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Sierra Faith's Photo Sierra's mother Melissa Pinkerton writes:

My grandmother gave Sierra her name, I choose her middle name Faith. I have always wanted to give my daughter the middle name Faith so that if times every got rough she would look at me and say, "It's going to be O.K. mommy, Faith is my middle name."

Sierra Faith was 13 months old and barely walking when she was diagnosed with Diabetes. Doctors say that she is the youngest Diabetic in Fort Collins, Colorado. She is an outgoing, flirtatious child who loves being the center of attention. At Christmas, she pounded on the piano and stop to take a bow.

The night before I found out about her Diabetes, My mother took Sierra and myself to a restaurant for dinner to celebrate my new job. Sierra was as flirtatious as usual at the restaurant, blowing kisses and making funny faces to everyone who would pay her attention. She generally had a big appetite but not this night. She didn't want to eat anything at all. I figured that she must be coming down with the flu or maybe she is cutting another tooth since she had no appetite. All she wanted was water. When she would finish her water she would demand another glass. She just wanted more and more water.

I had noticed that she had been loosing weight for the past two weeks. I called a nurse and she said that was to be expected now that Sierra was walking. I notice too that Sierra was wetting through her diapers. I figured Sierra's bladder was getting bigger and I couldn't understand how every diaper on the market could not keep up with her bladder. Frustrated, every day I would go to the grocery store and buy another brand of diapers. I would get up in the middle of the night to change her diaper and her bed clothes. In the morning I would have to change her sheets again. I was doing a lot of laundry those two weeks.

The next day, after the day at the restaurant, I had to wake Sierra up. This was something out of the ordinary because Sierra usually got me up every morning around 8:00 p.m. She was very tired and sluggish. She only wanted to lay around the house instead of playing. I thought for sure she had the flu. At 1:00 I dropped her off with her paternal grandmother. I had to go fill out paper work for my new job. When I came to pick Sierra up at 3:00 p.m. her grandmother told me that she through up and wouldn't eat any of her lunch. All Sierra wanted to do was sleep. We noticed the she had a light panting breathing pattern. Sierra grandmother said, "yes, it looks like the flu." I gave Sierra some 7-up and water to settle her stomach. We then went to the supermarket to pick up some Pedialite.

When we got home, Sierra just wanted to sleep so I kept an eye on her as she slept. I would wake her up occasionally to feed her Pedialite and to change her diaper. About 5:30 p.m. Sierra through up again. I took off her soiled clothes and laid her on her side on a clean blanket on the floor. I went to run her a bath. After turning on the water, I went back to her room. I noticed that her lips were turning blue and her breathing was a heavier panting. I then realized that something was terribly wrong. I called my mother who live one mile away. I told her something was wrong with the baby and we need to get her to the hospital. I rapped Sierra in a blanket and in minutes, my mother was at my house. I kept calling Sierra name to keep her conscious but she kept falling asleep.

In the emergency room, the doctors questioned me about any medication or poisons that Sierra could have swallowed. I assured them that my house was completely child proof and that I didn't keep chemicals in the house. I only cleaned with vinegar, baking soda, and water. Because of my own allergies, I couldn't use chemicals.

After three hours in the emergency room, Sierra sugar level came back at 653 points. At that time the doctors told me the news. She was in ketoacidosis. Diabetic Arrest. She was starving to death.

She was put into intensive care for three days and stayed in the pediatric ward for six days. During that time I stayed in the hospital too learning all I could learn to take care of my diabetic child. I took diabetic classes and dietitian class. And in seven days, back at home, it was Sierra and myself figuring out a new routine.

Three months later, Sierra is doing extremely good. We have a lot good days and we have some days that are really rough. Some days I would be so happy and thank God that Sierra is doing so well and thank God that it was only Diabetes that we are dealing with. Other days I worry. I worry about the long term affects of insulin on Sierra's body.

Sierra is a trooper. She gets her shots twice a day and her finger pokes four time a day. She tells me "ouchy" sometimes and I say, "Yes, it's a little ouchy." She plays hard. She flirts with everyone, blowing kisses and making faces. She cuddles and give kisses. She say, "I Love You." Sierra gets into my makeup and puts it all over her face. She tries on my clothes and parades around the house. She has such an uplifting spirit. She keeps me going. I couldn't do this Diabetes thing without her.

Melissa Pinkerton

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Last Updated: Sunday December 05, 2004 11:15:54
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