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Arden's Day Blog

Arden's Day is a type I diabetes care giver blog written by author Scott Benner. Scott has been a stay-at-home dad since 2000, he is the author of the award winning parenting memoir, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal'. Arden's Day is an honest and transparent look at life with diabetes - since 2007.

type I diabetes, parent of type I child, diabetes Blog, OmniPod, DexCom, insulin pump, CGM, continuous glucose monitor, Arden, Arden's Day, Scott Benner, JDRF, diabetes, juvenile diabetes, daddy blog, blog, stay at home parent, DOC, twitter, Facebook, @ardensday, 504 plan, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal, Dexcom SHARE, 生命是短暂的,洗衣是永恒的, Shēngmìng shì duǎnzàn de, xǐyī shì yǒnghéng de

Filtering by Tag: Diagnosis

Arden's Nine Year Diaversary

Scott Benner

On this very date, some time after midnight in 2006, I remembered something that I meant to say to my wife Kelly but forgot to earlier in the day. Arden was two years old, we were on a family vacation and she had been very sick for days. Our family was gathered around a table playing a board game late at night, Arden was sleeping on Kelly's lap.

"Arden’s breath smells funny, metallic or maybe sweet..."

Moments after I spoke those words, all sense of joy left our world. A few hours later Arden was diagnosed by an ER doctor with type 1 diabetes. 

One year later as the anniversary of that night approached, I started writing on the Internet about my life as the father of a child who lived with type 1. I posted my first blog at 3 am. I spoke in that first post of a high BG that was over 220 and I talked about that number like it wasn't really that high. Back then our diabetes technology consisted of a small meter and not much else, I was scared, our technology was lacking and 220 seemed safe as she slept. Safe in the short term that is.

Much thankfully, has changed since then...

Tonight Arden is sleeping in her bed, BG is 78 and steady. I'm bumping it up before I go to sleep with a short temp basal decrease on her Omnipod, I'd like to have it at 95 before I finish writing this. I'm watching her blood sugar in real-time on my iPhone at the moment. Again, much has changed in nine years, no more sneaking into rooms like a vampire.

My daughter has had type 1 diabetes for nine years and I've been sharing my life as her father for eight of them. I've seen this blog help many families and I have a sincere hope that it will help many more. Arden has always been generous and allowed me to share my experiences without reserve. Aside from the occasional request to leave out a detail, she lets me tell my story in the hopes that something we have learned or lived through may help you. I got my joy back years ago and I don't want you to be without yours for a second longer than you have to be. I believe very much that community support in all its forms, is key to finding balance and recapturing the joy you felt before diabetes arrived.

But my story is her story and she's made a request...

Arden no longer wants this blog to be adorned with a header image that depicts her as a four year old. A reasonable desire, I'm sure you agree. She made this small request at the beginning of 2015 and since then I've been working with an artist that I love to replace the art that is at the top of the blog, on Facebook, Twitter as well as my social media badges. The banners, profile images and Juicebox Podcast cover art are nearing completion and should begin popping up in the coming weeks. The artist has created a representation of that sweet picture of a four year old Arden, the one in the yellow top, that is reminiscent of the original. It was my goal for current readers to be reminded of that image and for new readers to not see Arden as a four year old.

Moving forward my goal for this blog and my new podcast remains the same as ever. I'll live my life as well as I can and when something happens that I believe would help you to live yours, I'll share it here and on the podcast (Which you guys are being so supportive of... thank you!). A podcast, a lot really has changed in nine years.

By the way, Arden's BG is now 98. I temp basal'd that low away like a champ... but then I've had nine years to practice.

Until there is a cure, I'll be here if you need me.

I've Never Been Hit in the Face with a Shovel

Scott Benner

This story takes place a few days after Arden's diagnosis in the summer of 2006...

If you've ever read our diagnosis story you know that Arden was diagnosed during a family vacation, just a few weeks after her second birthday. 

With the exception of one day, Arden spent that 'vacation' sick and waiting for us to figure out that she needed medical attention or in the hospital - she was released on a Friday, the day before we were scheduled to make the long drive home.

This was a day full of firsts for us. It was the first time that we gave Arden an injection in a restaurant, first time Kelly hung over the front seat to test a BG, first time I worried about driving with Arden and the first time I cried standing next to my car. It was also the first time I thought my son had cancer (he didn't and doesn't - keep reading).

It was a few hours after we ate at a roadside restaurant, the people at the hospital said we should retest after meals and so I drove as Kelly contorted herself and performed a finger stick from the front seat. The meter revealed that Arden required insulin. Of course we didn't know what the hell we were doing and had packed the insulin in the back of our SUV, I pulled onto the median and got out of the car to retrieve it.

I closed my door and watched Arden in her car seat as the dome light faded to black. Traffic was racing by us with such force and volume that I felt unsafe, this was;t something I would have done prior to diabetes. It was so dark and I couldn't see where I was walking, my eyes began to fill up with tears as I made my way to the rear hatch. A moment later was the first time that I drew a syringe outdoors, or in the dark for that matter. I had to lean over my son Cole to get to Arden's thigh because her door was on the traffic side of my car. I remember that feeling wrong to do.

Life seemed about as unfair as I could imagine as I plunged the needle into Arden...

I rubbed her leg and then turned my attention to Cole as I wondered what all of this must feel like to him. I smiled and put my hand on his face in an attempt to make everything feel okay, that's when I felt the bumps on his neck. I asked him to turn his head and saw that he had large bumps, that to my untrained eye looked like enlarged lymph nodes. The lumps were on both sides and ran down his neck from his ear to his chest. I though in an instant that he had cancer. Keep in mind that I had no reason to think that, it was just what popped into my head, "Lymph nodes > enlarged > cancer > Arden has diabetes > Cole has cancer".

I've never been hit in the face with a shovel but I bet I could describe the sensation with a grand amount of accuracy. The last thing that I felt that night was my hope leave my body. Every sense that I possessed shut off. I couldn't hear, think, smell, I stopped worrying about the traffic whizzing by - I was bereft in every way that we count ourselves as human beings. It's a good thing too because the ride home would have been unbearable if my senses were intact.

The next morning we took Cole to the doctor, he of course did not have cancer and we were told that it isn't uncommon for the lymph system to become enlarged during an infection.

With hindsight I can see that this moment was among the first in a long line of lessons that Arden's diabetes has taught me. Before this moment I thought of myself as someone who didn't panic, I believed myself to be cool under pressure. As it turns out, I had never been under this level of pressure. I know for certain that I wouldn't respond like that today because the person I have become, or perhaps I should say, the person diabetes has forced me to become - doesn't break so easily and doesn't give up so quickly. Diabetes takes far more than it gives but the stuff it gives is valuable - it's one of my goal to pass that message onto Arden and to all of you.

more posts on Arden's Day

My new Diabetes Daily interview

Scott Benner

When the multitalented and overwhelmingly delightful Ginger Vieira asks you to sit down with her and talk about diabetes, you clear your calendar.

Check out my interview that just went live on Diabetes Daily. It's centered on raising a child with type 1 diabetes and a few of the changes that I hope to see one day in health care, including a magic helmet that lets my wife and I go to a movie.

Diabetes Daily Interview