I Love Someone with Diabetes: Paul Evans

Diabetes affects the whole family, whether you’re a parent, sibling, child, grandchild, spouse or friend. This week on the blog, we are featuring stories about loving and caring for someone with diabetes.

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Paul EvansName: Paul Evans, age 42

Location: Ogden, Utah

My daughter, Charity, now 13 going on 30, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in August 2009 at 10 years old.

The day she was diagnosed was one of the worst days our family had ever experienced. Charity had not been feeling well for a few days, but we assumed it was just the flu. As we now know we were way off base with that idea. Our oldest son, Jackson, continually pestered me throughout the day to get her seen by a doctor, but I had been distracted with errands I needed to run. I finally listened and went with her to the emergency room. They took one look at her, tested her blood glucose and told me that she was experiencing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and almost comatose. She was immediately Life-Flighted to Primary Children’s Hospital for more extensive care.

Our family spent the next five days cramming our brains with information about how to take care of Charity’s daily diabetes needs. It was very overwhelming, to say the least.

We have been extremely lucky not to go back to the ER since that day. She still hasn’t gotten her A1C low enough for her doctor to put her on a pump, but we are trying every day. Our lifestyles haven’t really changed that much, other than we are more aware of what types of foods have more carbohydrates than others and what kinds of snacks she can have when her blood glucose level is low, to help bring her up without her numbers yo-yoing too drastically.

Charity’s mother and I separated in December 2011, but I am still her primary diabetes caregiver. I have her medical supplies sent to my house, help her with tracking blood glucose levels and carbohydrate adjustments, take her to all of her doctor appointments and check up on her on a weekly basis if I don’t have a visit from her that week. This has definitely been the biggest learning experience for me and her siblings.

Charity does a fantastic job of measuring out her food to make sure she has the right carbohydrate count and insulin dosage. I know without a doubt she’s the toughest kid in the world. She has accepted her role as an example to others that it’s possible to live a happy childhood with diabetes. She takes care of herself for the most part now and is growing so fast I can’t keep track! Charity truly is my hero.

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5 Responses to I Love Someone with Diabetes: Paul Evans

  1. Katie says:

    This has put tears in my eyes! My daughter was just diagnosed a month ago and she’s two. This has given me hope. Everything you read is so negative! My bug is my hero and also the strongest girl I will ever meet!!

    • Geraldine says:

      I was completely shocked and depressed when my daughter was diagnosed but she showed me that life is so much bigger than being diabetic. Think about how many have a health problem that cannot be managed.
      My daughter learned to care of herself, is going to college soon, has modeled and made a healthy diet a priority. We all have been learning together.
      Concentrate on the positive steps you can take together. That’s way more important than the negative things you hear.
      Your love for her will help you all grow and be a great team!

  2. Lisa says:

    Nice to hear how other parents handle the nonstop worry that comes along with raising a teenage type 1 diabetic. My son Evan had a blood sugar of 1250 the night he got diagnosed. We were in the Emergency room at age 11 and in dka. Had we waited longer to take him in they would of had to fly him out but luckily he responded to fluids. My son was so strong the 5 days in the hospital. I will never forget when the pediatrician came in and explained to him the very disease that he was going to live with the rest of his life. When the Dr was done, Evan looked at him and simply responded “will I be able to play football?”. When the Dr told him yes, he moved forward and has never looked back! He is now 13 and is such a strong person. He has had challenges that we have learned to handle. He eats protein before bed every night so he hopefully will never have another seizure! That was the second most scary moment of my life! He has a pump and a continuous glucose monitor and they both are lifesavers! My next hurdle is getting him through puberty with good blood sugars. Then I might consider college! Lol! My son is my hero!!!

  3. Geraldine says:

    Paul,
    Congratulations on taking such a good care Charity!
    The AC1 levels should only get better with all the attention and love that you and the rest of the famlity has been giving her.
    Discipline and loving support are gold. It took us about 4 years for my daughter to get an AC1 of 5.4 without pump! Lots of protein and exercise, greens, no processed carbs,
    Thank you for sharing your precious story of love with us.

  4. Kumar P S says:

    Good now about the feelings of parent of Type 1. It realy giving courage and confidence to me fo take of my daughter who is just diagnosed as Tyep 1 in India. Unfortunately in India the insurance co. won’t cover Type 1 and the Insulin pump is very costly in India and not so popular. I would like to know from parents whether to go for insulin pump or pen? My daughter is 11 year old.

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