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“But I’m not sick.”
September 20, 2013 by 2 Comments
This evening while we were putting her to bed, Isabella asked why we were going running with her Aunt Shelly tomorrow morning. We told her that we were running a 5K in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to support her grandmother who has been battling breast cancer for the past 9 months. We told her in simple, but clear and direct, terms that grandma had breast cancer and had been sick, but is much better now. We then said that we were going to do a walk for her next weekend. Isabella was listening very closely…then seemed a bit concerned and said matter-of-factly, “Mommy, but I’m not sick.”
While Isabella does not look sick and certainly doesn’t act sick most days…she is literally fighting for her life, every minute of every day. While she looks and acts like a perfectly healthy three year old little girl, the reality is that Isabella needs precise amounts of insulin to survive since her body does not produce any of its own. If she eats too many carbs or doesn’t get enough insulin she could go into a coma. If she doesn’t eat enough carbs or has too much insulin her blood sugar could drop to life-threatening levels. Every day is a constant battle for her life.
At her age, Isabella doesn’t fully understand the severity of her type 1 diabetes and for now the responsibility of managing her disease falls fully on us. We often go to bed wondering if tonight is the night that we will find her unconscious and have to quickly inject her with life-saving medicine and then rush her to the ER (fortunately, we have not experienced this yet…but it is far too common for parents of small children with T1D). We check her blood most nights at 3AM (one of ~10 finger pricks each day) to ensure her glucose hasn’t plummeted or skyrocketed to dangerous levels. We can’t remember the last conversation that we had between us in which we did not talk about glucose levels, carb counts, or insulin bolus amounts.
We are in awe of how Isabella handles everything. In the past 12 months she has gone through more than any child her age should have to experience. Her strength amazes us. Isabella truly inspires us each and every day. And it pains us to think that our little girl will have to live with this disease for the rest of her life. This is why we do what we can do to raise awareness and raise funds towards research and ultimately a cure for type 1 diabetes. But we can’t do it alone….we need your help!
Thank you SO much to those of you who have already donated to support team Inspired by Isabella in the upcoming JDRF Northeast Ohio Walk to Cure Diabetes! With your help, we have raised nearly $5,500 for this year’s walk (bringing our total fundraising since Isabella’s diagnosis to over $15,000!)! BUT…we are still short of our $7,000 fundraising goal for this year!