Briley Teague was 7 years old when her pediatrician pulled her mother, Angie, aside and said, “Your life is about to change.”
Angie had been concerned when her daughter began complaining about being thirsty all the time. “She’d guzzle down a lot of water and then five minutes later she wanted more,” she recalls. “Then at one point I noticed she looked like she had lost weight.”
The pediatrician ran tests and diagnosed Briley with type 1 diabetes. She was sent immediately to Children’s of Alabama.
The diagnosis was shocking to Briley in particular because she said she didn’t even feel sick. “But I told her that the tests showed a lot of glucose in her bloodstream and her kidneys were showing the same thing,” she says. “So I had to say, ‘Sorry, honey, but you are sick.’”
Briley was admitted to Children’s, where they began treating her condition. Then, both Briley and her family were given an education on type 1 diabetes and told about the importance of staying on a regular schedule, and taught by the staff how to check blood glucose levels, count carbohydrates, and give insulin injections.
When doctors released Briley from the hospital, “I felt like I was coming home with a new baby,” Angie recalls. “We’ve known this child for seven years and now we have a whole new set of rules. It was very scary.”
Briley was the strong one of the family, Angie recalls. “It was her father and I who were struggling. Here we were trying to give her injections but she was the one who was very stoic, very strong through it all.”
It has been more than five years since Briley was first diagnosed with diabetes. Now a seventh-grader, she is in control of her own schedule. She now uses an insulin pump that delivers insulin 24 hours a day. She checks her blood-glucose levels 8-10 times a day and if she needs more insulin, she just pushes a few buttons on her pump. There is also a nurse at the school aware of Briley’s condition who can assist her if she needs it.
“She’s very responsible,” Angie says. “She understands this is what she has to do to live a normal life.”
By all other appearances, Briley is leading the life of a typical 13-year-old. She is a straight-A student who loves hanging out with friends and going on mission trips with her church youth group.
“She lives a full, productive life,” Angie says. “She is just a blessing.”