Feature Friday: The Ragan Family!

Happy Friday!

Today I want to share an amazing family with you from Dallas, Texas. Megan is a hard working homeschooling mama of 4 beautiful kids. Her daughter Aviana who is currently 8 years old is a T1D and was diagnosed at the age of 2. She is the sweetheart of the family, loves to make people laugh, and her mother gushes that her daughter has a heart filled of gold! In addition to learning new things, she enjoys playing with nerf guns, video games, and wearing camouflage. Video games are something she enjoys and she aspires to make her own video gaming channel!

I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this amazing child and I hope you enjoy her story. Let me know if you have any take aways from this, we would love to hear from you!

Diagnosed with Diabetes

Aviana has been diagnosed with Type 1 for 6 years now.

Diagnosis Story

Aviana’s diagnosis story is a pretty crazy rollercoaster of emotions.

Aviana had just turned 2 and we starting noticing random things here and there. It started with excessive drinking and frequent urination. We noticed she was wetting through her diapers and leaking in the bed. Then we chalked it up to needing to size up the diapers. Finally, we started noticing a odd fruity smell from her mouth; almost if she ate Fruit Loops. We took her to the doctors after some weight loss and concerns. They had told us it was just a cold and to keep an eye on her. Aviana then started to become super lethargic. She just wanted to sleep all of the time.

We decided to take her to a local hospital where they monitored her for some hours. They came back and said everything was fine but that she had the flu and to keep her hydrated. Another day went by and she was becoming more lethargic. We took her to a different hospital where they monitored her for a few hours. They came back and told me it was hand, foot, and mouth and sent us home with antibiotics.

Another day goes by and Aviana isn’t waking up.

She was so lethargic she wouldn’t even open her eyes. We immediately rushed her to the nearest children’s hospital. I told the front desk and without hesitation they brought her back almost immediately. The first thing the nurse brought into her room was a blood sugar monitor. That moment when they took her BG and signed, I knew something was wrong. That is when we finally got the answers we needed and she was started on an insulin drip. Aviana was in DKA and it scares me to think of the outcome had we waited another day.

I wish my hospitals and doctors were more aware of the signs and symptoms of Type 1 diabetes.

Initial Thoughts

I first was absolutely relieved because we had answers. She was finally getting the help she needed. Then once things started to calm down, the guilt and heartbreak set in. One of my best friends in high was a Type 1; so I knew a little bit about the care. I just wasn’t ready for all that went into the care of a Type 1. There is so much a parent has to learn in order to care for the T1 child. The guilt came from not getting her to a children’s hospital sooner. I felt like I failed her as a mom. Then the heartbreak of her life will never be the same. I never want Aviana to feel like she’s different. The whirlwind on emotions was so crazy at her diagnosis.

Technology

Aviana is currently using the Dexcom G6 and Omnipod dash. They have been lifesavers and I couldn’t recommend enough. The dexcom is the biggest piece of mind that I thank God for everyday. Technology has come so far and I am beyond grateful for it all. Aviana enjoys being tubeless with the omnipod and with that being said she also enjoys not getting a lot of injections. I and Aviana would recommend both devices to anyone starting out in this journey.

Explaining Diabetes

At the time when she was 2, she really didn’t understand. She knew her life was changing but wasn’t sure how long. She knew there would be ouchies everyday, but that was the extent of what she knew at 2. As she has grown we explain a lot more and she understands the importance of her care. She knows she is just like any other kids her age, she just requires a little magic.

Sports and Activity!

Aviana is currently in soccer and absolutely loves it! When she was younger she was in gymnastics for a while too. My advice would be to not be scared of letting your kids play sports. Be open with the coaches and let them know of your child condition, and what it entails. When Aviana was in gymnastics and they would go to the opposite side of the building; I had the coaches take her dexcom. I let them know if it turns red to come and get me right away. They were completely fine with it and carried it in a little bag I gave them. With Aviana’s coach in soccer, I let them know I will come to them to have her pulled from the field if anything is to happen. They are so understanding and won’t hesitate to call a time out if we don’t have enough players. I just want other parents to know not to be scared, and to be open with those around your kids.

What’s T H R I V E mean to you?

Thrive to me means to flourish. Aviana was given this diagnosis that she will have to live with the rest of her life. She thrives every single day and grows every single day too. It’s like this seed that was planted and with the proper care she grows from it.

Despite the diagnosis she was given, Aviana takes it one day at a time and grows stronger and stronger.

Thriving with Diabetes

Letting her be a kid and not letting diabetes stop her. Most are under the impression T1 diabetics can not have sugar. We are here to show and spread awareness that those with T1 can do anything. Spreading awareness and just letting her be like any other child is what helps us thrive. Showing those that although she has diabetes; she can do anything she sets out to do. Education is so important and the support from family and friends is too.

Insulin for ALL

Insulin should not come at a price. We didn’t choose this life willingly, so I don’t believe we should have to pay for a life saving drug. I have seen too many news articles of passings of diabetics because they couldn’t afford insulin. This hurts me knowing people have had to go without or ration because drug companies have overpriced their drug. Insulin is one of the cheapest drugs, yet the markup is unreal. I believe insulin should come at no price to all. We already have to pay so much just for the care alone; insulin shouldn’t be one of those.

Words of Encouragement

I would have to say just take one day at a time.

Some days are going to be harder than the others. Take these days in stride and know no two days are ever going to be the same. The diabetic community is big and such an amazing support system. Don’t be scared to ask for help if you need it. I think it’s important to know that even with a life changing disease, so many people care. Never be scared to reach out, never feel sorry for needing help. There are going to be days where we feel terrible, but don’t give up. Even in the face of darkness, there is a beautiful light. To the parents on T1 kiddos; you all are amazing too! Just know that some days you might feel like a failure, but it doesn’t last. Our kids are thriving and gaining strength because of us. To all the T1’s and T1 parents; you are enough and you all are incredible!

Final Thoughts

Thank you for being an amazing support system. Without you all, I would be lost. Aviana gets to see so many people just like her and that helps her. So thank you for sharing your stories, your accomplishments, and your struggles. Aviana and I are beyond thankful.

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Megan

 

You can find more from this beautiful family on IG at type1aviana !

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