“Tales From the Member Trenches”
As you may know our family lives with type 1 diabetes. I know we have a gift for making this challenge look easy from the outside, and on the same note, we have adjusted to the lifestyle REALLY well as a team. In this blog post, I am sharing a snapshot of a day in Will's life. There are so many misconceptions in the media about Diabetes, and it would mean a lot to us if YOU could help us out by sharing what you know with others. Currently, the media lumps Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes into one category. There isn't much attention on Type 1 at all! Not many people know what it is all about. I am sharing this with you now, because we are gearing up for another JDRF Walk to CURE Diabetes. JDRF is an awesome organization, and they are making amazing strides for a cure! We would like to shed some light on the life of Type 1, AND we'd love to have you join us on February 23rd at the Mall of America! Consider walking with our team, but first, I would be honored if you would take some time to read about Will.
Every morning Will starts his day with a finger poke, and it is followed by an insulin injection for whatever is on the menu for breakfast. Lately he has been making eggs and gluten free toast! (Will loves to cook, and loves to eat!) We try to hug away the annoying pain from the poking and prodding, but it's still there; looming. He never complains; instead, he tolerates the pain like a champ. However, it pokes a tiny hole in our hearts every time we squeeze the drop of blood out of his fingertip or we press an insulin syringe through his beautiful skin. As his parents, we wish we could just take it all away.
His little fingers are callused from all of the poking. We stopped using his pointer finger to check him because the skin has thickened up like leather. As the day goes on for Will, he will check his blood sugar 8 to 10 more times, and get at least 3 to 4 more injections.
Our school nurse, has been a key player in Will's care plan. Nurse Lee communicates with us all day long to let us know how Will is doing. She sends us daily blood sugar updates via email, and occasionally calls to discuss his patterns. She also administers his injections for lunch and snack break. Another key player at school is Will's best buddy, Carter. Carter and Will have been classmates since Kindergarten and he always takes Will to the nurse's office if he feels like he is having a low blood sugar. Will is not allowed to walk to the nurse's office alone if he feels low. We are so thankful for all of our friends, our families, and school! We always know we have support. Our hearts are always warm.
For Will, Insulin is life support. We make it look easy from the outside looking in, but there are still tears, sleepless nights, and constant concern. We have decided to look at this curve ball life has thrown at Will, as an opportunity to grow, empower Will, empower our family, and empower others. Many of you have had the opportunity to spend time with us, and watch how helpful Brady is with Will. Brady is more responsible than most 11 year old boys. This is all they know, this is their life as brothers.
Diabetes may have taken away some of our freedom, but in exchange, we have built a firm foundation, and we are constantly challenged to stay strong in the face of adversity. Our family has become an unstoppable, unbreakable, team and we all support Will.
In a nutshell, Type 1 Diabetes is an auto-immune disease. Will's own immune system attacked the area of his pancreas that produces insulin when he was only 5 years old. Unlike Type 2 Diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes cannot be managed with lifestyle changes. Will is dependent on insulin to survive. At this point, Type 1 Diabetes has no cure.
Friends, I encourage YOU to sign up, donate and come walk with us this year. Bring your friends, too! Will, Brady, and Carter will be leading the pack! YOU can make a difference. Please visit my Team, Will Power! - Carrigan, by copying the link below to your browser to make a donation.
See you at the Walk!
Nickie, Marc, Brady, Will, and Gus too:)
Lisé Freking is our resident Warehouse member blog writer. When she isn’t in the “member trenches” in Zumba, Bootcamp, Insanity, Tank Top Arms and more, Lisé enjoys time with her husband and their three children. Lisé has been involved in sports as long as she can remember: tennis, swimming, track (including shot and discus) and softball. Most recently, in addition to Warehouse classes, Lisé enjoys at least one good mud run obstacle course challenge a year! Lisé also enjoys a hot beach, a good book, and a cold drink in her spare time. She earned her undergraduate degrees in Journalism and Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Go Badgers!) and her law degree from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. She currently is an attorney-turned-marketing strategist at Thomson Reuters (25 years and counting). Look for Lisé’s monthly blog articles: “The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth: Tales From the Warehouse Member Trenches” on www.nickiecarriganfitness.com.