Diabetes: Testimonials by Callie Owens and Macie Ferguson
Callie’s story: When Callie was seven, she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Callie is now 13, since her diagnosis she has functioned as her own pancreas. Since her pancreas does not make insulin, she has to take insulin. She has had around 6,000 shots and is now on an insulin pump which she changes every two days. To check her sugar, she has to constantly stick her finger and use a blood glucose meter. Now she only checks it twice a day and she relies on a continuous glucose monitor that needs to be changed every ten days. We are so thankful to have these options to make her disease a little easier. She always has to watch for high and low sugar and make adjustments at that time. High sugar can cause damage over a long period of time and requires more insulin and low can be an immediate danger and requires her to eat food containing sugar. Callie also has iron deficiency anemia and has recently been diagnosed with Asthma. She is up for any challenge especially anything outdoors. She enjoys swimming, riding her four-wheeler and dirt bike and she loves to hunt. Mainly deer, but this year she has even tried bear hunting. When her sugar gets low it may be a little more of a challenge for her, but she doesn’t give up. If she’s stuck inside, she likes to cook and try new recipes. She has a variety of animals both inside and out and loves spending time with all of them. One day she hopes to be a veterinarian, a game warden, a police officer, or something in the medical field. Whatever she decides she can accomplish it. It is terrifying when a child is diagnosed with diabetes, however children with medical conditions learn to be strong and resilient and overcome the obstacles that they face on a daily basis.
Macie’s story: I am 11 years old. I have almost been a diabetic for one year now. Last year, after Christmas I was feeling bad. My stomach and legs hurt, I felt dizzy and was having trouble concentrating. I was also drinking a lot and going to the bathroom a lot. My mom took me to a medical office were we talked about things that were going on and they took my blood. They also did a finger stick. When they read the finger stick it was so high that it didn’t show up on their meter. The doctor immediately sent us on to Johnson City to the Children’s Hospital. There the nurse re-did the finger stick and it read 886. The doctors told my mom, my nana and I that I had type 1 diabetes and they were going to try to bring my blood sugar down with insulin. When the doctor told me I was scared of the needles, scared I couldn’t eat chocolate. And I was mad that it happened to me. I ended up staying in the hospital for four days. When I came home I began taking four shots a day, three with meals and one for long lasting. This has been a crazy year. I have learned a lot of information on type 1 diabetes. Diabetes is hard. It is something you have to deal with all day, every day. I try to keep my numbers in range but it takes a lot of work. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to keep your number in line it just goes haywire. Sometimes diabetes makes me feel sad, like I’m not myself. I now have a pump and I’m doing really well. I understand that I have to take care of myself. I know how dangerous it is to get low and too high. I have to count my carbs and take the insulin to cover my carbs. I know how important it is to eat good meals and to exercise. One good thing I have found out is that I have the support of my family, my church and friends. They help me by double checking carbs and insulin. They encourage me and make me feel good about myself. My friends and the school nurse are always helping me at school. I found out that so many people care about me.