Stef's help didn't stop at the hospital. Nope! She brought her daughter, Kenzi, over later in the week so Ellie could watch a 'pro' check her blood sugar and count carbs to bolus for a snack. Kenzi wears a pump, and this was the first time Ellie and I were able to see not only the pager sized computer, but also the tubing, how Kenzi wears it and where it is hooked up on her infusion site.
Kenzi is a beautiful 13yo who embraced the idea of being a 'big D-sister' to Ellie and I will forever be grateful.
Ellie's Rufus is always beside her while she is sleeping and has become a permanent member of her stuffed animal family.
This past Monday Ellie came running in the door after school and gleefully announced a that a "new diabetes kid" was in the nurse's office today and she was only a "Kindergartner!".
While I was happy to hear Ellie was excited about a having someone else in the nurse's office to check sugars and take injections, (there is also a older boy with T1 at her school) my heart was full of sadness for the family who now has to make room for this awful disease in their lives.
After probing Ellie about the girl and her situation, I quickly realized this was a little girl I used to coach in gymnastics and I knew the mother and siblings. The problem was, I did not have a phone number or email address to make contact.
So I shot off a quick message to our school nurse asking her to pass along my contact information to the family and let them know I would be available to help out in any way possible with this new transition.
To my surprise, the nurse not only agreed to pass along my information and offer, but she also included this story in her email:
"Amy: I was so hoping that you were coming in today, because I wanted to share with you about how Ellie went above and beyond in helping the little girl today in my office at lunchtime. The little girl was somewhat hesitant about having to take her shot of insulin, so Ellie let the little girl watch her while she did her shot!!! It was amazing to watch………..no words were exchanged……..Ellie did her thing and you could just see the reassurance and confidence in the little girls face that, yes, she was going to be able to manage this diabetic thing.
Ellie will be a teacher someday………….she really has that special touch!
(signed by the nurse)
What a special girl!!! PS: I will pass your information onto the family."
Ellie paid it forward! I couldn't be more proud of my little girl!!!! (and yes, I totally cried when I read that message. Then I forwarded it to my husband who also admitted to tearing up after reading it.)
Inspired by Stef, and now Ellie, I am heading down to the local JDRF office tomorrow and picking up a 'bag of hope' for this newly diagnosed family. In addition, Ellie is putting together a small treat bag filled with her favorite low carb snacks and a sample of her favorite ways to treat lows. We will deliver the goodies tomorrow after school. I cannot wait!
Yes, this diabetes diagnosis has rocked our world and changed Ellie's life forever, but I can't help but be grateful for the opportunities it has placed in front of us and given us the chance to grow.