Our D-history:

My daughter, *Rosie, was five years old when she was diagnosed on September 19, 2008, with Type I Diabetes. We started out on MDI, but in October 2010 we switched to a pump. We also added a Dexcom CGM in May of 2011. In February 2014 we changed to the Medtronic Enlite system- a pump and CGM all in one.

*Rosie is not her real name... I let her pick her own pseudonym for the blog!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Today's Prompt: 5 things that changed my life. For better? For worse? List 5 things that changed your life as a patient, caregiver, or Health Activist and how.

This is a great prompt, and one that really made me think in terms of relating it to Diabetes.  Most of these things aren't really things, but events or people.

1.) Straight out of college I started working in a nursing home as the Activity Coordinator.   My BS is in Art Therapy, so the world of medical diagnoses and working in a health care system was fairly new to me.   You can't spend years eating lunch with nurses who speak "medical" (not to mention discuss any type of bodily function while eating- gag) without picking up medical knowledge, terminology, and, an idea of how the health care system in general functions.   I learned that doctors can be questioned, and sometimes, even the medical people don't know what to do for someone. 

2.) I married my husband.  Duh-- of course that was life-changing, right?  But related to my life as a health care advocate, he is my support, and he pushes me to not back down.  He's a  Police Sgt. and he doesn't take any nonsense from anyone, and I've definitely picked up some of his ways of dealing with people over the years.  He encourages me to speak up and backs me up when I'm doing "battles" with the school or with a doctor.  Knowing that he always has my back is huge for me.

3.) Both of our kids were born prematurely, after numerous hospital stays for me (preterm labor throughout both pregnancies). and many scary events when we thought we'd lose them.  This was when I found my voice in the health care system as a patient.  I'd worked in health care for years, but learning to stand up for myself and my kids as patients in a NICU was a whole new experience.  I learned to ask the questions, do my research, and not accept anything less than a full explanation when I needed one. My inner Mama Bear was awakened!

4.) As a baby, our son had developmental issues and at one point was testing borderline for Autism.  He wasn't developing in terms of gross motor skills, and he wouldn't eat- he had lots of issues with feeding.  Mama Bear was fully awake by now, and I pushed for therapy when the doctor would have waited a while longer. We got into a wonderful therapy program (physical, occupational, and speech) that made a HUGE difference in my son's life.  By preschool, he was at the head of his class, with a teacher who was shocked to hear that he'd ever had any kind of issues.  That gave me complete confidence that I need to always, always trust my gut feeling.  (I'm positive that my kids have very vocal guardian angels who help me out!)

5.) And finally... obviously, my daughter's diagnosis with Type I Diabetes changed all of our lives.  I think that one is pretty self-explanatory.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days.   
(This post is actually going to show up on 11/5 because I saved it as a draft rather than hitting the "publish" button.  Oops!)

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Next to the doctor's office, I think some of the best diabetes tips I've ever gotten have come from discussions in the comment sections of diabetes blogs. :)