This Is Where We Introduce Ourselves

Hello, My Name Is. . .

Lee K. Vandenberg. I am a 47-year-old wife and mother of two beautiful, polite, respectful girls.

My husband, Chuck, and I have been married for 22 years. Most times I’m sure the credit for that goes to him. He’s put up with a lot from this fiery, red-headed Italian-Cherokee mutt.

Our girls are now 22 and 15. I feel pretty confident that my “mom”┬áskills are extremely superior to my “wife”┬áskills. I’m so proud of the young women they’ve turned out to be and the relationship I am able to have with them.

We’re a pretty average family living in rural Iowa. We work hard, eat dinner together, play board games, go to the movies, all that jazz.

Things are rarely as they seem, though. For all the good we have in our little family, the universe had to put the smackdown somewhere to balance things out.

That came in the form of constant health struggles. Chuck has had anxiety issues and some episodes of atrial fib; Taylor inherited his anxious nature and battled anxiety attacks for a few years, although she’s gotten a pretty good handle on them; and I’ve lived with asthma, migraines, and hypothyroidism since childhood.

As long as our list seems, it pales in comparison to Kelsey’s. She has definitely drawn the short straw: born with a heart murmur (which, thankfully, closed the Christmas after her first birthday) which led to the discovery of congenital asplenia [she was born without a spleen (more on that later)], hypothyroidism hit during kindergarten, and then, the summer before her 10th birthday, the granddaddy of them all – she was diagnosed with Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes.

It has been a long six years, full of worrying, long nights, high blood sugars, low blood sugars, ketones, sick days, doctor visits, . . . It can all be so extremely overwhelming.

And that is what has brought me to WordPress – the hope that sharing what we’ve learned, what we’ve experienced, what we’re still learning, can help other families living with T1D; and the hope to connect to others and learn from them, as well – until a cure is found.