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A Type 1 diabetes diagnosis that stopped us in our tracks but didn't leave us there.

Shelley E. Huguley, Editor

April 12, 2022

3 Min Read
Shelley E. Huguley

As I'm writing this it's a Tuesday, an anniversary of sorts. It was 17 years ago on this Tuesday, that our 3-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. We had gone to the ER the night before, but it was about 4 a.m. before she was officially diagnosed. Periodically, the docs would come in stating they were waiting on one more test. My farmer and I held out hope they would finally confirm it was an infection treatable with antibiotics rather than insulin shots and daily finger pricks—eight a day to be exact. But that would not be the case.  

In addition to an incurable diagnosis of a disease we knew less than nothing about, I was also nine months pregnant with our son, who was due any second. On this anniversary, my farmer and I, after looking at each other and him telling me, 'I know how to give cows shots,' and me telling him, 'I'm used to counting carbs,' decided to keep our induction date for that evening. (The thought of waiting until the next week to induce and having a newly diagnosed daughter at home while we were an hour a way having a baby didn't seem like a good idea.)

Pediatric ICU was out the double doors of Labor and Delivery. My mom drove through the night to sit with me, and his mother sat with our daughter. My farmer went back and forth between the two of us. Later that week, we returned to Olton, Texas, with an over nine-pound baby boy and a new diagnosis.  

My middle-of-the-night feedings were dual purposed, relishing quiet time with my newborn and reading diabetes books so I could better understand and therefore manage my daughter's disease. 

I tear up as I think about this week and the years since, and not because of the diagnosis but because how faithful God has been. I can't express how overwhelmed I felt when she was diagnosed or how afraid I was of giving her her first shot. I didn't know how I would care for a newborn and manage blood sugars and administer shots and somehow make life "normal." I couldn't cure her. I couldn't fix her. It was totally out of my control.  

And yet when I look back over the last 17 years, God, our community, church and family have shown up repeatedly. That nine-pound baby boy is now posting up in basketball games on Friday nights. And that girl, who as a 4-year-old began pricking her own finger and could tell you how many carbs are in, well, anything, is thriving at college.   

Those initial moments felt like life was stuck in quick sand. Can you relate? But that moment didn't get the final word. If you ask my daughter today, she doesn't consider her diabetes as something bad that happened 17 years ago, rather something that needs to be managed so she can squeeze as much life out of the next moment that she can. Only God can do that! He is faithful! 

About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife, she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such as Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

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