Overcoming type one

Junior Abbey Giles takes insulin through her pump.

Bethany Thompson

Junior Abbey Giles takes insulin through her pump.

  The people around her go in and out of focus, asking questions she can not process in the haze of what is happening. It only lasts for a few minutes before her mind is once again overcome by darkness. Only days later, Junior Abbey Giles wakes to her mom’s familiar face in an unfamiliar room.

  Abbey is a type one diabetic. She was diagnosed a little over a year ago after going into a coma from high blood sugar of over one thousand.

  “It was really hard to get used to, but now it isn’t that bad,” Abbey said. “I don’t even remember what life was like before becoming diabetic.The things I have to do, like counting carbs and taking insulin, have all become a part of my everyday life.”

In situations like that, you only pray.”

— Judy Giles

  After Abbey’s mother, Judy Giles, found her in a coma one morning, Judy and some of Abbey’s brothers rushed her to the hospital. She was then life-flighted in a helicopter to the Dallas Children’s hospital. After being in the ER for a couple of hours, she was moved to the ICU.

  “We kept calling her name and praying for her to hang in there with us,” Judy said. “It wasn’t until after we were at the emergency room that I even stopped to think. In situations like that you only pray. Looking back I can see how God orchestrated her brothers being there.”

  Diabetes is caused by the lack of insulin produced by the pancreas. Though controlling her blood sugar can be tiresome at times, Abbey says not everything about it is bad.

  “I went to diabetes camp, which was really cool because I got to meet a bunch of different people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise,” Abbey said. “I never would have met, talked or become friends with these people if it wasn’t for diabetes. It’s an instant connection.”

  Abbey has to check her blood sugar at least four times a day. She used to take insulin from a syringe, but now she has an insulin pump she inserts every three days.

  “Diabetes has made me conquer my fears,” Abbey said. “Before diabetes, I hated needles, but now it’s no big deal. This has just been one obstacle that I have learned to overcome.”