Our-Life-Changing-Moment | Barefoot With Maria

Our Life Changing Moment

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It’s a news that no parent ever wants to hear, that your baby has a chronic medical condition. My daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was only 15 months-old. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the person’s pancreas stops producing insulin. For more information about Type 1 Diabetes, please refer to my blog about this chronic medical condition (here).

Our Life Changing Moment

When my husband and I received the news, our perfect little world just crumbled. I was in shock and could not believe that our perfect little girl was going to be having this lifelong disease, where there is no cure in sight. The night that she was diagnosed, we “slept” in the hospital. I say “slept” because I was getting up all the time, due to the nurses checking her sugars every 2-3 hours, and me crying non-stop ever since we received the news.

Our life changed completely. We have a life before Diabetes and a life after Diabetes. People think that Diabetes Type 1 (Diabetes Type 2 is different) is something that you can just take insulin, and make a diet and you are all set. In part it’s true, but when the person who has the condition is just a baby, and cannot express herself well on how she is feeling, it is a different ballgame. For the health insurance, they consider Diabetes (no distinction between Type 1 or 2) as a manageable condition, again, part of it it’s true, but this condition is very unpredictable, and the fluctuations in her sugars are different every day. We can do the same thing every day (i.e. give the amount of insulin recommended, and try to give her good eating habits; very difficult for a toddler), and the next day all our tactics and strategies to combat this disease, do not work. So up again into the drawing board, to find a new plan, on how to manage her disease. It’s a never-ending battle.

Most people do not have any idea of how parents whose kids have this chronic illness manage it daily. Diabetes never takes a break. This condition needs to be managed 24/7, 365 days in a year. If we give too much insulin, my daughter can go into a coma, and if we do not give her sufficient insulin, she can go into DKA (click here for more info). In the beginning, it was killer for me as a mother, because I needed to poke and prod my daughter about 16 times a day!! That is a lot for a little 15 month-old baby and the parent! All the times that she was being poked and prodded was between checking her fingers and injecting her via syringe with the life-saving insulin. I cried every time.

My husband and I are thankful for all the help that we are getting from her doctors. We currently live in Massachusetts, and let me tell you something, the medical care that my daughter has received here, has been A+. I have read some horror stories on Facebook and Facebook Groups about people not getting their insulin or not getting the care needed to treat their Diabetes, and my heart just breaks for them. I am very thankful to work for a federal agency, where the health insurance provided for the employees and their families, is also A+. My daughter’s medical supplies from the Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), insulin pump, insulin vials etc, are all covered 100% by my health insurance. I do not need to pay out of pocket for anything, other than the hefty monthly premium that comes out of my paycheck every two weeks.

At this time, my daughter is 3 years old. We have only been to the ER like 1-2 times, but for non-related Diabetes issues. The education and training that my husband and I have received from her medical doctors, like I said, it has been A+. They really have taken the time and effort to teach us well, and at times even call me personally and ask me how we are doing! What doctors do that? I come from Puerto Rico, and this was never ever done by my doctors. I have never heard of this personal follow up relationship between doctor and the patient.

My daughter is a healthy little girl, who doesn’t seem to mind having her insulin pump on her all the time. She is just a typical toddler, with her tantrums, and picky eating habits, and for this I am grateful.

No one ever tells you how hard parenting is when your child has a delicate medical condition. Parenting a child with a medical condition it’s very draining. You just wish that the condition happens to you, and not your child. Every day I want to trade places with my daughter, so she doesn’t suffer the poking and prodding to make sure she is well.

The best thing that my husband and I can do is to educate ourselves more, and always be aware of new medical devices and medicines to treat her Diabetes. I really do hope that there is a cure and that in the future, no more kids suffer from this disease, and that my daughter is part of this cure.


For more information about Diabetes Type 1, please go the JDRF website.



18 Replies to “Our Life Changing Moment”

    1. The insulin pump is a total life-saver! My husband and I cannot imagine our lives now without it and add to that her Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM). Technology has come a long way, and I think it will continue to make life easier for those with this disease. Thanks for stopping!

  1. First off, let me tell you that I know exactly what you’re going through. My sister was diagnosed at age 3. I was diagnosed 3 years later at age 7. My parents both struggled managing two diabetic kids under the age of 10. There were good days and there were bad days. I am not almost 28 and my sister is almost 25 and diabetes has become just part of who we are and part of our normal routine. Its harder as a mother or caretaker because I know you wish you could just take it away. My mom spent years beating herself up. The good news is, diabetes is very manageable and eventually, your body adjusts and with good control you don’t really remember you have it. I promise you there will come a day when giving an insulin shot or changing a pump site is something you don’t even notice. It just becomes routine. Now as an adult, I took in a foster child with Type 1 and was able to see how hard it was from my parents point of view. But, if I may speak openly, because I have lived it, my family has lived it etc, I strongly encourage you to start teaching her young how to take care of herself, and make it a priority. My parents did everything FOR us and when it can time for us to grow up and better manage, we had to learn all over again. I hope your journey gets easier, and I promise you it gets better. <3

    1. Thank you Keri for those words. You don’t know how much they mean to me. We have been slowly teaching her good eating habits, even though as a toddler she can be very picky about her eating, but we do try to every day teach her good healthy habits, and play with her for the exercise portion of her daily activities. It’s like you said it comes to a point when I am changing her infusion site, that I don’t even notice it anymore, and it has become more of a habit. I recently had a baby boy, and my biggest fear is that he will acquire Diabetes too. I am praying and thinking positive that this never happens. I commend your parents for managing your Diabetes and your sister’s at the same time, that must have been very tough on them. I also commend you for fostering a child with this condition, he/she is lucky to have you as their role model. I really like speaking and conversing with people who have the disease, you are the best to know about this disease, even though its different from person to person. I wish you well on your journey too and wish this child a lot of blessings on his/her journey too. Thank you for your advice. Wishing you well, Maria

  2. It is so hard to be a parent that is forced to also be the nurse and doctor. My son was born with bi-lateral cleft lip and palate and had to endure surgery after surgery. It seemed he was always in recovery. Eating was a large issue for us as well and choking was an everyday horror. All we can do is learn how to best take care of them and give them strength and support. Making sure they have all of the help available is essential. Once these things are in place, we just love them! We do our part and love them and try to help them to live the very best life possible! It’s hard but it’s so worth it! Kids are amazing! Resilience, strength, an amazing ability to heal, and a way of going with the flow that is truly remarkable! Wishing you the best!

    1. Thank you Gwen. Every day my daughter amazes me on how resilient she is, she is my little warrior. I also commend you on your journey with your son. He is lucky to have a mom like you in his life, that just wants what’s best for him. Wishing you the best!

  3. I have a few friends who have children who have delicate medical conditions as well. It can be a lonely place to be. Praying for your family. SHe’s lucky to have great parents!

  4. Thank you for sharing your story… I am in in awe of not only your daughters resiliance with The treatment … but your strength and resiliance as parents… you all are amazing your daughter has amazing parents…hope you all have only wonderful days 🙂

  5. Thank you for sharing your story and experiences. Sending you positive thoughts and prayers as you and your family navigate this unpredictable path. As a mama of two special needs kiddos I know it’s not easy, but worth it.

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