The 3rd Annual Diabetes Blog theme for Sunday is “Diabetes Hero.”
There are so many.
There’s the triage nurse in the emergency department at Concord Hospital, where I took Madeline when she was sick in DKA. We sat in the waiting room of that ED for nearly 2 hours. All the while, I watched Madeline deteriorating and grew increasingly concerned. When we finally were taken back into the triage room, that nurse took one look at her and called for a glucose test. That nurse knew exactly what was going on, and her involvement led to very fast intervention and a definitive diagnosis from the ED physician in a very short period of time.
There’s the three paramedic specialists who manned Madeline’s medical evacuation from Concord Hospital to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. They let me travel with them. Before we left Concord Hospital, one of them went to the gift shop to get her a stuffed bear (another ED nurse did that, too). They did everything they could to keep her from slipping into a diabetic coma.
There’s the director of the pediatric ICU at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, who, upon greeting me that night after Madeline was med-evacuated there, immediately told me that this nightmare was not my fault, that there was nothing I could have done to prevent, and that they would take excellent care of my nearly unconscious and critically ill little girl.
The entire staff of the Pediatric Endocrinology Team at Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth deserves hero status. It was an intense, overwhelming four days of education about how to take care of T1 at a basic level. After discharge, they were (and continue to be) available 24/7, answering questions and helping me problem-solve difficult situations. They’ve taught me over the past 14 months that managing T1 is as much an art as it is a science and have helped me keep a straight head about what T1 means for Madeline’s lifelong health and well-being.
Every single person who takes care of Madeline when we can’t be with her deserves recognition. Madeline’s caregiver, who watches her before and after school. The school nurse. The administrators. The teachers. The paraprofessionals. The lunch and office staff.
And then there is Madeline herself. She is the epitome of wisdom, strength, courage, and tenacity.