I’m a 32 year-old wife and mother of two boys. I’m a registered dietitian and a licensed school teacher as well. I had just lost 60 lbs so suffice to say I was shocked and felt undeserving to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes on April Fool’s Day of 2008. Boy, was I in denial of anything wrong, too! Even as a health professional, a person can block out symptoms that are tell-tale to others.
On vacation, my husband saw me drinking two 32 oz waters during the night and said, “Good grief! Are you turning diabetic or something?” I blew it off, but when my usual 20/20 vision was so blurry coming home that I couldn’t read road signs, I knew in my heart that something was really wrong. I was scared and went to the doctor that Monday.
With an A1C of 9.2 I was put on EIGHT (8) various diabetic pills per day. After a month with zero improvement, I saw an endocrinologist in June of 2008 who correctly diagnosed me with Type 1 diabetes. (I’m now on an Omnipod and Freestyle Continuous Glucose Monitor and doing well.) My A1C had gone from 9.2 to 11.7 just in those few months. I just felt like my life was over. I really went through a grieving process. I figured there had to be a reason for God to put this in my life. I now know why I have diabetes, and it’s to give me a true heart for those with the same condition.
It’s different to really feel how someone feels versus trying to understand challenges based on case studies and patient interaction. All of this to say, God has put on my heart a calling to open a residential home for girls with Type 1 diabetes. These girls will be coming from home situations where their physical, nutritional, and spiritual health is in jeopardy. They will come from the foster care system, private referrals, and court recommendations. It is the Cyndie Parks Memorial Home for Girls-named after an LPN who died at age 45 from diabetes even with the best of care. I will do what I can until there’s a cure!