I’m excited to tell you all about miss Hailie. I always find it extremely humbling when one of my role models is a kiddo. Hailie is a Type 1 Diabetes warrior.
This little girl goes through more pokes in one day than many people go through each year. She is incredibly tough and has learned to do her own pump insertion. She gets woken up in the middle of the night to eat syrup when she is dropping too low too fast. Before each meal she has to check her blood sugar and deliver herself the right amount of insulin. She doesn’t get to just be a kid. She can’t eat anything without considering how it will affect her body and how she needs to compensate and adjust. She can’t exercise without considering how it will affect her body.
Earlier this year she got a Diabetic alert dog, Rory. As much as an incredible blessing and friend that Rory is, most of all she is a medical tool. Her job is to alert when Hailie drops too low or rises too high. It’s a lot of work to take care of her, but it is completely worth it for the number of times she has alerted before Hailie’s monitor has alerted.
When she gets ready for her first day of school, it’s more than having school supplies, a fun backpack and lunch. She has to have her doctor’s orders, her continuous glucose monitor, her ipod that connects to it, her emergency kit for the classroom, her emergency kit for the office, her backup pump supplies, her backup CGM supplies, strips, ketone strips, back up meter, insulin, and snacks for lows. Oh, and Rory’s vest, kennel, blanket, water bowl, booties, and treats. Just like all other kids, right?
As much as it sounds like Type 1 Diabetes rules her life, it doesn’t because Hailie refuses to let it stop her. She takes over and fights through the constant struggles. She is kind and thinks of others. She never asks for special attention and she doesn’t whine about her condition. She is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and enjoys being a part of the demonstration team.
Long story short: Hailie is tougher than Diabetes.
Yesterday was a 5K walk to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. We were honored to get to walk on the Hope for Halo team. When I say walk, I mean roll. Tom offered to get off of work at 7am, grab a quick nap and get up at 930am to go over to push me 5K in my wheelchair.
So many alert dogs and brave and strong kiddos walking! It was a good time.
Did I bring my POTS GO Bag? No. Because I figured I would be sitting mostly the whole time and I didn’t forsee any issue.
Did I learn my lesson? Yes. It is now very clear in my mind.
Did we bring breakfast beer? Well of course. Anyone who works 12 hours, then sleeps 2 hours, then gets up to push his wife 5K in a wheelchair probably deserves breakfast beer.
Did we go off a curb causing both me and the unopened breakfast beer to fly through the air with me landing in the chair thankfully and the beer landing on the pavement and spraying everywhere and causing a bit of a scene? Yes.
Did I learn that apparently wheeling that long of a distance makes me incredibly dizzy, weak, and super nauseas? Yes.
I stopped to take a few sit-on-the-grass-and-try-not-to-throw-up breaks. I wished for Gatorade and salt tablets. Luckily some kiddos brought Ritz crackers as a snack. I licked the salt off of 5 or 6 and drank 32 ounces of water. I didn’t die.
I did get to walk the last few hundred feet. My first time standing up I fell right back down instantly, but then I got it worked out and was able to walk for a bit. Of course Tom and Monica were strategically right behind me with stroller and wheelchair, but at least I got to walk a tiny bit.
I may have mentioned to Hailie’s mom once, “Thanks so much for inviting us to this one time thing.” But seriously, I’m glad we know now how that affects me. Tom and I are determined to work up to it and see if I can build up a better stamina. Of course being better prepared will help too.