Bonnie Parille

Karyn and Bonnie Parille

Chicago, Illinois

At the end of a school day a couple of weeks ago, my daughter Bonnie’s fourth grade teacher started acting "strange." She was repeating herself, pacing, etc…

The teacher sat down and called to the other 4th grade teacher across the hall and said, "My blood sugar is low. I am too weak to test myself. I need help."

Bonnie heard this, jumped up with her glucose meter and asked the teacher to test her blood glucose level. Bonnie saw that the teacher was too weak and tested her teacher’s glucose level, which measured very low at 40 mg/dl. (The American Diabetes Association’s recommendation for fasting blood glucose levels is between 70-130 mg/dl).

Bonnie ran to her locker to get her juice boxes, opened one up and gave it to the teacher. Bonnie then ran down to the office and said "I need a glucagon kit (a hormone that is injected to raise blood glucose levels) for my teacher!"

In the meantime, I am waiting for Bonnie to exit the school and an ambulance pulls up. I ran inside to see Bonnie retesting her teacher. At that point she was 48.

It is hard to come up with a reason to stop diabetes, because you can’t. Your body attacks itself. My husband and I would like to stop diabetes because it makes our daughter grow up too fast. I appreciate all of the compliments of how mature and how calmly our daughter reacted to this emergency. Proud? Not a strong enough word. She’s my baby with diabetes, and I can’t make it go away.

We catch ourselves saying "Did you test? What were your numbers today? Did you bolus?" before we remember to first say, "How was your day Bonnie?" And those poor pricked fingers. Don’t even get me started.

Those are the reasons I want to stop diabetes.

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