|Goergens to walk today for diabetes|
|Saturday, September 14, 2013 12:43 AM|
BY ERIN COX
Katie, 18, is one of more than 26 million diagnosed with diabetes and one of the 5 percent of those diagnosed with Type 1. After being diagnosed just a little more than six months ago, her mom, Lori Goergens, wanted her to see that she was not the only person dealing with diabetes.
“I wanted Katie to see she’s not alone and that other people with diabetes can and do lead a normal life,” Lori said. “I also wanted her to go so she could be a role model for the little kids and show them that you can be active and still play in sports.”
Katie participates in volleyball, basketball and track and has remained active throughout the entire process of learning about her diabetes.
She first started to realize something was wrong during a basketball game when she could not see the other side of the court. At first, she thought her vision had changed and she might need glasses but after going to the eye doctor, still having problems seeing and reoccurring headaches, Katie and her mom thought it had to be something else.
They also noticed Katie always seemed to be thirsty, which was a sign of high blood sugar, but at the time, they did not know.
After going to the doctor and getting tests done, Lori received a phone call from the doctor’s office telling her to take Katie to the emergency room right away because her blood sugar was over 780.
“I knew other people who were diabetic, so right away I knew what it meant,” Lori said. “It tore me up because I didn’t want her to have to go through it.”
Katie didn’t think it was a big deal.
“It didn’t hit me because I didn’t really know what it meant until I finally realized how much time it took me each day to do everything I have to for it,” she said.
Lori and Katie received a quick training from the hospital about how to take care of her diabetes but said it has really been a learning experience to figure out what Katie needs to do to balance her meals and activities to maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
“It’s like a game,” Katie said.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the pancreas stops producing insulin. Those who have this type of diabetes must take multiple injections of insulin daily to survive, according to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation website, jdrf.org.
Katie takes insulin based on how many carbohydrates she eats and the amount of activity she will be doing. If she has low blood sugar, she will take less insulin. When she has high blood sugar, she has to take more insulin to cover that high and any food she is about to eat.
Adding the fact that Katie plays sports throws another factor into the game. When she has a practice, she has to have her sugar at 160 before she can participate. Sometimes this means eating without taking insulin so she can have a higher blood sugar.
“I’m better now than I was,” Katie said. “It’s getting a lot easier now that I’m getting used to it.”
She gets annoyed sometimes from having to remember all of her supplies and when her mom keeps asking if she has checked her sugar but Katie said she is getting into a routine.
“I was told Katie would get emotional after the newness wore off and she did,” Lori said. “She just wants to be normal. I tell her this is our new normal.”
Lori has a lot of support from parents around the area who have had children with diabetes.
“Parents came out of the woodwork contacting me and telling me about their experience,” Lori said. “If I had any questions, I always had someone I could turn to.”
Now Lori wants to show Katie there are people of all ages with Type 1 diabetes and that she has many people supporting her as well.
“This will be the first walk of many,” Lori said. “Hopefully we can raise some money and they can find a cure but right now, it is more about showing Katie all this support.”
Katie has about 20 of her family and friends joining her in the Oakwood Community Walk for Diabetes today.
“I’m excited,” Katie said. “It’s a good feeling having people support me and know that they care.”
The walk takes place at Oakwood Elementary School at 1 p.m. All funds raised, minus the cost of the T-shirt for registered walkers, will go to the American Diabetes Association.
To donate to the ADA on behalf of the Oakwood Community Walk for Diabetes, visit main.diabetes.org/goto/oakwoodcommunitywalk.
The ADA uses money donated to the organization to fund research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; deliver services to hundreds of communities; provide objective and credible information; and give voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes.
To learn more about diabetes and the Oakwood Community Walk for Diabetes, visit fightdiabetes.weebly.com.