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August 30th, 2023, a day I will never forget. Of course, as hindsight is always 20/20, that summer had felt “off”.

We were suddenly dealing with nightly accidents, fatigue, irritability and a 6 year old whose body had suddenly looked so thin and pale. I finally booked the doctors appointment, brushing off the symptoms my medical knowledge had lingering in my mind, “oh it’s probably just a UTI”. I’ll never forget seeing the number on the glucometer, “30.0” , from that first finger poke at the medi clinic, the haze around me, the doctor stating “they’ll be waiting for you at JPCH”, staring at my beautiful baby girl sitting on that flimsy medical paper, and wondering how we were going to get through this.

Reliving it still triggers an immediate gut wrenching pain. The next few days, a mere blur. From hearing “have you heard of type 1 diabetes”, to calling my husband to come home from work, the endless crying and then being thrust into immediate finger pokes, insulin injections and education. Despite being a nurse, those moments made it feel like our daughters life was over. The “mom guilt” wondering how I could have missed this, what could I have done to prevent this”. We have slowly adapted to the daily injections, the carb counting, the rollercoaster of highs and lows, the bi weekly CGM changes and all the routine appointments and bloodwork.

Balancing sports, school days, illnesses and travel; all things that throw us a curve ball when trying to control the glucose. One of the hardest parts as a parent, is not being able to “help” when your child asks for it. There are mornings when she cries out “why do I have to get the needle; why do I have to be the one”. It is heartbreaking to have to sit with that, knowing once you’ve calmed them, you still have to do the injection because her life depends on it. Life as we once knew it will never be the same. This has somehow become our “normal” and yet I would give anything to have it not be. I will forever grieve the life that I thought our daughter was going to have and continue to navigate the unknown future as best we can for her. She is resilient, strong, brave, kind and beautiful and though this hand of cards dealt feels unfair, she has embraced it with grace and gives us strength and inspiration every day to do the same. Our lives will be forever entwined with the medical world but we are grateful for our incredible endocrinology team, the support of all our family and friends, and most importantly the bravery of our T1D warrior, Natalie.

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