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Family First

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It's taken me some time to decide whether or not I wanted to post this publicly on my website. In order for customers or others to fully understand why exactly it may take me so long to complete an order as they patiently wait, I feel it's best they know the answer. If you do not follow @islanddoggie on Instagram or, then please continue reading. If you do follow us, much mahalo for your support and continue reading just to kind of educate yourself on Type 1 diabetes. Be prepared for those you love.


Coral's first day in the PICU at Kapiolani Medical Center with IV in her left wrist, another for blood draws on her right (shown in image above). She was finally able to eat solid food the second day (shown right).

On Friday, March 11, 2016, my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) at only 16-months of age. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this disease, it is not brought on by consuming too much sugar or inactivity. The endocrinologist simply said, "It's an auto-immune disorder" with no known cause (yeah, try accepting that info as a scared and angry parent). This happens when the body's immune system attacks itself making the person prone to illnesses and other diseases. In Coral's case, her pancreas will cease to produce its own insulin. She is insulin-dependent for life meaning my husband and I will have to give her blood glucose or "BG" checks (pokes on the fingers or toes) before meals and insulin (with syringes and vials or pen needles) after eating if needed. Additional BGs are needed at 11pm and 3am and when we notice her showing symptoms of hyper/hypoglycemia. There is no cure for T1D whereas people with Type 2 diabetes can sometimes be treated with/without medication, proper diet, and exercise. T1D is most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults under the age of 40.


Coral not feeling herself the day before we took her to the hospital.

We spent two nights and three days at the hospital and the first two were extremely shocking and frightening. Coral had been acting lethargic and super thirsty and wetting heavy diapers since the Tuesday before D-Day. I knew she wasn't herself and contacted her pediatrician Thursday evening. She called me 8:00am HST Friday morning and told us to "come in between her appointments because it was urgent." A quick checkup and she sent us down to the ER to have Coral's vitals taken, blood drawn, catheter to check for ketones, and poke IV's in her since she was severely dehydrated. She had diabetes ketoacidosis (DKA), a serious condition that can lead to diabetic coma (passing out for a long time) or even death. It was incredibly traumatizing for her and I hated seeing her in so much pain. They had to strap her down on this plank looking board and wrap/swaddle her in it to do all that poking and hook up the IVs. No child should have to go through that discomfort and frightening experience. She will forever hate hospital beds.

The next three days, we were drilled with information about diabetes and instructed on how to give her treatment while monitoring her glucose levels throughout the day.


Left to right: Her blood sugar was low at 56mg/dl one day and fine the next when we went to the beach.

It's been almost a month since then and we still haven't accepted the fact that she has to deal with this for the rest of her life. We find it almost impossible to actually "manage" or control her diabetes since she's so young, eats frequently in small or random large portions; and remains active when sugar levels are good (between 100-200mg/dl). People tell us, "At least she'll grow up with healthy habits and not have to change them as if she were diagnosed as a teenager." Sure. I guess that's the silver lining, isn't it? Oh yeah, I've lost weight due to all the stress, sleepless nights, and carb counting. Whoopee (sarcastic tone). I'm always searching for new low-carb recipes in case anyone would like to add it in the comments below. I, now, have become her stay-at-home nurse, dietician, and personal trainer in addition to daily mom duties. Follow my new crazy life as a d-mom, or mom to a diabetic child, on Instagram @seashell808.


Left to right: Lantus (long-lasting) insulin, alcohol prep pad and 31g syringe; Kids with Diabetes (decent recipe book), insulin bag w/ cooler packs and Kids First Diabetes Second (good guidance book); and us leaving the hospital!

So, yes, I will be focused on caring for and monitoring my precious daughter every day - even as she sleeps. I will happily accept all orders, but will need additional time necessary to complete each order without sacrificing quality and attention to detail. From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely thank all of you for your support and hope you stick with Island Doggie for all your beachin' dog accessories!

Mahalo nui loa,

Shelsea Deng
Island Doggie

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