The most terrifying thing about living with a child with Type 1 Diabetes is knowing that without their insulin they cannot survive. My daughter Molly is dependant on her insulin pump, if it malfunctions on her it needs fixing immediately or replacing. A Type 1 Diabetic cannot produce their own insulin, the human body cannot function without insulin.
The truth, no matter how much it pains me to type, is that without artificial insulin, Molly would not be with us today.
Molly showed the signs of being diabetic for at least two months before she was diagnosed. When eventually we took her to hospital she was a poorly little girl. Despite the media headlines screaming that Diabetes is bankrupting the NHS, Type 2 and Type 1 are still confused, and very few people recongnise the signs of Type 1 and appreciate the difference.
People who are not diagnosed when they present the signs of Type 1 Diabetes run the risk of becoming fatally ill.
The signs are simple:
Increased need to urinate.
If you show these signs, insist on a blood test, it took 30 seconds in a GP’s surgery for me to receive the devastating news that my child would be insulin dependant for the rest of her life.
But others are not that lucky.
A decade ago, a 34 year old man called Adam Bell became ill. He was incredibly thirsty, lost weight, and suffered stomach pains. Eventually he called the doctor who diagnosed him with a virus and advised fluids and rest.
Adam died at home, two days later from ketoacidosis, a complication of Type 1 Diabetes that occurs when the sufferer does not inject insulin.
That could have been my child.
I hope in writing this post, a few more people are educated about the signs of this condition. I hope that no one suffers Adam’s fate and that the work that is done in his name by the Adam Bell Foundation.
The Adam Bell Foundation has launched its first-ever online video, aimed at ending the confusion around Type 1 diabetes which it believes is costing lives. The 40-second video focuses on a young man unknowingly suffering from Type 1 diabetes. It makes use of a dramatically stylised scenario in order to convey the feelings of fear and helplessness his symptoms are causing him.
If you have a loved one with Type 1 Diabetes it is upsetting to watch but you will see why it is needed, if you live a life unaffected by Type 1, take 43 seconds to watch and ensure you know the signs, just in case Type 1 ever comes into your world.
Thank you for reading.