I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes seven years ago. I stayed in the hospital's ICU for a week as my body recovered from diabetic ketoacidosis and I learned how my life would change. The first question I tearfully asked my new doctor: Will I be able to have children? I was devastated to think that having a family may no longer be a possibility for Mike and me. He acknowledged that a diabetic pregnancy could be risky, but with proper monitoring and diligent control I could one day have a child.
Seven years later, I am the proud and happy mommy to three spunky and smart girls – Claire is 5 years old, Maggie is 3, and Catherine just turned 1! My doctor was right when he told me how much work it would be to take proper care of myself. I check my blood sugar by pricking my finger 6-8 times a day and I readjust my insulin levels accordingly. I wear an insulin pump, which utilizes a tiny tube that is inserted under my skin to deliver insulin. I must be very mindful of the food I eat; I count carbs carefully and use a formula to match my insulin to the carbs I eat. Calculating incorrectly could result in blood sugar that is too high (contributing to long-term complications such as nerve damage, kidney failure, and heart disease) or too low (which can result immediately in seizures, coma, and even death). I must always be ready to treat high or low blood sugars. As a mother of three small children, I am very vigilant about monitoring and maintaining my blood sugars. I know that there is little room for error when it comes to taking care of myself and my daughters - they are depending on me!
Many people mistakenly believe that insulin is a cure for type 1 diabetes, but it is merely a treatment. In the past seven years, I estimate that I have pricked my finger for glucose checks over 20,000 times and have changed my insulin infusion site (which is essentially giving yourself an injection) approximately 1,500 times! I am very thankful for these treatments, without which I would not be able to live, but like the other 24 million Americans living with this disease I am ready for a REAL CURE!
My goal this year is to raise $4,000 for JDRF towards finding a cure for diabetes. Please help me reach this goal and make a tax-deductible donation today and remember to check with your employer about matching donations to non-profit organizations.
Thank you for your support! - Candace
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