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My Daughter's Diabetes

     This post has been a long time in the making.  I hate to try and fit Type 1 Diabetes in a box, because each person has their own journey, symptoms, and feelings about it.  It has been over a year now, and I feel compelled to speak out about what I have learned while dealing with my 8 year old daughter's type 1 diabetes. 
Mackenzie just before diagnosis.  She was way too skinny.
     At first diagnosis I was shocked and knew nothing about this condition.  Notice I say condition, not disease.  I feel Type 1 is a way of life now, not a death sentence.  A year ago my daughter was waisting away, she lost so much weight, was severely dehydrated, and almost slipped into a coma.  Her blood sugar upon admittance to the hospital was over 600, the meter couldn't read past that number.  She was in the hospital for 3 days, and we were discharged on Christmas Eve. 
Mackenzie in the hospital on Christmas Eve.
     We went home with a promise of going to Children's Hospital to learn how to deal with this condition. Three days on our own (because of the Christmas holiday) would have completely wrecked us.  A family  who has a type 1 diabetic son came along side us the day after we got home from the hospital, and walked us through everything, and I mean EVERYTHING.  This family saved my life, their support, understanding, and knowledge was the game changer.
Glucose monitor, lancer, syringes, insulin, and test strips.
       My husband and I read books, talked to doctors, and friends who also have type 1.  It was overwhelming, but manageable.  We went through a total life change.  We decided to go gluten free after following some research that made some great points about gluten sensitivities and type 1.
     Carb counting consumes my life, meals and food preparation are half of my day.  Looking back over this past year I can see how much I have learned.   When I bake I have to measure out ingredients by the gram and then calculate how many carbs are in that measurement.  I have found that packages aren't necessarily true in their carb counts/serving sizes.  Math isn't my strong point, and that is even an understatement.  I have a loving relationship with my calculator, and am getting better at math. 
Weighing out ingredients by the gram.
      As I look back at what I have learned the most this past year, I would have to say....... the relationship of food and insulin needs has taught me the most.  For my daughter potatoes send her on an elevator to super high blood sugar numbers.  Beans send her on a roller coaster of lows then highs three to four hours later.  Any meal that consists mostly of fat will send her into the high numbers three hours later when her short acting insulin has timed out.  I have learned to balance out certain foods, avoid others, and plan for patterns. Whenever a new food is introduced I have to watch her like a hawk.  Who knows how her body will react.

      I have gotten a lot of eye rolls, and concern over how we manage Mackenzie.  Some may feel that we are too obsessed with management. It is a huge task to maintain an average blood sugar of 120-150, and I see excellent health in her future because of our diligence.  Mackenzie is very involved in the process, and takes a lot of the blood sugar testing on herself. She doesn't want to take it all on, she wants to be a carefree kid a little longer, and I respect that. This is all consuming for our family, but what health concern isn't?   We continue to pray for advancement in the cure, and new management tools for Type 1 Diabetes.  Who knows God could bless us with a healing, miracles still happen!

Psalms 31: 24  Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart,  all you who hope in the Lord. 


  1. What a great post....and ended with such a great picture of MacKenzie looking healthy, peaceful, happy. Your journey has been a blessing to those around you as well....especially me. I've learned, and continue to learn so much from all of you as you traverse this with her. God's blessing to all your hearts and to this ongoing journey.

  2. Yea! I am so glad to read this! The first year is the hardest and you are doing soooo well. I love April and I love that she is a part if your story! Alison

  3. Awesome! Thanks for sharing! I'd love to get your daughter together with mine. We're not amazing bloggers like you but we'd like to add to ours soon:

    You're not alone and I'm finding that this Type 1 world is an amazing community!

    I love remembering that well-controlled Diabetes is the leading cause of NOTHING!

    Hugs and healthy BGs to you! Elaine (and Gwyneth, age 10!)

  4. Larianne, your blog is amazing, but then again, so are you. Here is where I will make my attempt to tell others as well....

    As I type this I think of so many others I share community with in Diabetes and they are no less special. I think of Alison as she has fought insurance companies and schools to ensure that her son thrives. Amazing doesn't befit either of you, but I will attempt to sing your praises at least once here.

    Larianne, you looked at the condition and took it head on with incredible strength. Your resilient spirit is displayed in Mackenzie. I can see her eyes shine in each photo.

    This condition has challenged you 1)emotionally, wondering what the future holds for your precious daughter, 2) physically, getting up night after night checking blood sugars, making countless meals that all have to be "counted", making food from scratch, homeschooling and taking care of your family 3) spiritually, choosing to believe in the goodness of God in the midst of this life challenge. You have displayed time and time again that God is worthy to be trusted and rejoiced in despite your circumstance.

    You are a fighter, Larianne. Your are my hero in so many ways. That is why you, my friend, are Batman, and I will be Robin, riding along in your sidecar fighting off the "bad guys-bad blood sugars" with you. I love you more than words can say. You have done an amazing job this past year. Well done, my sweet, wonderful friend.


  5. By the way... Ethan was in the exact same bed as Mackenzie in that same hospital. I know that window above the bed. There is only one like it in the Pediatric ward. - April

    But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Is. 43:1-3

  6. Crying! Aweeee

  7. Bolus. Corrections. Blood Sugars. Oh My.
    T1D is horrible, but after Daughters diagnosis 3 years ago we are finally in a routine. Now I wouldn't say it took that long, but adjusting to sleep deprivation, not so stressed when ketones are traced, and can even do sleepovers again. How they manage and adjust is amazing.

    Keep blogging and plugging along - You are doing great Mom & it's good to hear that from time to time :)

    My daughter too is 8:)

  8. Wow, great to hear your story Linda. I checked out your blog, nice!

    It is amazing the connection we can have to people over this dismal diagnosis.