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Diasight: Diabetes Intuition

2012 September 6
Wendy 1

For the final day of Diabetes Parenting Week, we have a great guest post from Wendy Rose.  I met Wendy at Roche and noticed her passion and her motherly instincts when it came to the diabetes of other people.  So, without any more delay, here it goes.

Wendy’s oldest daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2005 (age 2) and Celiac Disease in 2008 (age 5).  Wendy was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2009.  She documents her family’s journey with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease at www.CandyHeartsBlog.com.  Feel free to find her on Twitter @MrsCandyHearts or connect on Facebook to stay in touch!

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I was returning from helping my youngest daughter in the bathroom when I heard someone asking for a juice box. “Someone must be low.” I thought to myself as I helped my toddler up the walk and through the gate.

It was an end of summer pool party, and we were meeting several other T1 families for the first time. The pool was buzzing with kids splashing and parents chatting. A potluck feast was waiting. The sun was shining, and …

My daughter was sitting on a chair, looking low. VERY VERY LOW!!!! I rushed over to her, and someone handed me a juice box. I couldn’t find her test kit, and was trying not to panic. By the time I remembered that her meter was inside, she had already slurped down the first juice.

As she started to come around, I looked around to thank…

To thank…

Wait. I don’t know any of these folks.

“Hi! I’m Katie. She had ‘the look’, so I asked if she felt low. I could tell.”

Standing before me was the complete stranger who had instinctively responded to my daughter, and pulled her out of the water to safety.

I present to you: Diasight.

“A hunch”, “a knack, “an inkling”. Science cannot explain the instinctual phenomena, commonly called “maternal instinct”. When combined with diabetes, it is this intuitive response that has been known to wake me from a deep slumber with an undeniable urge to test my daughter’s blood sugar immediately – more often than not, I will discover a blood sugar issue that requires an intervention. The same instinct applies when another child with diabetes is in my care, and it stays with me even when my daughter isn’t there.

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the 2012 Roche Diabetes Social Media Summit where I spent three days, surrounded by adults with diabetes. When we arrived at the Indy airport, George mentioned he hadn’t really eaten anything all day, and I had to bite my tongue so as not to sound like his mother by asking what his number was. (It didn’t work, by the way. We were only about ten steps off the plane when I couldn’t take it any longer, and asked.) When Kerri needed to change her pump battery, I reached for a quarter from my purse so she could unscrew the battery cap…but she already had one…so I just fiddled with mine for a few minutes, before sliding it in my pocket. (Because I meant to do that. DUH!!) When both Sara and Kim were low at the same time, I couldn’t help but to dig out some Nerds I had stashed away in my purse. It wasn’t that they were looking for my Nerds…it’s just that *I* had an undeniable urge to make sure *I* had something available to treat *their* low blood sugars. (Really? As if they hadn’t done this before, Wendy?) After walking back from the baseball game on a warm evening, my mind started ticking for a few minutes, and I began wondering if I ought to make pump rounds to give everyone a little temp basal reduction for an hour or so before we went our separate ways, and off to bed for the night. (No one would notice, right? I could be stealth about it.)

Perhaps, most notably, my Diasight instincts kicked into full gear while listening to Steve discuss his adventures in mountain climbing. As the rest of the group listened intently about Project 365, I was distracted by the image of him alone on a mountain, unharnessed, in the wild, out of cell range…with diabetes. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. (Nevermind that he’s a professional who has been managing his diabetes while climbing for a number of years …and it’s not like I have a clue how to climb a mountain, anyway.)

Diasight is just part of who I am, and it will probably never go away. My daughter’s diabetes diagnosis has taught me never to ignore my instincts. It has taught me to advocate for each of my children, even when it seems no one will listen. It has taught me to always be prepared for anything.

I have come to regard Diasight as a tool that will help to shape me into the best mother…and friend to the Diabetes Community…that I can be.

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  1. September 6, 2012

    Thank you so much for inviting me to participate in Diabetes Parenting Week!

    It’s interesting how perspective is shaped … I feel like I’m learning so much about my daughter through interactions with adults like you — and here you are learning about diabetes from different viewpoints through the eyes of parents.

    I’m very thankful for the relationships and friendships I’ve found through the DOC, and this unique opportunity to gain insight and perspective is one of the top reasons why!

  2. September 6, 2012

    Such a great post. I have this vivid memory: I was at JDRF’s Annual Government Days. We were all sitting in a meeting when one of our vols, an adult With T1D, started to go low. now she was SURROUNDED by a group of parents of kids with T1D and at once, every single one of us became her D-mom. It was actually hilarious when we all looked back on it later. Diavision! Loves it.

  3. September 24, 2012

    Wendy Rose is a inspirational speaker, can i get some of her early works???

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