August marked four years since Taylor was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. It usually passes before we’ve even noticed, but we realized that during the last Olympics in London, we were watching from California and life was still as we felt it should be.
I’ve never written about any of this on my blog because it didn’t feel like my story to tell since I wasn’t the one diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. But in reality, until there’s a cure, I can’t not share our story. We can’t sit back and hope someone else does the work to fund research or raise awareness.
Truthfully, four years ago, neither one of us knew anything about Type 1 Diabetes. We had just gotten married, we were enjoying an incredible, albeit unexpected summer in California while Taylor completed KC-10 training, and we were looking forward to starting our first Air Force assignment in New Jersey. After collapsing during a fitness test, Taylor went to the hospital on base for a check up. The next thing we knew, he was being transferred to the ICU because of an off the chart blood sugar reading and a 40+ pound weight loss. (You read that right, four – zero).
Not only were we devastated by the diagnosis itself, but it also meant that Taylor’s dream of being a pilot was over. We spent the next few days learning how to manage everything they were throwing at us before heading home and facing the Air Force medical boards. A year later almost to the day, Taylor’s Air Force career and the life we had imagined for ourselves was officially over. This summary might sound quick and tidy, but the in between was messy, heartbreaking, and full of reminders that Type 1 Diabetes would now touch every part of our lives.
Today, life isn’t quite as scary as it was when we left the hospital. Some days we miss what might have been in our old life, but we’re grateful for the ways it has strengthened us in our faith and our marriage. It has taken me four years to be able to say that. I am grateful for this experience. I do, however, have hope for a future where a Type 1 Diabetes isn’t devastating to anyone else.
If you would like to help us achieve that future, you can donate to the JDRF HERE.
If you’re local to Kansas, you can join us on September 24th for the One Walk. We won’t be able to top last year’s commemorative photo, but we’re excited to bring Paul back!