Hi, my name’s Jen and I'm the mother of a diabetic child.
Just a few years ago we had the worrying and rather scary experience of having my daughter, Alissa, diagnosed with juvenile (or Type 1) diabetes.
So how did we survive the trauma of diagnosis, learning to give insulin injections and learning all about diabetes?
Alissa was first diagnosed having been losing weight for some time – although we barely noticed as it was a wonderfully hot summer and we’d been enjoying time in the sun!
She spent a couple of days in hospital being treated and then came home. I think we were on information overload – there’s SO much to take in that it’s hard to know where to start.
The first time I gave Alissa her insulin injection I made a real hash of it and she ended up with a massive bruise – but I was keen to at least “have a go” – rather than her take the worry of it.
Looking back on that time – we had good support from the diabetic nurse – but there’s a few things which I wish someone could have told me:-
Don’t feel guilty - it’s easy to miss the signs of diabetes when you’re with your child all day. The most important thing is to get to grips with their treatment regime, insulin injections and regular blood glucose testing.
Take it one day at a time - don’t start to worry about the future. What’s most important is to help your child through this traumatic time, get them settled back into school or college and try to live as normally as possible.
Read as much information as you can – you’ll soon know more than the average nurse or doctor. Sign up for newsletters and join the national support organisations. I highly recommend the Juvenile Diabetes foundation for help and information, especially about the latest research and developments into the disease.
Make diet a whole family issue - we chose to change everyone’s diet as a family, this meant that Alissa didn’t feel singled out as odd or different. If Alissa couldn’t eat treacle pudding, nobody was going to! Reading cookbooks from the library and recipes from magazines helped me to re-learn our diet without it becoming boring or dull!
My good friend Sally always remind me that we must be “kind to ourselves”. Learning that your child has diabetes isn’t easy, can take time to adjust to and can be emotionally draining.
Try not to push yourself too hard, take each day as it comes, enjoy your times together as a family and just keep loving your child the same as ever!
Easy Christmas Recipes - for us the holidays can be a tough time to find healthy food, we share our favorite recipe ideas
Jen's blog - my blog as a mum to Alissa, info on latest research, problems and complications, health care and hospital visits.
The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star.
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin