Ava’s Story: From Heartbreak to Hope
Health-e-Solutins comment: This mother’s story and Ava’s story of hope is so inspiring. It is a testimony to what a family can do when they venture down this road less travelled. They have experienced the freedom and relief that comes from putting the body in a position of strength for better BloodSugarControl and long term health.
Our journey with Type 1 diabetes began a little over a year ago. Just like everyone I presume, we were shocked and devastated. It was the first Saturday of December and all the girls in my family get together for our traditional cookie baking day a few weeks before Christmas. I was eight months pregnant with our third child, another little girl to keep the tradition going! That morning I left our 2-year-old daughter, Ava, at home with daddy because she wasn’t feeling well. She was acting very tired, partly because she had been up several times in the night having completely soaked through her diaper and bed sheets, which was unusual. I remember that she had been drinking so much the previous day, like she couldn’t get enough. We live in Florida and even in December dehydration can be a concern so I gave her all she wanted. The next day more of the same. I knew I would take her in to the pediatrician Monday morning if things didn’t get better. And they didn’t. Monday morning Ava was lethargic and fussy and had been up several times in the night – again wetting the bed through. Although now a stay-at-home mom, my background was in Nursing so I was thinking maybe she had caught some sort of virus, or maybe it was a UTI with those symptoms, and looking back a small voice was saying, ‘rule out diabetes…so you can sleep at night,’ but that was just the nurse in me, and certainly it wasn’t even feasible enough to even say out loud. But I did ask the doctor to check a blood sugar.
Ava sat beside me on the exam table and the nurse put the drop of blood to the test strip…595 it said. My world changed in that moment, and so did hers.
I knew full well what this meant for her. I will never forget that moment of realization. I couldn’t hold back my tears and despair. I had actually worked for our doctor before Ava was born, and since then she had become my friend. She hugged me and just said “I’m so sorry” as I sobbed. I dealt with my emotions on the 30 minute drive to the children’s hospital. On December 5th 2011, our precious baby that I carried on my hip – was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
The staff at the hospital is to be praised for their compassion and care – but what a horrible, painful, experience for Ava. I will say that God’s hand on her was clear. She was protected and comforted in a way only He could do. And for me, He was my refuge and strength. No doubt, I alone, was not capable of bearing what those 5 days brought.
Ava was in DKA [diabetic-ketoacidosis] when we arrived with an A1c of almost 12, and she spent 2 days in the ICU on IV insulin to correct her immediate condition.
A few days of monitoring and diabetic education followed. The general guidelines we received were to count carbs and cover with insulin, and the recommendations were to get up to 60-65% of calories from carbohydrates – something a diabetic cannot metabolize correctly. This seemed so wrong?! Common sense would say that does not seem right. We were also told there was nothing we could do to really help or improve her condition with diet, etc., or to prevent further progression. We would realize later that unfortunately the resistance to anything but a routine insulin regimen from those practicing traditional western medicine is ongoing. They are either simply not educated in anything alternative to insulin therapy, or they have their hands tied and won’t recommend anything that has not been approved or regulated by the FDA – regardless of how much research or results have been reported with other treatments.
We were interested in how to treat the cause of her disease, not just the symptoms. We also wanted more natural, individualized care.
I spent the next 6 weeks researching alternative treatments, and natural cures but came up with nothing solid. 6 weeks after diagnosis our new baby was born, and unfortunately I didn’t have the time to research as I had been. Meanwhile our family life was chaotic. Managing Ava’s care was time consuming and mentally challenging. It was grueling work to count every carb and give insulin shots and blood sugar checks to a 2 year old, 4 times a day and even check through the night. We were struggling to keep our sanity. We did immediately tighten up on her already seemingly healthy diet. We concentrated on fresh, whole foods. But a 2 year old is affected by every last carb, and every drop of insulin. I was exhausted, frustrated, and my heart was literally aching for my baby girl to be going through this. The constant management it took to keep her numbers stable was causing our family overwhelming stress. The rollercoaster of blood sugar ups and downs was unending. At one point we thought things were pretty stable because when we checked before meals her numbers were pretty good and her A1C had come down to 7.8 after 3 months. In an effort to tighten up a little more, we started checking 1 hour post prandials just to find that she was much of the time exceeding 200! We were desperate for better, more natural and healthy control for her. We knew it was out there.
Several weeks later I was able to dive into researching again and almost immediately this time, I ran across Dan and Sally Roman’s story of their two Type 1 Diabetic boys who were managed with natural treatment plans and did not even require insulin. I was intrigued and it was the first time I felt hope for a better way. Over the next few days I spent much time on the Health-e-Solutions website, reading the encouraging stories of many T1D kids who were managing their diabetes this way, had better and more consistent results, and had decreased their insulin or no longer needed it by following a regimen of diet and supplementation. I emailed the Romans my story and got a surprise call from Sally shortly after. I immediately felt the genuine compassion she had for us and heard such promising information about what they were doing with their boys.
I didn’t want to waste any time so I educated myself through their Home Study Course and started familiarizing myself with the cookbooks and food. Looking back, I recognize how vitally important it was for us to equip ourselves with this information before getting started with this lifestyle.
We immediately embraced and implemented the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle and within days Ava no longer needed fast acting Humalog with meals! Within a week she went from needing 4 units of Lantus to 3 units. Currently she is only requiring 2.5 units of Lantus daily. Her blood sugars started stabilizing even more as time went on.
I cannot explain how wonderful and freeing this felt to see such immediate and significant results! And it all made so much sense! This lifestyle is strengthening, supporting and healing to her body. A far cry from “eat whatever you want and just cover it with insulin.”
We have had some bumps in the road along the way, like when she gets sick, or has a stressful week, or just part of the course of the disease. She sometimes requires a very tiny amount of fast acting Humalog. But this is not the norm and has been infrequent, and we have also learned about other things that can help naturally. Now she seems more stable than ever and I can tell her body continues to heal. That is so exciting! It’s been 14 months from diagnosis and her last A1C was 6.1. We fully expect the next one to be at least that good – probably better.
Ava loves her food. She made up a song last week about eating healthy food, she is learning to help in the kitchen, she is growing and full of toddler energy!
Diabetes is not a pretty picture, but this Health-e-Solutions lifestyle offers a chance for her body to be the healthiest it can be and prevent complications. That is what is most important to us. The many other benefits that we experience are less or no insulin needed, less injections, less roller coaster than we had experienced while on larger doses of insulin, especially the fast acting, and less concern for severe lows mainly because of lower or no insulin requirements. There is no doubt Type 1 diabetes is a horrible disease and management of it is constant, but we feel this is the healthiest way Ava can be treated.
Change always has its challenges. And certainly having a T1D child is a big change that carries enormous challenge. But once we settled into a routine of getting organized, planning and preparing, and staying connected to our support system regarding Ava’s care, things started coming together. And now after a year, our day to day, while still holds challenges, is more manageable and more efficient. Ava is certainly happier and healthier for it!
The support of Dan and Sally Roman and the network of people living this lifestyle together has been incredible! The resources they make available to us through their years of research and personal experience is invaluable.
We will forever be grateful to God for leading us to them. We have posted on our refrigerator Proverbs 3:5-6, which says “trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths.” He has been faithful. We are so grateful to the Romans for their heart to serve other families so generously, who are living with diabetes.
Moving forward, we are continuing to follow the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle with Ava. We are recognizing how this lifestyle is supporting and improving the health of her body. We are continuously learning from our own experiences and the experiences of others, and implementing things that will support her overall health – it is a journey. We are full of hope for what the future has for her – and it’s a bright future! *
(* results may vary)
Heealth-e-Solutuons comment: We hope this story encouorages you to take steps to improve your lifestyle. We’d like to help, and to that end we have created products and services to make the transformation easier. We have been on this journey ahead of you. We know what it takes and how to save you valuable time and money. We provide you with the tools and information you need to make this change toward better health practical, livable and sustainable.