Holy moly, it has been 2 years. The day we sat at Children’s hospital, with the RN dressed as a teenage mutant ninja turtle and the chief resident dressed as a ballerina. The day I was losing my shit, being a horrible parent of a patient (and definelly didn’t look like an experienced RN), as I was sitting in the corner of that ER room and just could not stop crying. The day we were waiting to see if the blood tests would show that she was in DKA, luckily they came back that she was not. We already knew the diagnosis, type one diabetes, a chronic disease with no cure. That day seems so far away.
I asked Frankie today if she remembers anything before she had type one, her response “Nope, I don’t remember before diabetes.” and she went on playing. Her response made me cry and I was shocked the tears came on so quickly. I don’t expect that most kids remember things from before they were 2 years old, but it made me a little sad that she won’t have any memories without having a chronic disease. But maybe, just maybe it makes this whole thing a little easier. I mean, type one is just a part of who she is, it’s just life as she knows it. She’ll grow up, wearing her pancreas in a pouch, checking blood sugars, and carrying snacks — it will be her normal and all she will ever know. She’ll grow up teaching people about type one diabetes and hopefully helping break the stigma. She’ll grow up volunteering at events, standing up for what she believes in and surrounded by a strong community. All of these are things that I feel are essential in raising a well rounded, socially conscious member of society; a broken pancreas, just pushed these onto Frankie a little sooner in life, maybe her body knew she could handle all of this like a rock star from a young age.
And she sure is handling this like a rock star. We couldn’t ask for a better kid. She’s kind, smart, and empathetic. She goes with the flow. She walks on stage and smiles, gives high fives, and says thank you to generous donors at events. Raising money is as important as raising awareness when it comes to diseases to which there is no cure. Money for research for better technology, money to help those who are less fortunate, and money for research for a cure (although I don’t hold my breath for that last one, it’s the biggest pessimistic view I hold). But when I look at pictures of her fingers today, I’m reminded of how far technology has come in 2 years. We now use the Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor, it is inserted every 10 days and requires zero finger sticks — ZERO, how awesome is that?!? When Frankie was diagnosed we were poking fingers at least 8 times a day and now we poke zero. Her fingers thank us (most days), although she rarely gets to “vampire” blood now, much to her dismay. If the technology has improved this much in 2 years, I can’t wait to see what the future holds. We are hopefully looking to the future and what it holds for our diabadass. Here’s to 2 years down and her entire future ahead.