Week 4 of November- Diabetes Awareness Month

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This is the last week of November but not the last week for diabetes. We will always be hoping for a cure. The disease is life threatening and has to be managed daily. It changes families and brings devastation.

Below is a video with a song my pa wrote for Maggie. I added photos to it. I added photos from the day she was born all the way to a few days ago. I share this to show others that diabetes can effect any family. When she was born we felt such joy, watching her grow has been so much fun. In March 2013 our lives were turned upside down.

I thought Maggie had the flu only it wasn’t going away. We all had the flu together and I just thought it was taking longer for her to get better. She wouldn’t eat, her tummy hurt. She would sleep almost all day. She would drink water like she could never get enough and she would pee so much that she couldn’t control it. She had lost so much weight that I could see her bones.
When we called her doctor I thought he’d set up an appointment either later that day or the next. I thought he’d just say she had the flu and to wait it out. Instead he wanted to see her right away. My gut was twisted, I didn’t know what was wrong with her.
When we got to the doctor’s office he had her pee in a cup. Within 5 minutes he saw us. He asked us about her symptoms and took some of her vitals. He then said the words that changed our lives, changed Maggie’s life- “I think Maggie has diabetes. I need you to get her to the hospital immediately.” After that I only heard bits and pieces of what he said, “she needs an IV”, “she will be in the hospital for a few days”…
My head was swimming, my heart pounding. Why is this happening to my sweet baby girl? Will she be ok? What is diabetes? What did I do wrong? How can I make her better?
The next week was a whirlwind of learning all about how to take care of my child. Learning about diabetes. And watching my sweet girl get better but have to endure multiple pokes daily.

Maggie has come a long way since that terrible day. She looks so much more healthy. Her hair is growing, she is growing, she is finally able to concentrate on things and has more control over her temper. She went from screaming and crying for every finger poke (to test her blood sugars) to doing her own finger pokes. Shes gone from begging us to not hurt her when we give her insulin to reminding us to give her her insulin. She still doesn’t enjoy all the pokes, who would? But she is so brave, my hero.

Diabetes isn’t cheap either. If we didn’t have insurance I don’t know how we’d be able afford Maggie’s care. Below is a break down of actual costs and our costs. It’s crazy and I pray for families that don’t have insurance that they can get help. Everything is estimated on what we’ve seen for costs, I understand it’s different for everyone.

Glucose test strips- We use anywhere from 6-10 a day. If we didn’t have insurance each strip would cost us $1 a piece. That would be up to $3650 a year. Instead it costs us $14 a box of 100, which is $511 a year.
Insulin, Humalog- A box of 5 cartridges cost on average $75. A cartridge lasts about 20 days. That would be $274 a year. For us it costs us $14 a box, for a total of $52.
Insulin needles- a box of 100 costs an average of $40. We use 4 needles a day. This would cost $584 per year. A box for us costs $14 so that would be $205.
Lantus Insulin– A box of 5 cartridges costs $105. Each one lasts 30 days. Costing $255.50 a year. For us it’s $14 a box costing us around $34 a year.
Glucagon- costs $150. It’s used as needed. It costs us $14.

Total in a year could be around $5000 (this included needles for testing, costs vary so much I didn’t add it above.) Or for us with insurance around $900 a year.

This is the last week to vote for Maggie in the “Who are you Fighting For?” contest. We are no where close to winning but I believe if I could have each of you vote and share it with your friends/family/readers we could still have a chance. You can read more about it here- Who Are You Fighting For? Thank you.