Soon after Isabella’s 6th birthday, we had the scare of our lives. She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, Juvenile Onset Diabetes and is insulin dependent for life. All the signs had been there but we did not realize as we did not have the awareness. Excessive thirst, nausea, frequent urination, pale and sunken-in facial features. She looked thin. Upon picking her up from summer camp, the counselor brought her, lethargically, over to me. For a girl who was rarely sick, this was shocking. I thought she’d caught something from someone at camp so brought her home and told her to rest and drink lots of water. She kept falling asleep and I thought she must be exhausted and dehydrated. This continued from about 5pm – 10:30pm when she finally stopped and fell asleep with us.

About 6:30am Bella awoke very dreary and pointed to her heart and that it hurt. It was racing. We went immediately to the ER, where she vomited on the scale and was hyperventilating. We were so scared. After several tests the ER doctor confirmed that she was dehydrated but because she has Type 1 diabetes. I was shocked and in denial. I put on my “just take action and do what you need to mode.”

Bella slipped into a diabetic coma in transit to Boston Children’s Hospital with me by her side. She did not awake until late that night. We spent 4 full days and 3 nights in the hospital while she gained strength and began to understand that life had just changed drastically forever. We were given a great deal of information, calculations to learn and were not allowed to leave the hospital until we had a firm grip on it and giving her 2 kinds of insulin through injections.

Today we check Bella’s blood sugars, administer insulin, count carbs and do calculations that change at any given moment. She has learned to do much of this on her own and give herself insulin, too. She recognizes signs of being low and high and knows how to treat them. She is a real trooper and we are very proud her. Life is not always fair but we have learned to deal with it.

We attend support groups and are blessed with an amazing local hospital that cares and has a great deal of support, provides camps, functions, events and classes to learn and grow to parents of diabetics and children living with diabetes. JDRF has also been wonderful and we did our first walk last year to help raise money towards research for finding a cure and helping children of Type 1 have a better life living with diabetes.

I am so blessed to have the knowledge about nutrition, to help Bella and others make healthier choices for living with diabetes and help prevent future disease and complications that can arise as a result of being diabetic and not having good control of blood sugars, etc. We assume that nutritionists, dieticians and MDs know about proper eating; but many will admit that they are not well educated on the subject. For example, recommending that diabetics consume chemically processed sugars (aspartame, splenda, equal, etc.) hurts them further. Yes, we understand that no sugar and no carbs is what we are looking to achieve here, but a healthier alternative is Stevia. Chemically processed sugars contribute to many health problems, like cancer, MS and more, which can even lead to death.

So I am glad to be associated with professionals around the world that understand health, diabetes, proper treatments and nutrition, who have taught me. I can hear what we are being told by the diabetic educators, and can alter it to be utilized in a healthier way. We do not have to succumb to treating one disease to cause another, as is often the unintended result.

Now a big part of my life is helping other children living with diabetes, by teaching what I have learned and to be a support for them in sharing valuable tools that can help anyone affected by diabetes. I plan to continue to help support JDRF, Wentworth Douglas Hospital and The NH Dream Factory who have all been a blessing and big help to us. And I am sure there will be others as well, as science learns more about the roles of genetics and lifestyle in diabetes.

This website is another addition to helping people live a healthier lifestyle. We use natural and organic products in our home. We try to stear far away from chemicals which can even be hidden in our self care and cleaning products. For these reasons along with some sensitivity issues, we have began making some of our own. We hope that you enjoy them too.

Talia J. Walley, Certified LEAN Family Coach, Wellness Educator and Proud Mom © 2012 All Rights Reserved