It has been 5 years since Shay was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 2.
It has been 5 years of HIGHS and LOWS (literally).
It has been 5 years of counting carbs at EVERY MEAL and SNACK.
It has been 5 years of constant worrying.
It has been 5 years of sleepless nights.
It has been 5 years of checking blood sugars (which equates to roughly 14,600 finger pokes).
For those of you that are unfamiliar with Type 1 Diabetes (like I was 5 years ago), it is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin - a hormone essential to turning food into energy. It strikes both children and adults and is unrelated to diet and lifestyle.
You can’t see the struggle and strength behind everything Shay does, but over the course of
5 years she has been able to do so much in spite of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).
Shanley is a 2nd grader at Ramalynn Montessori Academy in Bloomington. She loves school but does get frustrated when her pump alarms in the middle of a lesson because she has to stop what she is doing and go check her blood sugar with one of the teachers.
Shanley has done gymnastics. We learned quickly that tumbling around with an insulin pump was just not very comfortable for her so we had to plan accordingly knowing that she would be disconnected from her pump.
Shanley has done swim lessons and loves swimming in the summer. The insulin pump is great but it is NOT WATERPROOF and the tape they make to hold the needle from her set and glucose sensor in place has a tendency to fall off in the water.
Shanley plays softball. She loves running the bases as fast as she can, but her insulin pump flops around and gets in the way. Because this sport is a bit slower paced (especially at 8U) she needs to keep her pump on or her blood sugar levels spike.
Shanley plays hockey. She can get ready in all that gear by herself but she has to be careful she does not rip her sensor off her arm when she puts her elbow pads on and sometimes that sensor rubs on the elbow pad when she is playing and irritates her.
Shanley has gone to Disney World, the Florida Keys, St. Louis, L.A., Wisconsin Dells, Tennessee, numerous cabins and even Mexico. Going through airport security makes her (and Mom) anxious because she can’t go through the x-ray or body scanner so she has to go through a separate area and get her hands wiped down. She also has to travel with a carry-on bag filled with extra diabetes supplies, insulin and sugar tablets. No matter where she goes, no matter how far away, no matter for how long; we always have to be prepared for the “just in case”. She even has to take a bag with her when she goes to the park to play.
You can see, having T1D requires a lot more planning when it comes to school, participating in sports and traveling (even if it is just an out of town tournament with her sister Ireland’s hockey Team).
When someone with T1D is active their blood sugar levels decrease posing a potential threat of getting too “low” and they could pass out. So you need to be prepared with “carbs”.
On the flip side, you don’t want to give them too many “carbs” because then their blood sugar could spike too high which is unhealthy and could have a long term damaging effect on their body. And so on and so forth the vicious cycle continues.
But, Anniversaries are a time to celebrate so that is what we are going to do!
We celebrate Shay and her strength!
We celebrate Shay and her bravery!
We celebrate Shay and her love for life!
We celebrate YOU and your support of Team Sugar Shay!
We celebrate YOU and your help in finding a cure for T1D!
We celebrate TURNING TYPE 1 INTO TYPE NONE!
If you would like to walk with us on February 23rd at the Mall of America, please register to join Team Sugar Shay and meet us at 8:15am at Kids Footlocker on the East Side, 2nd Floor.
Shanley has decided our Team color this year is TEAL so please let me know in advance if you will be walking with us so I can have a Team Sugar Shay shirt ready for you!