I’m finally feeling ready to break my silence over the past month.
On June 25th, 2021 at 3:45pm, our entire world was flipped upside down. We took the kids to the pediatrician for ear infections. They had been sick with colds and it turned into ear infections for both.
The pediatrician noticed Catalina had lost 3 lbs since last month. That was a major red flag being that she’s 4. The dr recommended testing her glucose just as a precaution. I thought she was crazy and didn’t think anything of it.
The glucose reading was so high that the meter couldn’t even register the number. I felt dizzy. Everything got muffled. I felt sick.
They tested her urine to double check. It was also showing high blood sugar.
We were immediately sent to CHKD for further testing.
Our 4 year old little girl was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
I felt so heartbroken, guilty, scared, angry, crushed, sad, mad, shocked, and numb all at once. Literally every emotion you can think of.
HOW???? My girl has always been healthy.
It just happens. That’s how. T1D just happens. I pleaded with God to give it all to me and to take it away from her.
At the same time, I’m SO grateful for the pediatrician b/c she saved her life. If not caught in time, she could’ve ended up in a coma, seizures, weeks in the ICU, or worse…Those first nights in the hospital were awful. I’d have to walk out and cry after the injections at the way she would scream. It took 4 of us…sometimes 5 to inject her insulin or prick her tiny fingers.
They spent 3 days teaching us how to take care of our daughter. How to use insulin to keep her alive. We were zombies…just doing what we had to in the moment. Living in literal survival mode.
We were sent home expected to know what to do while also dealing with our own shock and heartbreak…and hers.
We didn’t sleep or eat that first week. It was a living hell. Our little girl who’s personality is larger than life was angry, sad, and confused. Rightfully so.
She laid in my arms multiple nights crying and asking “Mami, why do I have to have diabetes?? Why did this happen to me?” Something, I just can’t answer or fix.
Frank had to take FMLA bc it took both of us to do her minimum of 4 insulin injections a day…plus 4 to 6 blood sugar finger pokes.
Fast forward to today. The first week was hell but we got her back to school one day. We did little goals like a Target run in between shots. Then, dinner at the mall the next. We will be damned if this diagnosis holds our girl back.
The next week, she was at school full-time. I was finally doing all her shots and pokes by myself without her crying or freaking out. That was huge b/c Frank needed to get back to work and couldn’t until I could do them alone at dinner and bedtime when he’s gone.
The third week, she was at Frozen dance camp and by the end of the week, we were flying to TX for my cuñada’s wedding where she was the flower girl. She was the best flower girl and danced the night away afterwards. Flying for the first time since Covid was terrifying enough. Traveling with an infant is challenging AF. Throwing T1D in the mix took A LOT of planning and prepping but we did it and we learned a lot.
We went from heartbreak and hell to this girl laughing and showing everyone her insulin shots. Taking injections in the airport, the car, the wedding reception…this girl is a freakin’ warrior!!!!
There are still ups and downs and by no means is this easy. T1D is a 24/7 chase of numbers from the highs to the lows. Yesterday went great and then last night we had an extreme high and had to call the emergency Endo on-call. It’s a constant roller coaster in more ways than one.
It doesn’t go away. It doesn’t “get better” with food and exercise. You can’t medicate it away. It’s nothing in comparison to your parents Type 2 Diabetes. This is for life. We are now her parents and her pancreas.
This girl is my inspiration and is a real-life super hero. She is helping do all her finger pokes and helps me get her insulin ready with NO tears, no screaming, no hiding, and no freak-outs.
We are currently testing out a tubeless insulin pump and getting a CGM (continuous glucose monitor that goes on her body) any day now.
What I know for sure is that T1D will NOT hold Catalina back and it will not control our lives. We will control it. We will manage it. We will do whatever we have to do. She is going to inspire so many other kids and show them that they don’t have to be scared and that they can do anything they want. There’s a lot of amazing people with T1D and I constantly surround her with those stories. T1D just adds a few more steps to our routine but we are here to kick its ass!!!
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