Hallie From The Princess and The Pump
My name is Hallie Addington. I write the blog, The Princess and The Pump. My daughter, Avery, is five years old. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just one month after her third birthday. It was April 27, 2009. I’ll never forget that date. It was the day our lives changed forever.
What Is Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when a person’s immune system attacks and kills the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas. A person with type 1 diabetes does not make insulin. Without insulin, a person cannot survive. In order for type 1 diabetics to stay alive and healthy, they must inject insulin. Unfortunately, there is no pill.
Type 1 diabetes is not caused by eating too much sugar. It is not caused by lack of exercise. No one knows exactly what triggers that autoimmune response. Type 1 diabetes, previously known as Juvenile Diabetes, is a disease for which there is no cure. You cannot grow out of it. Approximately 40 children a day are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It often occurs in childhood, but can – and does – strike at any age.
Diabetes is a disease that affects every organ system in the body. It can lead to heart attack, stroke, blindness, amputations, and neuropathy. It is a constant balancing act. People with type 1 diabetes balance diet, exercise, and insulin in order to stay as healthy as possible and keep blood sugar levels in range.
It Changed Our Lives
Having a child diagnosed with a chronic disease is extremely difficult. It’s difficult emotionally, physically, and financially. The learning curve is steep.
Never in a million years did I ever imagine that I would have to give my little girl a shot in order to keep her alive. I never imagined that my husband and I would have to hold her down to give her the insulin shots while she cried and screamed and begged us not to hurt her. I never dreamed that I’d spend my nights waking up at 2 or 3 or 4 am (and sometimes all those times) to check her blood sugar and make sure she is still breathing. Type 1 diabetes kills. Not just when a person is old and gray. It steals the lives our children, too. Often at night.
It’s been the most difficult thing I’ve ever experienced.
But we feel blessed to have a healthy, happy little girl who is full of excitement and curiosity. Her strength, courage, determination and bravery inspire us each and every day. We are committed to providing for her a healthy childhood. And we are committed to working to find a CURE for diabetes.
To read more about diabetes, visit www.jdrf.org
To learn more about our family and the ups and downs of parenting a child with type 1, visit my blog, The Princess and The Pump, at www.theprincessandthepump.com