Nearly two years. Now, more than half her life. Every day. Forever.
Sitting in the standard metal hospital chair, I looked over at Isabella. Everything seemed the same … just the crib swapped out for a rolling bed. Hadn’t we just been here? Didn’t we just experience the exact same blood-drawing, IV-inserting, stabilizing-levels process?
Hadn’t we just watched helplessly as tears streamed down her face … her little tourniquet-wrapped arm outstretched and reaching for us as blood trickled into multiple vials for testing? Weren’t we just told that our daughter was very sick … and how lucky she was that we’d brought her to the ER in time?
So many times since Isabella’s diagnosis, we’ve heard stories from friends and strangers about the many complications that can come along with Type 1 diabetes. And so many times we’ve talked about how lucky we must be that Isa is almost two years post-diagnosis without complications. Didn’t we deserve some “Understudy Pancreas of the Year” award? We were like the Mr. Miyagi of diabetes management … mastering it left and right. I mean, if we did everything right it just makes sense that we’d have smooth sailing …what could possibly go wrong that we couldn’t predict?
Actually, everything. That’s the thing about this disease: it’s unpredictable. No matter how many devices we use to manage/track/dose, there will always be that unknown.
Isabella was admitted to the hospital in December with Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) after blood tests in the ER revealed she had large amounts of ketones in her bloodstream. If left untreated, the amount of toxins in the blood can result in a coma and can be fatal. The cause of DKA varies and, as was the case with Isa, it can develop rapidly.
After 2 days in the hospital Isabella was back to her old self. But we aren’t. Because now we know. We know T1D doesn’t play favorites. There are no “lucky ones.” This is a disease that leads the body to attack itself. ITSELF. It is unpredictable and it is dangerous. And for Isabella, it’s her life. For now.
“First learn stand, then learn fly”… Wise man, that Mr. Miyagi.