As many of you know, my husband, Taylor Christie, has been living with Type 1 diabetes since he was 23 years old. Every day for the past 14 years he has had to think about his blood sugar nearly every minute. When's the last time you thought about your blood sugar? Probably never...unless you also suffer from diabetes.
What you may not know is the daily effects Type 1 diabetes has on Taylor, his body, and those around him. I had no idea what diabetes was all about until I met Taylor and like all families who have a loved one with diabetes, it became my world as well.
Type 1 diabetes (formerly called insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes) results when the pancreas loses its ability to make the hormone insulin. In type 1 diabetes, the person's own immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Once those cells are destroyed, they won't ever make insulin again.
So what is it like to have diabetes? Come along for a walk in Taylor's shoes.
A day in the life of Taylor Christie: aka. Kelley's Husband, Piper's Daddy, Walker's Twin Brother, and Mandy and Barry's Son
1:22 am: Kelley wakes up in a bed of sweat and shakes Taylor. He's groggy. Is he hot? Or Is his blood sugar low?
1:25 am: Kelley finally convinces Taylor to test his blood glucose level.
1:27 am: Blood Glucose reading: 17 (normal: 80-120) (low 60-70) (dangerously low: below 60)
1:28 am: Kelley jumps out of bed in a panic running to get juice, dog follows, baby wakes up!
1:31 am: Taylor drinks juice
1:35 am: And we wait...that was a close call. When blood sugar goes to low Taylor can lose consciousness making it nearly impossible to get sugar in his system.
1:50 am: Taylor rechecks blood sugar to make sure it's going up. Blood glucose 60. Excellent! Moving in the right direction.
5:00 am: Taylor wakes up and gets ready for day. Checks blood sugar: 302. The juice. Must have drank too much. But then again who knows....there are a million factors that influence one's blood glucose level. No run this morning since feeling pretty tired from the blood glucose roller coaster.
6:00 am: Taylor eats breakfast. The same thing every morning. Cheerios and a milk. This makes it easier to know exactly how much insulin to take to account for the carbs. Taylor takes a bolus dose of insulin for the cheerios.
6:27 am: Taylor is trying to get out the door but can't find his "finger pricker" to test his sugar.
6:31 am: Taylor finds "finger pricker" and checks his lunch bag to make sure he has his omnipod insulin pump/glucose meter, test strips, and extra pods (insulin pumps), and lancets. Checks to make sure he has his work phone, personal cell phone, pager, and his new continuous glucose monitor. His backpack full of electronics are in check and he heads out the door for work.
9:15 am.: Taylor grabs his daily apple for a snack and checks his blood sugar: 92! Excellent! Takes a bolus dose of insulin for the apple he just ate.
11:42 am: Taylor feels a headache coming on. He's on a roof (for work) and needs to finish one task then will get a chance to check his blood sugar.
12:05 pm.: Taylor checks his blood sugar: 48. Taylor eats lunch: Same thing every day. Taylor takes bolus insulin dose to account for his sandwich.
4:02 pm: Getting ready to pack up for the day and get in the van on the way home.
4:03 pm: Gets paged to go on another call. Taylor eats a snack of peanuts and cashews. He's driving so will check is blood sugar when he gets to the next call.
4: 22 pm: Taylor arrives at last call and checks blood sugar: 82. Excellent
5: 45 pm: Taylor finishes work and drives home
6:05 pm: Taylor arrives home. Piper runs to greet Daddy as does the dog Trigger!
6:10 pm: Taylor changes out of work clothes, plays with Piper and Trigger while sumultaneously trying to check his blood sugar.
6:11 pm: Piper runs off with the "finger pricker".
6:12 pm: Taylor gets the finger pricker back and starts checking his sugar. Piper plays with the insulin pump/glucose meter.
6:13 pm: Taylor finally gets to check his sugar: 243! Ugh. Taylor takes a bolus dose of insulin to account for the high blood sugar. This must explain the lethargy.
6:30 pm: Taylor sits down for dinner with the family.
6:33 pm: A LOUD BUZZ NOISE!!! BEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!! OH NO! The insulin pump stopped working. Faulty pumps are always a possibility with any pump. Must change pump right away.
6: 35 pm: Taylor takes off old pump
6:41 pm: Taylor activates new pump and makes sure it is working.
6:43 pm: DINNER: Take 2! Taylor assess the meal and takes a bolus dose of insulin to account for the meal he is about to eat.
9:00 pm: Taylor prepares for bed. Check blood sugar: 98!
Every day is different, yet one thing remains the same. Everyone must always be alert and aware of low blood sugar and high blood sugar. Both and dangerous and lethal.
Every dollar donated goes towards finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.
We are so grateful for all of your support!
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