This is a guest post written by my brother Brian. He was with us in Disney when Arden had a seizure due to low blood glucose.
It was our last night at the hotel and we were packing. You see we were checking out of the hotel the next morning, going to a breakfast and then heading to the Disney ship for the cruise portion of our vacation. We were all very excited and tired, it had been a long week at the park and we were looking forward to relaxing on the ship. Cole and Arden were sleeping and Scott, Kelly, and I were packing and goofing around - having a really good night.
What happened over the next 30 minutes or so was without a doubt the most terrifying experience of my life. It also drove home the reality of what type I diabetes is and what it is capable of.
Screams suddenly came from the other room, the room where Arden was sleeping. Kelly ran to her and then yelled to Scott that Arden was “seizing”. Arden’s cry was jarring but Scott and Kelly knew exactly what to do. Kelly held Arden while Scott gave her fast acting glucose to bring her blood sugar back up. After a few minutes (that seemed like an eternity) Arden’s BG rose and her seizure ended.
Later after things calmed down and everybody was sleeping I laid awake, still terrified at what I had just witnessed, Arden’s screams still echoing in my head. I could hear her yelling that she could not see (during a seizure she regains the ability to speak before her vision returns). Mostly I thought about how I had struggled to complete the simplest task that I was asked to do during the ordeal. I then questioned whether I was fit to remain Cole and Arden’s legal guardian (should something happen to Kel & Scott). What if it was just me and this happened again? Would I be able to pull it together and give her the help she needed?
Since that night I try to learn as much as possible about this terrible disease, I speak to Scott and Kelly when ever I can trying to absorb as much knowledge as possible. I ask about the insulin that they give her, how long it lasts and how it works, about how her BG reacts to different foods and on and on.
We had to skip breakfast the day after Arden’s seizure because were all so exhausted from the night before. We made it to the port on time and then had a fantastic experience on the ship. We stopped in the Bahamas and swam with the stingrays, took a glass bottom boat ride and played on the beach. Arden laughed and had a great time swimming in the ocean with Mom, Dad, Cole and her Uncle Brian. She was all smiles as Mickey fended off Captain Hook during “pirate night”, all as if nothing had ever happened. But it did happen and I spent most of that cruise wondering if and when it was going to happen again. Once you see first-hand what type I diabetes does to those afflicted with it you forever factor it in to your thinking - there is no escaping it.
I hope that no one ever has to see one of their family members go through something like this and I hope no one ever has to feel as helpless as I did that night. The JDRF is so close to a cure, please please help us eradicate this disease.