Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Anniversary !!

Anniversaries are a time of the year where people may celebrate. They are a reminder of how long it has been and how long we've come. They remind us of all of the work that we have done. They remind us of our survival.

For us, October 31st not only means Halloween, but the anniversary of Adele's Type 1 diagnosis. A Type 1 diagnosis on Halloween... How ironic. Adele was constantly thirsty and soaking diapers non-stop in October, 2002. I had a feeling something wasn't quite right, but this was only a few months after her and my Celiac disease diagnosis. After a bit of research, I had already associated the symptoms with Type 1 Diabetes before calling our pediatrician asking for a Diabetes test. The doctor told me that the test for Diabetes was done using urine, so I dropped off some of Adele's urine at the hospital on Halloween morning. She was peeing so much by this point that I probably could have just wrung out her diaper and I would have collected more than enough. I couldn't concentrate at work that day. I just knew that our life was going to change based on the outcome of that urine test. I was right. "Go easy on the Halloween treats tonight" were the words that the pediatrician told me on the phone when she called. She told us that they had found sugar in Adele's urine and that it could be Diabetes but that it could also be a sign of some other type of infection. I could read between the lines, I knew she was just trying to alleviate the shock. We were told to head for the hospital to be admitted and for more tests. We should have gone at that time on Halloween night, but she then told us that we could wait until the first thing the next morning. We have come a long way in 7 years. But then again, I can't help but think of all of what these 7 years of Type 1 gaming have done to Adele's body... Then I tell myself to not go there since I can't do any more than I'm already doing.

Halloween always wakes up mixed emotions inside of me. It reminds me of how long we have been playing the Type 1 game. With every year comes the increased risk of developing complications. It also reminds of how society associates fun and rewards with eating junk food. And then we wonder why North Americans are so unhealthy.

People sometimes ask us if we bother trick or treating since Adele can't eat the treats? This is a misconception. Adele can eat some treats as long as they're Gluten-Free (because of her Celiac disease) and preferably in moderation. Her body no longer produces insulin like other non-diabetics. She needs to get her insulin from an external source. Technically, she could eat as many treats as she wants if she also receives the right amount of insulin. But in reality, a huge amount of carbs makes for a large amount of insulin and a greater risk of a high or a low blood sugar afterwards. We choose to let her have treats in moderation (like we would if she did not have Type 1). This is much better than the old school Type 1 treatment that did not allow any sweets at all. New fast-acting insulins and intensive therapies require much more work, but also bring the Type 1 gamer's life closer to that of a non-diabetic. For now the journey continues... The journey towards the dream: a cure for Type 1 Diabetes, and the journey of doing everything in our power to help make Adele's life as close to normal as possible in the meantime. We WILL NOT give up until we succeed...


Nathalie Dugas said...

So true Mike, Halloween is such a funny american creation. We too have to approach it with moderation. We always did, even before Liam's type 1 diagnosis. We have a picture of Liam on his first Halloween, asleep in a pile of candy on the table, he did not even have one candy that night cause he wanted to wait until we got home to choose his best candy !!! Bonne journee

Christiane said...

Gabrielle had alot of candy on Halloween. She was laughing and running around with her brother and cousins. It almost felt normal except for me checking her sugars more than usual.