Once upon a time, towards the end of an awfully hot summer, a military family once again found themselves starting over as they relocated from Bamberg, Germany to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. All went seemingly flawless during the move, it was just too easy. Quarters were awaiting for their arrival, they didn’t have long for 2 out of their 3 household goods deliveries, and (with the exception of the moldy freezer) there was only minor damage to our properties.

Fast forward to sometime in January. Out of nowhere, my (then) 6 year old daughter, Annelies, started to occasionally wet the bed. Unknowingly our first clue. I searched the web over and spent a lot of time at the Goodnites® website looking for ideas. Never once in my readings did I discover this was linked to anything medical outside of the urinary system. (This has since been updated, thanks to a few customer contacts). So we tried pull ups, limiting her liquid intake, bribing her. Nothing worked. Over the next couple of months, it got worse. She started wetting herself at school and we noticed that she was going more frequently and it was ALWAYS an emergency. Based on my readings at the bedwetting site, we thought maybe her bladder wasn’t growing as fast as her and an appointment with our family doctor was scheduled.

I had just returned to work and so Allen took her for her appointment. The wait seemed endless between each call after each test. First was a urine test showing a high sugar level; Doc is concerned and orders more tests. They moved onto a glucometer, her first finger poke, and it errors the meter. Allen checks in with me and I hear the words that would forever change our lives, “They think it’s diabetes, but doc wants to run one more test.” I’m in a tearful panic and I have no way to get to them because our other car was in the body shop. He finally calls back and says they ran an A1C and it came back 11.1, he would be by to get me as soon as he was released. They were very concerned originally floating around the ideas of ambulance or helicopter transfer. They finally decided it was ok to let him transport, but he had to get her to the hospital (40 miles away) immediately. No stopping on the way, just get there as fast as possible. He did finally get their ok to at least pick me up first.

Even though I had just started working, I had arranged for a half day off. Katy was a finalist in the Spelling Bee. After Allen dropped Annelies and me at the hospital, he raced back, barely making it on time. I’m so thankful that she didn’t notice my absence until it was over, but after she was disqualified (boo), she knew something wasn’t right.

If you’ve received a diabetes diagnosis, you understand that the next few days are a blur and I thought my head would explode with all the information we were given recorded diligently in my newly purchased notebook. What I do remember, other than hugging my daughter close at night as we snuggled in hospital bed, is that for the first time in my military life (as a child or wife). I was lonely and I hated the distance between us and our support structure. Most of all, I wanted my parents and my best friend and through the phone wasn’t cutting it this time.

This began our journey from Military Family to a Type 1 Military Family.


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