The 2015-16 school year started perfectly for Kendal. I was really feeling like she was hitting her stride. I was so excited for her. She is my oldest, and enters every school year, every endeavor as the “first” kid to do everything. She is not without anxieties, so it was fun to see her pushing through the nerves on her own. As I had early conferences with her new teachers, they were all as excited as I was at her handling of 4th grade. She was on top of her subjects, and organization and independence! I couldn’t have been happier for her. However, there was one nagging problem. She was drinking water constantly. We couldn’t travel more than 15 minutes in the car, without her saying she had to use the bathroom, and fast! Without any other symptoms popping up, I couldn’t figure out what exactly was going on. I mean, it was August after all and she’s very active. I just thought she needed the extra hydration because of the season. But then I caught her waking up in the middle of the night to refill a water bottle, and then finish it by breakfast. “You should be sleeping!” I would say. Finally, she said maybe she should see her doctor about why she’s drinking so much water. We went to the pediatrician, and the diagnosis was shocking. It hadn’t crossed my mind, and I have a nephew with Type One! (Talk about Mom guilt!) The tears immediately flowed from my eyes. Kendal, my sweet, happy-go-lucky girl, sat there and shrugged. “Well, I guess I’ll have to start taking shots, just like my cousin.” After that, we rushed to Children’s Mercy. Her blood sugar was at 600. She asked us if we would still make it to our camping trip the next day. More tears, immediately, flowing from my eyes.
Fast forward to nearly 6 months into this new Type One life. I figured it would take us a couple weeks to transition. After all, I just needed to find my new routine. I’m good as long as I have a plan. But, it took about 2 weeks, for the water works to die down. And I still didn’t have a plan, or a routine to call our own. Another 2 weeks passed. Still no plan, just treading water. Somehow we made it through Halloween and Thanksgiving. Those holidays are a blur. December started with me saying “Holiday’s just aren’t as fun”. I’m overwhelmed all the time, and tired. We dialed back our usually busy December.
The toughest part for Kendal, unbelievably, was not the 24-7 barrage of insulin injections and finger pokes. It was not being able to eat her usual carb loaded breakfasts or satisfy her sweet tooth. There have been tears more than once over not being able to eat another cookie. Understandable. I live for the things that haven’t had to change. She was on the soccer field 6 days after diagnosis, and continues to play basketball, softball and the piano.
This new life is tough. However, I still feel blessed! Kendal is my hero. I’ve been able to see my daughter in a whole new light. And it’s phenomenal! Her courage. Her calm acceptance. Her humor! Unbelievable. I am humbled. SHE is definitely teaching ME.
Written by Kendal’s mom.