We have lived with Type 1 Diabetes for nine months. That is over twelve hundred injections, not that we are counting. Most days it doesn’t interfere with life. Apart from ensuring we don’t leave the house without a bag of sweets, a pot of rich teas, a few needles and a blood sugar machine, life pretty much goes on as normal.
Then something goes wrong.
Twin Girl got sick this week. She got a tummy bug. Nothing big, not too horrendous. Her brother got it too and vomited all over his Dad at Beaver Camp. At least Twin Girl made it to the loo.
I am a mother with seven years experience behind me, I can ‘do’ tummy bugs.
At least I used to be able to.
Suddenly throw in insulin and blood sugars and pesky little bastards called Keytones and I feel flipping useless.
I need to call a nurse to help me deal with a bug.
I had to go to a&e in the middle of the night because of vomiting.
I no longer can see the line between when I am overreacting and when I am doing the right thing.
Truth is, diabetes scares me, and for someone who doesn’t like to ask for help, that is a wee bit of a bugger.
Five days on and she is still unwell, her brother recovered within a matter of hours . Her blood sugars are still behaving like they have had a night on the gin. Today her bottom decided to join in the party in an explosive fashion.
Again, I feel a bit clueless, can I manage a sloppy bottom, do I need to get help? Is her body coping, or is her awol pancreas letting down the team again?
I know it is unlikely I will get through the day without calling my (excellent and lovely) diabetic nurse.
I do miss dosing her up with Calpol and putting her to bed with the knowledge that she will be better tomorrow.
I do miss my sense of rational.
It is not that we are not coping, there is not much in this world that I can’t manage. It is just that everything seems a bit overpowering, I am not fully confident in my ability to care for my child anymore. I don’t want her to see my worry, but I don’t want to dismiss it as nothing. I don’t want sympathy, this is our lot in life and we will overcome it with style.
I also want people to realise what she carries with her everyday. I want people to understand that without research and developments and government investment, diabetes can kill.
A women died in January, six miles from my house, she died of hypoglycemia. This means her blood sugars dropped in her sleep and she never woke up.
This is my biggest nightmare, diabetes can kill and it does so silently. According to Diabetes Uk…
‘Young women with Type 1 diabetes are nine times more likely to die than their peers – and young men with Type 1 diabetes are four times more likely – and this is likely to be because many of them have not had the care needed to give them the best chance of a long and healthy life.’
We need to change these odds, we need to do it now. This is my daughter we are talking about.
For more information on children with Type 1 Diabetes please visit http://www.diabetes.org.uk/