more of these symptoms occurs in you or your loved one. It is extremely important to receive medical attention—misdiagnosis or leaving your condition untreated can have tragic consequences, including death.    Source: JDRF

Today, I'm reposting what I wrote 4 years ago.  It tells the story of how Brooke was diagnosed. 

**Repost from Feb 18, 2011**

Well, hello insulin.

Remember when all the kids had the flu a few weeks ago? Remember how I declared Tamiflu dead to me because Brooke was so sick with it? Well, turns out, maybe it wasn't the Tamiflu.

It had been three weeks and Brooke still wasn't over the flu. She wasn't back to herself. She had no energy. The little Brooke spark was gone from her eyes.

Then we started noticing that she was drinking. Alot. And going to the bathroom. Alot.

And the emotional roller coaster was getting a little rough. One minute fine...the next minute snipping...the next minute fighting with her sister over nothing...the next minute...sobbing.

Her appetite was crazy. This, the child I felt lucky to get 2 good meals in her tummy, was eating me out of house and home. She was finishing her lunch and if I happened to be subbing that day, digging in to my lunch.

And then the headaches started. Severe. Making her feel so awful she didn't want to participate. Even if it was fun. And the vomit came with the headaches.

And even though her appetite rivaled her 11 year old brother's, she was loosing weight. Her clothes were hanging on her.

Wednesday night at church she had another sudden headache with vomiting. I had an appointment to see the doctor next week, but decided that since the headache was so bad, she needed to go in the next day. I had to work, but Honey was in town, so he was going to take her. He wanted a list of symptoms from me to make sure he didn't forget anything. I sat down Thursday morning to write down everything I'd noticed.

When I saw it all in writing, I knew what the doctor would tell us.

I cancelled my day and headed to the doctor at 9:15am. It didn't take long for them to tell us that she had Type 1 Diabetes and refer us to an endocrinologist. (Which, by the way, I spelled that without using spell check.) We were sent straight to the hospital and Brooke was admitted immediately.

It's been 36 hours since her diagnosis. 36 hours makes a huge difference. Her lab numbers are back to where they need to be. Her blood sugar is being tweaked and managed. The color in her cheeks is normal. Her body is being re hydrated. The Brooke spark is back in her eyes.
Honey and I know more than we ever wanted to know about insulin and pancreases and carbs. And we still have a lot to learn.
But for now we'll just take it one finger prick at a time.

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