Right after I had Drago, she was at the hospital holding him. Then three weeks later I developed a high fever (104) and she was called by her brother. I didn't want her to come over, I was so sick. She insisted, she was a nurse, and went with us to the hospital. But on the way she was ravenously hungry and we had to stop for food for her. We didn't understand. She was diagnosed shortly after that with diabetes at the age of 29. Pretty quickly after that she was put on insulin. And then she got a pump, but she was fairly private about it all. So much so that I didn't really know what type 1 diabetes was. I was familiar somewhat with Type 2 and knew sometimes they needed insulin. I was so clueless.
In 2011, my husband was diagnosed with diabetes. Meaghan immediately told him he'll probably have to go on insulin pretty quickly. He didn't. Our doctor had said Type 2 diabetes but no tests were ran. I still didn't know about Type 1. Cro managed with pills and diet changes and exercise and at first this worked.
Then five years ago this week, I learned first hand what severe DKA and Type 1 diabetes is when MonkeyMan was diagnosed. And again, Meaghan was there.
And again with Drago. And again with Cro. And in those five years Meaghan went into DKA twice. She was afraid of lows and tended to run herself higher.
Early this summer she lost her job and her insurance and had a disturbing A1c, but I gave her resources a list of them and we found a way to get some insulin. And she was working on solutions. There was no obstacle she couldn't overcome. She was stubborn. And that seemed to be that. When we would check in on her she'd assure us she was fine. From here I will let her brother's words tell the rest. My heart is shattered.
" Meaghan Carter passed on December 25, 2018 from complication arising from Diabetes Type 1. I visited with her roommate, Cookie, for a few hours on the 26th in the afternoon as we began the long process of making all the arrangements for the funeral. An image stuck in my head from that visit was seeing my sister's Christmas presents unopened sitting there under a perfect little twinkling tree. Gone, My sister was gone. I'd been told by police. I'd talked with Cookie about it. I informed my parents moments after learning from that cop.myself she had passed. Seeing those presents, that thing which should have been done, should have brought joy or warmth or smiles still taped shut, still wrapped...something made it real and concrete right there in the traditional action not taken.
Diabetes kills. It muddles the mind and decisions become impossible. Insurance issues can prove deadly. Not knowing how or when to reach out for help can be fatal. As an LPN, Meaghan Carter knew how to take care of others. She knew how to make people laugh and feel loved. She knew how to set aside her own problems and tend to others needs. We all know the saying about sometimes your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness. Well, Meaghan knew how to push people passed their own hesitation towards acting to improve themselves. She held people to higher truth, to expected standards. She was good at this. It takes a toll. Exhaustion and fatigue and the struggles of working in the medical field and all that entails. Job surfing from one company to the next trying to maintain insurance and keep her living expenses flush is difficult with the best health. Meaghan had Type I Diabetes. Health care costs without insurance can be a death sentence. Managing the stress of caring for others and managing your own health is a hardship and takes a special kind of vigilance. Meaghan did this for 18 years. She established her capacity to handle many many situations under pressure while combating this difficult and sometimes unmanageable disease. Sometimes the red flags never go up, sometimes her loved ones do not see the warning signs. Meaghan was a fierce individual striving towards her own goals. She kept her few friends close.
This Meaghan Carter Memorial Fund goes to JDRF Southwwest Ohio which is responsible research, advocacy, constituent policy work as well as mentoring, training, educating, and building community. They do this across the wide and varied disciplines involved with moving towards better awareness, fairer drug pricing, bringing more advanced solutions to market. Meaghan had expressed an interest to be a part of our family team, T1D3, within the last year. T1D3 was started by my wife, in honor of our first child, diagnosed with Type 1 in 2014. Since then our other son and myself have also been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and fundraising and involvement with JDRF Southwest Ohio has increased every year. Since we have lost Meaghan to the disease, we are more than ever strengthening our resolve and commitment to a cure. We can not sink for a minute into despair and lose our focus on helping to bring this disease to an end. Our lives depend on it. It seems only right that we are dedicating our walk next summer to my beloved sister Meaghan Carter. In honor of her and in lieu of flowers and such, please donate to this cause in her name at the link below. If you have any questions about this please reach out and either my wife or I will help facilitate. I will honor my sister's memories and legacy every day for the rest of my life and at this moment, this is the best way to do this. Please join us in this effort."
And more words...
"Full disclosure: Losing my sister sucks. Sudden. Unexpected. Shocking. Hard. Painful. Maddening.
Heart wrench. Hear break. Working through the mechanics at the end of life is just thick arduous work as your mind wrestles with meaning and loss. Being a dad to kids who suffer the same disease that took my sister. Feeling helpless. Wishing and What ifs. Soul weary. Trudging empty pockets where emotions don't come. Fast slamming thoughts that lead nowhere but yearn for better grasp of questions you really it turns out shouldn't even ask yourself. How? Or Why? Pieces of information you didn't want, or didn't know cast you about like crossed waves in a rough water. It is all at once drowning and a desert of too much and not enough and you don't even know which is which or how this ocean desert is all of a sharp sudden the only place you can be. The voices of others going through something you can't even describe pushing into your feels in ways you couldn't have anticipated. Yours pushing into theirs. Dried thirsty seas within each of us of sad. Torrents of uncertainty, of long rolling memories conjuring something shaped hopefully like love, hopefully like honor muddling toward shore in the leaky boat of the broken heart. Are we all out there? Oars scratching in the dust, rowing our own little madness around, lost in grief? I brought a shovel, should we fish? Nothing makes sense knowing she's gone. My sister and I rarely saw eye to eye. I wouldn't even say she was a huge part of my normal day to day world. It is now, however, all sadness and loss. How do I carry this forward? How do I get out of this stupid boat. Is this even the right metaphor. My sister was a healer. She made us laugh, she showed everyone always her true self. A more genuine heart on your sleeve person is hard to imagine. She was a proud self sufficient loving human being. The only sister I have ever known. Diabetes took her life. A Nurse. A Daughter. A revered and beloved friend. Cherished and adored. If I am being honest sometimes frustratingly certain about where she stood. Her grace was her self awareness of her own flaws and the confidence of the learning that made her a healer, gave her the compass to know how to hold true. I've said too much. I'll never say enough. Even now my sister is making me crazy. And now I laugh! In a minute I'll probably cry. Loss sucks. Grief sucks. Look. I know I'm by far not first not first or last to go over the waterfall of sand. I know I'm having a moment and the view of it from a seasoned sufferer of loss has that knowing and the view from those who haven't...well. Maybe I haven't even said it well enough. I'm asking again for those folks willing and able please contribute to JDRF in memory of my sister and help us honor her. Consider coming to walk with us next summer in Cincinnati as we honor her memory again and dedicate our walk at Kings Island to her and the continuing fight against this deadly disease. I know I've been asking for four years and I wrote back then about how this disease could kill. I think perhaps I didn't even know what that meant except from afar. Now my heartbroken family lives that nightmare going forward. I'm sad and hurting and I wish you all would join me to help make her passing into something more. Thanks, "