Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dear Faith,

Well, Sugar Britches, we made it through the first year.

There were times I wondered whether or not we would.  November 17, 2009 changed our lives forever.  You have been put through the ringer over the past 12 months, but you've handled it like such a trooper.  Your daddy and I couldn't be prouder of you!  When I got the news that you had Type 1 Diabetes I was devastated.  I could never have imagined how God would use your life story.  It is amazing and humbling. I hope you will grow up to realize and embrace how strong He can and wants to be in your weakness, and how much of a purpose and a plan he has for you.  Lean on Him, baby girl, He won't fail you.  I have really learned that this past year.  I pray every day for a cure, but also that, in the meantime, your struggle will point others to Christ.  I pray that your health will be good throughout your life.  I hope you know that I try to take the best care of you that I possibly can.  I do everything in my power to set you up for a healthy life and to reduce your risk of complications as much as possible.  I pray that, when you're old enough to take over your care (like in 25ish years, ok?), you will go easy on me - that's going to be an interesting transition for both of us!  I pray that you will not allow this disease to rob you of a full life.  I pray that you will take ownership of your health, manage your diabetes the best you can, and LIVE. 

I pray that you know, really know, how very much your dad, brothers, sister, and I love you...but most of all, I pray that you will grow to understand how much God loves you. 

I would take this disease on for you in a heartbeat, if I could...but I can't.  So I will always be here for you...every step of the way.  I won't stop praying and I won't take a break until you can.

I love you, Sweet Faify Bidness.

This was taken the first time you stood up again after your diagnosis.  It was 3 days later.

You were so sick. :(  For a while, the hospital was our home away from home.

Dear JC, Grace, & Eli,

I know this past year has been hard on the three of you as well.  I know it hasn't been easy to watch your baby sister be so sick, so often.  I know it gets scary sometimes.  You are all so quick to pray for Faith when it gets rough and that has been such a good example for me.  Your childlike faith reminds me to run to our heavenly Father when I'm afraid.  Thank you for that.  I know it can't be easy to watch your baby sister get so much more attention.  I know it is hard to understand all that has gone on.  The way you have handled yourselves this past year makes your daddy and I SO very proud of you.  You have been understanding and compassionate.  Faith could not possibly ask for better siblings to walk with down this road.  I pray every day that each of you will know how very much I love you.  I pray that you will somehow understand WHY your sister needs more attention sometimes and that you'll never feel slighted or jealous.  You are all so very precious to me.  I love you more than I can ever express to you.  I pray that each of you will see that God loves you even more than that!!  (all the way to Jesus and back ;)  I pray that you will continue to grow closer to Jesus and love and serve Him all your lives. 

You make me SO very proud to be your momma.

I love you, Handsome Man, Sister Bidness, and Eebs...very, very much.



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Good Save, Wuby the Wonder Dog!!

I know I still haven't finished typing our story about how the Lord blessed us with Ruby, please bear with me.  I have to tell you a story of how she saved Faith tonight, though.

Thank God for sending us Ruby.  What a blessing she is to me.  She allows me to treat lows conservatively, because I know that if Faith's bg doesn't come up (like it's not tonight) she will let me know.  

We had spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner.  Before the meal Faith's bg was 248 (too high).  Faith ate really well.  I was very careful to weigh and measure all her food.  I dosed her insulin AFTER her meal, and dosed conservatively.  I didn't give her an entire correction for the high and I treated her for 35 fewer carbs than she actually ate.  We've been having alot of lows overnight lately so I wanted to err on the side of caution and let her run a little bit high.

As Faith is getting down from the table, Ruby alerts.  I know Faith must be crazy high because of the fact that I bolused her AFTER she ate THREE servings of spaghetti and garlic bread, so I tell Ruby that we would check in a little bit.  We went about our evening routine of baths & pjs.  During Faith's bath I noticed that her pump site was looking a little red, so I decided to change it.  I took her to my room and Ruby alerted again.  She was being very persistent and intense so I decided to go ahead and check Faith.   Now, mind you, it had only been about 20ish minutes since I'd given Faith her insulin.  I check Faith's bg and she was 73!!  Wha??  Huh???  How??

The scary part - Faith has 1.66 units of insulin on board (in her bloodstream).  Let me put that into perspective for you.  That much insulin should theoretically bring Faith's bg down roughly 600 points!!!!  You know, just enough to kill her....a couple times...

Faith wasn't displaying any low symptoms at all (not that she always does), so I reasoned that maybe her body was breaking down the carbs a little slowly and she would surely be crazy high in a minute.  (She ate THREE servings of spaghetti, after all)  I decided to finish putting in her pump and watch to see how Ruby reacted.  Not quite 15 minutes later I hear Ruby whining from her place in the living room.  Faith and I were in a completely different part of the house finishing up her pump change.

I recheck Faith's bg and she'd dropped to 55!!  I grab a juicebox and have to force Faith to drink it.  (She was full from her THREE...T.H.R.E.E. servings of (carb loaded) SPAGHETTI and garlic bread.)

15 minutes later Ruby alerts again.  Recheck: 95.

Ok, she's coming up.  Good low, Ruby, we're gonna watch her.

10 minutes later, Ruby gets off place, walks across the living room to get the bringsel, comes to me, gives me the bringsel, goes back to grab the meter..

Ok, Ruby we'll recheck.

Faith's bg had dropped back down to 85, but now she is starting to get shaky.

3 pkgs of Smarties later and Ruby alerts yet again.  Recheck and Faith is only up to 97.

So, now Ruby and I sit here waiting to see what Faith's bg does.

Where did all those carbs go???  I have checked and double checked myself.  I have looked in her seat and under the table.  AAaaaaggghhh!!!

Good save, Ruby!  Good save!

Normally, after nights like tonight, I would sleep in the floor next to Faith's bed or be running to her bedside all night.  Tonight, I will not have to do that.  This is why...

Thank you, Jesus.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What's in a name?

Ok, so this isn't specifically about diabetes, but it's about my diabetic child...

The following is an email I sent out in December of 2008 when I was 8(ish) months pregnant with Faith.  This day, and the response I got from this email were the reasons Chuck and I chose the name Faith.  Prior to this we were settled on a different name (that I can't recall at the moment...).  

God is so good! I have to share just how I got to see Him work
Wednesday...Some of you have heard most of this story but everytime I tell
it I forget some part of it, plus I'm so excited about it I have to tell it
I have the privilege of being the Awana Commander at my church & we had
Share Shop Wed night where the kids get to spend the Awana bucks they have
earned during the year..Anyway, I had to go to Tyler to pick up some things
to stock the 'store' with & so I called Rachel (my sister) & asked her if
she would ride with me...which I rarely do (most of you know our
relationship is rocky at best) but I thought she'd prob enjoy getting out of
the house & I wanted some company so I called her & she agreed to go with
me.. So, we take off to Tyler with the church credit card & stop at the
dollar tree. I load my buggy up & proceed through the checkout only to find
out (after she's rang up my $60 worth of $1 goodies) that they only take
Mastercards as debit cards with pin numbers..not credit.  I remembered I had
Chucks Chrysler MC with me but didn't know if I'd be able to use it nor what
the pin was so I apologized to the cashier & asked her to void the
transaction & help the long line of customers behind me while I tried to get
Chuck or Preacher on the phone to try to figure out what my options were.
While I'm on the phone trying to reach them this lady walks up to me & says
"I'd like to pay for your purchase". Of course I thanked her profusely but
told her I couldn't let her do that cause I'd rang up $60 worth of stuff!!
She insisted & before I could stop her had walked over to the register &
paid for the stuff!! I apologized & thanked her (& thanked her & thanked
her) & asked her to please give me her name & address so I could get the
church to send her a reimbursement check & she wouldn't hear of it. She
wouldn't even tell me her name! She looked me in the eyes (and this part STILL gives me chills), laid her hand on my pregnant belly, and said, "Honey, trust me, you have enough to take care of."  (OMG!!! In hindsight this leaves me speechless!!)  After that, all she said was "Merry Christmas" & walked away!! I couldn't believe it! So after I picked my chin up off the floor & the bags of stuff I put Eli & Grace in the backseat of the suburban. By the
time Rachel & I got in the front seat Grace was praying (out loud) thanking
God for the blessing he'd just given us & the "angel he'd just sent to us".
Rachel heard this & just started bawling! When Grace was done she said,
"Mommy, we just met a real live angel didn't we?" & before I could even
respond Rachel spoke up & said "yes ma'am we sure did!"  She was completely
taken aback! It was so incredible to see God use this lady I'd never met &
my 5 yr old daughter to show Himself to my sister that day not to mention
bless our Awana program in the process!  Those of you who know Rachel know
what a big deal this is..  But, that's only the beginning!  It had been my
desire to stock the store with some spiritually enriching items for many
reasons, one of which being the fact that many of our kids use this shopping
opportunity to 'purchase' gifts to give to family & friends.  I just always
thought that could be an awesome opportunity to get Jesus' message into the
hands & homes of people that I might never even get to meet.  Because of my
budget & the sheer number of items I needed to purchase I really didn't
think I'd be able to do that this time around BUT because of the generosity
of that lady that God had arranged to have at the $ tree (& GREAT Christmas
sales promotions) I was able to go over to Lifeway & The Scroll & purchase
Bibles & Christian CD's & all kinds of gifts that would help spread the
gospel! I was SO excited I couldn't stand it!  So I take Rachel home & head
to the church to 'price' my loot. We meet for Awana Open Assembly & I share
with the kids how God had blessed us that day & allowed Grace & I to meet a
''real live angel''... Before I let either of the classes go 'shopping' I
challenged the kids to honor God with how they behaved & that I didn't want
any fighting over merchandise or stealing from each other (which we've
experienced in the past) Anyway the kids shopped their hearts out & because
of all God had done that day almost every child walked away with at least
one gift item with scripture and/or gospel message on it, 2 kids that said
they didn't have Bibles were able to buy themselves one (& not just any
Bible but fancy little kids study Bibles), & one girl even bought her
pregnant school teacher a Beginners Bible "to read to her baby"!!  Plus if
that weren't enough, not only did I not get one single report of fighting or
stealing but the kids were buying gifts for each other and sharing their
Awana money with other kids that didn't have as much!! It was so moving!!
I was SO proud of them!!

As you can imagine I was flying pretty high, having an Awesome day when...
Chuck comes walking up to me with tears in his eyes & asks me 2 come with
him that he has something to tell me.. I have to be honest with you, deep
down I was thinkin come on, not something negative I'm having too good a
day! But I followed him out into the hallway & he hands me an envelope.. I
feel like I have to stop here & tell you things have been kinda rough
financially for us recently (along with the rest of the world). Most of you
know Chuck sells cars for a living & if you've..well, been awake.. in the
last few months you've heard the auto industry is not experiencing a banner
year. So we've had 2 specific needs that we've been praying about & quite
frankly were starting to get a little discouraged don't get me
wrong, we believed God would provide, just weren't sure how or when..& when
I'd get weak & feel sorry for myself Chuck would say Sarah come on He's
never failed us before & I'd get irked cause I knew he was right (which
naturally irritates me, hahaha) and God has moved many people to be really
good to us recently BUT back to my point.. we had 2 specific needs that we'd
been praying about & when I opened the envelope I found an unsigned
Christmas card containing the answer to our prayers!!! I couldn't believe
it!  We have no idea who it came from (except God, of course) but man, I
hope they somehow know how much of a blessing they are to us & how grateful
we are!!  Chuck & I just stood there crying, unable to even wrap our minds
around what was taking place.
So, after we wrap up Awana I call my mom to share with her what an amazing
day I've had & learn that the $tree incident had such an impact on my sister
that she'd already called mom & told her all about it! All about what that
lady had done & Grace praying without being prompted at all & that "it just
HAD to be the Lord"! So then I got to call Rachel & tell her I'd been
visited by a 2nd angel that day!!
We get home & I'm tucking JC into bed & praying with him & get up to leave
his room & he stops & asks me if I'll stay in there with him while he prays.
So, of course I do and he prays the most precious prayer thanking Jesus for
the blessings he'd sent us that day & that while we didn't know what that
lady's name was he knew God did so would he please somehow let her know she
was a blessing to us & that we were "very grateful & appreciative" for what
she'd done! Man I hope that lady knows she invested $60 in so much more than
a buggy full of toys!!

Oh man, 24 hours later I'm still shaking my head.  God is so good, but I
feel like that day He was showing off!  I pray that reading this gives you
hope that whatever you're going through God is big enough to handle it if
you'll just trust Him to do so...& never under estimate how God can use you
if you let him. That lady at the $ tree & the people that gave to Chuck & I
may not have thought their contribution was much, but boy oh boy were they
ever wrong!!  Little is much when God is in it...

I hope each one of you has a blessed day & a very Merry Christmas! I already

Love, Sarah Wilson    

Ok, so excuse the run-on sentences.  I was excited and typing all of that out on a small phone keypad!

So, after I sent this email out to EVERYONE in my address book, Chuck got a call from someone saying that they thought we needed to name our baby "Faith".  Up to this point, this particular person hadn't been very supportive of our Christian faith and had even made comments that we were pushing it off on our children.  After reading this, they said they could see that our kids truly get it, they were inspired by it, and they thought we should name our new baby, we did!

Ok, on a side note - I am speaking at an event for this weekend.  Y'all pray that God speaks through me.  This event feels WAY out of my league...they are fancy and well..y'all know, I'm not.  I'm excited to do it, though.  This is the foundation that donated about a third of the money for us to get Ruby.  We are SO thankful for them!  Y'all check out their site! 

Also, I got some VERY exciting news about the next cool thing that God has placed before us.  I can't share details just yet, but keep watching!  It's going to be SO fun!!  It's just a reminder to me, again, that God can do whatever he wants to!

Love y'all.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

But wait, there's more

So, Sunday while we were at Green Acres, Ruby kept alerting that Faith was high.  She was staying in or around the 300's.  It was another one of those stubborn highs that just won't come down.  Despite multiple corrections (over several hours), her blood sugar was still 335 when we left Tyler.

I had a couple of stops to make, so it took us a little over an hour to get home.  When we got home Faith was asleep, so I walked around to let Ruby out.  I was going to let her out and unload the car before waking Faith to get her out.  As soon as I got around to Ruby's door, she jumped out and immediately jumped for the bringsel.  (She currently doesn't alert in the car.  She gets very anxious.   We are trying to help her work through that.)  I could tell by the intensity of her alert that I needed to check immediately, so I checked Faith's blood sugar while she was still in her carseat.  Her blood sugar had dropped from 335 to 67 in barely over an hour!  I immediately grabbed a juice box and she drank it down quickly.  Her symptoms seemed to be worsening, though, rather than improving, so I yanked her out of her carseat and ran inside.  I opened another juice box and by this time she was shaking SO hard.  It was so scary.  I sat down on the couch and put her in my lap.  She started screaming, "I want my mommy! I want my mommy!" over and over again.  She was SO confused and disoriented and shaking so hard.  I couldn't get her to understand or realize that I was her mommy and she was in my lap!

I put the juice box straw into her mouth and she wouldn't drink it.  I rechecked her bg and she was still dropping.  She was now down to 53.  I could tell by her worsening symptoms that we were rushing headlong into dangerous territory.  I squeezed another juice box into her mouth.  All the while she is still screaming for her mommy.  I sat there holding her, trying to get her to understand that I was right there.  She would scream for a few minutes and then get quiet and get this far off look in her eyes and then go right back to screaming for her mommy.  A few minutes later her intense shaking started to ease up a bit and a few minutes after that I could get her to look at me.  She seemed to be coming around.

As Faith's blood sugar started to come up her shaking began to subside, but still various parts of her body would jump and jerk.  Her head would jerk backwards... her shoulder...her foot... her arm.... her leg - it was so hard to watch.

I sat there holding her, fighting back tears, and thanking God for Ruby.  Had she not alerted as soon as we got home this would have been even worse.   

A few minutes later Chuck and the big kids came home.  We had planned to carve pumpkins, pop popcorn, eat candy, and watch movies that night.  Managing diabetes is a daily battle and this disease never sleeps, but life must go on.

I know this, but all I wanted to do was lay in bed and cry.  Between the man sharing that morning that his Type One loved one had died and fighting a low for MY Type One loved one's life, I was drained.

Oh, how I pray for a cure...

Diabetes Awareness Month

Yesterday Faith, Ruby & I went to Green Acres Baptist Church to hear Daves Highway sing, and to educate people about Tyler Type One Diabetes Foundation.  We got to pass out literature to lots of people including several nurse educators, which should have a ripple effect and reach many type 1 (or future type 1) families.  We got to share Faith and Ruby's story with anyone curious enough to walk up and ask me why I had a dog with me at church. :)  I got to hang with my Type One mommy friends Margie and Susie.  For all of those reasons, it was a pretty great morning.

However, diabetes still managed to weasel its way in there and wreak havoc on my emotions.

Whenever someone would walk up to the table we would ask them if they'd like information on Type 1 Diabetes or if they knew anyone with Type One.  Several knew someone with diabetes, but didn't know what type they had, so we got to educate them on the differences between the types.  We tried to educate as many as possible about the symptoms of Type One in hopes that they'd recognize it if they ever knew someone that developed diabetes.  A couple people had family members who'd lived a long time with Type One.  One lady shared with us that her brother was an adult that had lived most of his life with Type One and that he was doing well.  As the mom of a Type One child it is always encouraging to hear those kinds of stories.  Another lady shared that her brother had lived with Type One and was not doing well at all.  Those are the stories I dread hearing.  Then there was this encounter...

A man and his wife walked up to the table and just stood there.  I excused myself from the conversation I was in and turned to them.  I said, "Hi, would you like information on Type One Diabetes?"  The man just stared at me with this strange look on his face.  He didn't say a word.  So, I said, "Do you know anyone with Type One?" It was then that I noticed tears welling up in his eyes.  He whispered, "yes, but she's dead" and walked away.  I wanted to run after him and ask him so many questions.  I wanted to hug him and say I was sorry.  I wanted to know about their Type One loved one.  BUT most of all, I'm ashamed to say, I wanted to know how and why.  When I hear a story of someone dying from Type One I selfishly want to hear that it was due to negligence on their part.  I want something that I can't point to and say, "Ok, THAT is why this happened.  If we do THAT differently then we'll be ok."  Sadly, a lot of the time there was no negligence and no way to prevent this hideous disease from taking a life.

Really what I want is for someone to tell me that it will never happen to Faith.  I want some guarantee that I won't ever be that person standing on the other side of Type One Diabetes, hating it so much yet wishing it were still a part of my life.

Because, until a cure is found, having my sweet Faith with me means having diabetes be a part of my life....and I'd MUCH rather live with it than without her.

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