Pardon the dust.

I'm fiddling with the theme and other mechanical whatnots, so things may be a bit on the garish side for a little while. I apologize in advance to anyone who still reads this rag besides me for any offenses to your visual acuity or good taste.

Today, we were supposed to go camping.

Four years ago today, we were supposed to go on a family camping trip. Instead, we went to the hospital, and our lives were never the same again.

September 22, 2005. Abbey started exhibiting the symptoms of a stomach bug: vomiting, lethargy. We were heading down to southern Missouri for a campout the next day, and figured this was a case of bad timing at the worst.

Throughout the night, she was up every half hour to throw up. Then we noticed the panting, the shortness of breath, and started to suspect that there was something more going on. We called the 24-hour nurse line: "Sounds like an asthma attack. Go ahead and take her to the emergency room."

The ER doctor took one whiff of her breath: "She's in DKA—she needs to be admitted immediately." An hour later, we were in the pediatric ICU at Children's Mercy Hospital, feeling shell-shocked and wondering about the future.

* * *

Abbey has been living with type 1 diabetes for four years now. Publicly, she leads the life of a normal ten-year-old, but privately it's anything but. She wears an insulin infusion pump, to ensure that her blood doesn't turn toxic. She sticks her fingers eight times a day to check her blood sugar level, to ensure that it's under control. She monitors what she eats, to ensure that the carbohydrates in her food are matched with enough insulin to metabolize them.

On October 10, 2009, we'll be participating in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund is committed to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes—not just treatment, but eradication of the disease in those who currently have it as well as its prevention in those who don't.

Please consider donating to our team.