Woman, Independent Parent, Artist, Advocate, Artifical Pancreas.... and EVERYTHING in between.

I am blessed to be parenting two beautiful girls, ages eight and eleven. My youngest nearly lost her life at age six (August 2010) to diabetic ketoacidosis: an often fatal consequences of undiagnosed type 1 diabetes. This is OUR journey: raw and sometimes, uncensored.

Thank you for visiting wishing good health and a cooperative pancreas to you and yours.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bella Fund

This is Bella and Rowan (7).

THIS is a win win situation!

Rowan is a type 1 diabetic. She is insulin dependent and wears an insulin pump 24/7. I nearly lost her 08/09/10 from often fatal complications of undiagnosed type 1 diabetes.

Bella is a Chesapeake Retriever/Chocolate Lab cross. She is a rescue dog.

She was spotted wandering along the side of a Saskatchewan Highway. The couple that picked her up told me she was ALL ribs when they found her. They loaded her into their truck, and brought her home to the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, knowing that if they left the pup, she would be killed.

It's a sort of divine intervention that we found one another. Allow me to explain.

As a type 1 diabetic, Rowan suffers from hypoglycemia (low blood sugars) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugars). The low blood sugar is far more serious than the high blood sugars, though neither one of them is a positive. Sometimes Rowan recognizes that she is low, other times, it is me, her artificial-pancreas mother that recognizes the symptoms and ensures it is treated. Complications of low blood sugar include (but are not limited to) seizure, coma, and unfortunately: death.

As a single parent with a chronically ill child, I cannot begin to express the PRESSURE kerplunked onto your shoulders. "Dead In Bed Syndrome" is unfortunately a label that is put on diabetic deaths, occurring in the middle of the night because of severe low blood sugar.

I tend to check Rowan's blood sugars at least once in the middle of the night. Generally around 3am, or whenever I wake up to use the facilities. I have not slept uninterrupted since at least August 2010. The effects are beginning to set in: nervousness, anxiety, depression.

So I approached my landlord earlier this week for permission to bring a dog into the house, to be trained as a Diabetic Assistance Dog (DAD's). A dog can be trained to be a DAD by recognizing the change of smells within the body chemistry during hypoglycemia. Another set of eyes watching over Rowan with me. He agreed, and somehow, maybe through divine intervention, within moments of posting my excitement on Facebook, a neighbour around the corner messaged me. "What kind of dog are you looking for? I know someone who has a dog that needs a home.... NOW. She's going to the SPCA tomorrow morning".

I wasn't expecting to have a dog that very same night. I didn't know what breed I wanted, all I knew is that it HAD to have a keen sense of smell. After doing some brief research on the Chesepeake, I agreed to go see the dog.

We know how this ended, don't we? Yes.... the dog came home with us that night.

But because Bella is a rescue, she hasn't had the veterinarian experience. She requires her three vaccinations, she needs to be tattooed and microchipped, she needs to be spayed. I was given an estimate of $250 - $300 from the lowest charging veterinarian I could find.

As a single parent family, we are on a very modest and limited income. While I didn't expect to have a dog immediately, I hoped to be able to save some money for her costs. But when the Heavens brought her to us, I couldn't say no. You can't on one hand say: I'm ready. But then turn around and say: not yet!

Bella has been with us for maybe three days now, and somehow or another (miraculously) has alerted Rowan to TWO different hypoglycemic episodes over two different days.

This is normally the time of year that we would be pursuing fundraising for the TELUS Walk To Cure Diabetes. But unfortunately, the issue with Bella is of the utmost importance. She NEEDS to be vaccinated asap.

While I find it very difficult, if not shameful, to have to reach out for assistance. This is SUCH a win win situation, that essentially, I am just the messenger. The advocate. The rescue rescues Rowan, who in turn, rescues her right back again.

A Bella Fund has been established with all donations going towards her medical expenses and diabetic training. Any donations would be beyond gratefully appreciated.

Thank you VERY much for your consideration. I hope that your generosity will return to you tenfold.

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