We are a family of Four.
Myself, my husband and our two beautiful daughters, Anna who is 16 and Ellie, 13. If you include our German Shepherd, Oliver as well as our Swiss Shepherd, Archie that makes us a family of six.
Life seemed to be relatively smooth and normal for most of 2017. It was the start of Term 4 for my children’s schooling and my oldest daughter Anna just couldn’t seem to get back into the groove of school. She was having trouble sleeping and was tired all the time. She was very emotional, constantly thirsty and waking during the night to go to the bathroom. She had lost weight despite an increase in appetite and I thought to myself, growth spurt and hormones, that must be it!
So, as every mother would do, I changed her diet and tried to have a set bedtime routine and this seemed to work for a short time. After a few more days, Anna returned to being very tired and very emotional so decided a visit to the doctor was in order, perhaps there was a vitamin that may help.
The appointment was at 4.30pm on Monday 23rd October 2017. A day and time I will never forget.
After some talking and a urine test, it wasn’t until our doctor advised she needed to finger prick Anna that something felt off. Through fear and sobs of tears we managed to get blood from Anna’s finger and when the strip was put it into the meter, her level was so high the meter didn’t register. I knew by the look on the doctors face that this was serious and I was told we needed to go to hospital immediately. I remained calm on the outside for the children but internally my mind was racing at a million miles per hour. I was told Anna may have Type 1 Diabetes but I didn’t know what this meant or what it involved.
The doctor called through to the hospital and when we arrived, Anna’s bloods were tested again almost straight away. Having no idea as to the importance of these numbers at the time, Anna’s BGL was 28 and she had ketones of 5. Our seemingly just tired and emotional teenager was in DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis).
Anna was admitted to emergency at 5.45pm that same afternoon and within 20 minutes, there was a swarm of nurses and doctors around her bed and a canula was inserted administering the life saving insulin she needed. It all happened so fast and we were in shock. It was hard to comprehend that just hours earlier our life was just like any other day and now we were sitting in emergency with doctors and nurses constantly coming in and discussing Insulin, potassium, levels, bloods etc.
I think I had 3 hours broken sleep, at most that night. I laid awake in the fold out chair beside my daughter just staring at her and wondering what this meant for her and her future. I had so many questions about Type 1 that the emergency paediatric doctor on duty that night referred me to a document produced by the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and I am pretty sure I read every single word of that document and then went back and read it again.
My thirst for knowledge and information on Type 1 Diabetes was immediate. I needed to know all I could about this condition, not only for myself, but also for my husband, youngest daughter and extended family. We all needed to understand what this meant for us.
I felt as though the more I knew about what was happening to Anna, the more I could help her.
And so our journey begins.
My daughters diagnosis ignited a passion for an intimate knowledge of T1D. A passion to share and provide others with information and knowledge of T1D.
As a community, the more we know about Type 1 Diabetes and the more this information is accessible and is easily available for those diagnosed and their families, the more we can all feel empowered to manage this diagnosis.
“Knowledge is Power” – Francis Bacon