DIETITIAN MOM AND TYPE I DAUGHTER TAKE ON DIABETES
As a Dietitian, teaching people to make healthy eating choices is my life! It doesn’t sound as glamorous as being a rock star but I am truly passionate about helping those inflicted with medical conditions to be in the best health possible through optimal nutrition.
I remember it was Spring Break of 2011. You know the time where you are supposed to be carefree, celebrating the warm weather and basically life? Not for our family. I noticed my daughter losing weight; taking naps more and was increasingly thirsty. I went to bed that Saturday night thinking “Oh my God, she has Type I diabetes!” The next day I took her to the Pediatrician and told the staff that my daughter needs to take a urine sample. The Medical Assistant looked confused. I told her again. My daughter did just that and she was spilling glucose in her urine and her blood glucose level was 450 mg/dl!! We were instructed to proceed to the E.R. I remember frantically calling my husband who was at Trader Joe’s. I told him Mikayla then 6 years old has Type I diabetes! I had already lost one child; I was frightened! The E.R. doctor, nurses, phlebotomist and other staff members had to come get me in the E.R. waiting room when we arrived because my body froze! I couldn’t walk into the Emergency Room! It’s ironic because I worked in a hospital before!
I won’t dwell on it but I can tell you that caring for a Type I diabetic is difficult. I can tell you that it is a 24/7 job! I can tell you that I count carbs in my sleep! Carbs or Carbohydrates are macronutrient that Type I diabetics count the grams of to assist in managing their blood glucose levels. I don’t know if anyone can quite grasp the concept unless you have been there.
I am grateful that I have the knowledge to assist and educate my now 9 year old daughter about her medical condition. Yes, it is a blessing (and maybe sometimes a curse) that I am a dietitian and have a Type I diabetic kid. But aside from the medical aspect of this disease comes the emotional part. When my son passed away at 6 months old, I turned to music therapy as my strength. Music is an important part of my family’s life! I began to search for positive stories about Type I diabetes and came across the Bret Michaels’ Life Rocks Foundation!
I had the pleasure of meeting Bret Michaels, his band and his representative Patrick during a show in Chicago. I had never met anyone famous before and believe me when I tell you that Bret is an extremely kind person! His representative Patrick is wonderful! He hugged me when we met like we were old friends! Patrick knew my daughter’s name from the Bret Michaels’ Life Rocks Foundation sponsoring her for the week of diabetes camp! Very impressive memory! I told Bret that music is therapy, and that is how we found the Bret Michaels’ Life Rocks Foundation! I have always been inspired by music and to this day, I feel like music brings hope and strength to our family!
Diabetes camps are the best experience for Mikayla! The first year of her diagnosis she was angry but she realized that even though she was the only one at her school with Type I diabetes, there were many other kids going through the same stuff as she was! She became more accepting of her illness! I am one of the camp dietitians for the day camp in Chicago and it is one of the best work experiences I have ever had! I love those kids! They are all so kind-hearted and truly an inspiration to all of us! But some of these kids wouldn’t have the opportunity to attend diabetes camp without the financial assistance of the Life Rocks Foundation! This team works extremely hard to raise monies during their world-class shows and it’s truly a remarkable effort! If you have the opportunity to attend one of Bret Michaels concerts, you will not be disappointed!
Do you have a story of giving back, supporting charities, overcoming obstacles, a story of strength, inspiration through music to battle through setbacks or illness? We’d like to hear and share your story and photos.
Simply visit TeamBretMichaels.com, read other great stories and submit your own!
Also if you have the means and would like to, please consider donating to the Bret Michaels Life Rocks Foundation by visiting LifeRocksFoundation.org to show support in helping others.
Thank you for your continued support!