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Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad

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Aunt Megan

Hello my name is Megan and I am Arden’s aunt.  To say that I love Arden is an understatement and when my husband and I found out almost three years ago that Arden had type I diabetes our heart sank, yes for Arden but also for Kelly and Scott.  


Arden was sick, I wasn’t educated about the disease and all I could do was watch how Kelly and Scott were handling it to try and understand.  I can still remember Scott asking me to come to the hospital and sit with Arden so that he and Kelly could go to a nutrition class that would help them to better manage Arden’s diabetes.  Of course I said yes, and I was touched that they felt comfortable enough to leave Arden with me for even just an hour.  


When I walked into Arden’s hospital room my heart broke and at that moment it became real for me.  She was so pale and was hooked up to an insulin drip, a saline drip, ECG leads and many other monitors.  She looked exhausted and it was only three days post-diagnosis.  She was thin and quiet and scared - so was I.


Jump forward to March 2009—Arden has come such a long way!  She is currently learning how to manage her diabetes through the use of the OmniPod.  She wants to sleep at my house so badly and before the Omnipod,  I never thought it would be possible for Kelly and Scott to leave her with me overnight but now I have hope that one day she’ll be able to!


But like all things, nothing is perfect.  Arden recently joined me for my birthday dinner and greeted me with that adorable smiling face as I entered the restaurant.  She was so excited to see everyone especially her cousins.  After the entire family arrived (all 17 of us) we ordered our dinner.  While we waited for the food to come out Arden’s BG went low, dangerously low - in the 50’s.  Her blood glucose had dropped unexpectedly in what seemed like an instant.  Before (the pump) I would have known how to manage her low.  I would have to know when her last shot was, how far into it she was, was she on her way up or her way down, had the insulin peaked yet?  All these questions flew through my head as I watched but everything is different now because she is using an insulin pump  I didn’t know what to do...  


What happened next opened my eyes even more to just how diabetes effects Arden’s and her family.  As Scott and Kelly’s food came out they worked off in a lonely corner of the room to get Arden to eat something so that her blood glucose would come back up.  Cole (Arden’s brother) asked if she was okay and then he went back to eating, this was clearly a normal situation for him.  We offered to help but there wasn’t anything that we could do.


Arden had become temperamental as she does sometimes when her BG is too low... the time to reason with her had gone out the door.  As the situation became more dire Scott gave Arden an option, glucose gel or clementine.  She finally relented and forced herself to eat the clementine.  Her blood glucose rose a little but it can take about 30 minutes for her to return to “normal.”  Everything was “fine” again - for now.  


Meanwhile Kelly and Scott ate nothing, they missed out on the meal and the birthday celebration.  This story only covers two hours of one day, I still find it difficult to image what it would be like managing a diabetic child all day, every day.


I now understand even more our obligation as family, friends and acquaintances of a person with type I diabetes and how important it is to become an advocate for the children that have it.  I know the economy sucks right now and that it may not be the best time to make a charitable donation.  So, instead please tell someone about Arden’s day, about how far she has come and how much farther she has to go.  Become an advocate for type I diabetes and help children like Arden become free of this disease.


Thank you,


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