I can’t believe it’s been 7 months since my now 12-year-old son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. On the whole, things are a little smoother. I still hate the word “managed” because things still aren’t normal — and things will never be normal when your child needs insulin several times daily to live, but we are handling it better. Make sense?
We’ve had a great experience with our insulin pump, Omnipod, which is a tubeless insulin pump. Instead of my son taking 4 shots a day (minimum), we install a new pump every 3 days.
However, the pumps do fail sometimes. And when they fail at 2AM, it’s frankly not very fun. But we deal, we deal because we have to. I’ve tried to calm down and relax a little. I still check my son at night to make sure his blood sugar is steady — usually around 11PM and 1:30 AM. Has it taken a toll on me? Yes. It absolutely has. But as the primary caregiver to my son with Type 1 Diabetes, who else is going to do it? And yes, my husband is a big help (and was amazing when I was in Israel), but it’s me who’s on most of the time. Since he needs to get up in the morning to go to work and I am home, I can’t really complain.
As for food – I’ve relaxed a little also. In the beginning, I was making simple meals or special meals for Ben. While I got pretty good at planning out meals with carb counts, I was hesitant to make a dish and then divide it to find the carbs. But once I got used to it, it wasn’t bad. I bought a scale and measuring has really helped. Breakfast is still tough, since my son will spike higher in the morning, but we’re working on it.
Ben’s growing and gaining weight and looks just so much healthier now. When I look at photos from last summer, before he was diagnosed, I’m shocked. I just don’t know why I didn’t see that something was wrong.
This weekend we’re going to our first Diabetes event with the JDRF and I am hoping to learn even more.
And this is something I want to drive home- Type 1 Diabetes can come on pretty suddenly (personally, we had 4 days of major red flag symptoms and I didn’t put the signs together). I’m an educated person with a masters degree and I didn’t figure it out until it was almost too late. And yes, I still torture myself for that. But if I can help prevent another family from going through what my son when through, then I did my job. We’re still in flu season, even though spring has started, so if you suspect that your child may have the flu, but if they are also peeing a lot, drinking a lot of liquids AND possibly vomiting, ask your doctor to test your child’s blood sugar. It will take a second and then you can hopefully rule out Type 1 Diabetes. Even if no one in your family has ever had diabetes or if your cousin’s father’s uncle has Type 2, just ask for a finger stick or a urine test to rule out Type 1 Diabetes.
Early Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes
- weight loss (despite an increased appetite)
- unquenchable thirst
- blurry vision
- decreased energy level
- frequent urination
- a fruity smell to the breath
- in children with no previous issues, wetting the bed
- in babies and toddlers, heavy diapers
More Advanced Symptoms
- stomach pain
- fatigue or weakness
- nausea or vomiting
- rapid, heavy breathing
- loss of consciousness
– Courtesy of https://beyondtype1.org/warning-signs-of-type-1-diabetes/
Read Ben’s Diagnosis Story:
So, if you’re a parent of a child with Type 1 Diabetes, any tips for success? Or if you are a parent of a child that’s been newly diagnosed, how can I help you?
Note: I am not a doctor or have medical training. I talk about Type 1 Diabetes from a parent’s point of view. Always consult your endocrinology team if you have any questions. I advocate for my child until he can advocate for himself.
I’m no Dr, but my dad was recently diagnosed with diabetes… the dr wanted to get him on med’s but my dad didn’t want to so he researched A LOT and found intermittent fasting (Micheal Mosely has YouTube videos (type in and watch)… My dad has been doing it for a few months now and has not only lost weight, but he improved his numbers to a normal level and feels great!
He didn’t want meds because if your body is producing too much insulin than it doesn’t make sense to take insulin. The dr ‘s response was that they give insulin because they want to keep it stable and not fluctuate up and down (even if that means stable at a high level)…
it’s worth just checking it out!
The Mama Maven says
Hi Eloise, my son is Type 1 and insulin-dependent, so anything fasting is not for him. Type 1 Diabetes is what my 12 year old has, it’s most likely Type 2 what your dad has. My father has it too and can take medication and lose weight to control it. My son is underweight as it is and his AC1 number is good right now. According to Web MD, these are the differences: Type 1 diabetes is also called insulin-dependent diabetes. It used to be called juvenile-onset diabetes, because it often begins in childhood.Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition. It’s caused by the body attacking its own pancreas with antibodies. In people with type 1 diabetes, the damaged pancreas doesn’t make insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes
By far, the most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes, accounting for 95% of diabetes cases in adults. Some 26 million American adults have been diagnosed with the disease. Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes, but with the epidemic of obese and overweight kids, more teenagers are now developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes was also called non-insulin-dependent diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is often a milder form of diabetes than type 1. Nevertheless, type 2 diabetes can still cause major health complications, particularly in the smallest blood vessels in the body that nourish the kidneys, nerves, and eyes. Type 2 diabetes also increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.
With Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas usually produces some insulin. But either the amount produced is not enough for the body’s needs, or the body’s cells are resistant to it. Insulin resistance, or lack of sensitivity to insulin, happens primarily in fat, liver, and muscle cells. Type 2 diabetes can, however, be controlled with weight management, nutrition, and exercise.” Type 1 Diabetes can only be controlled with insulin.
My grandson who is 6 was diagnosed with type 1 a week and a half ago. My son couldn’t get in with pediatrician so to him to an urgent care, clinic. The doctor there diagnosed my grandson with strep throat. Gave him antibiotics. He didn’t get better he got worse. To make it even worse, pediatrician wouldn’t see my grandson til he was through with antibiotics. Well if I hadn’t insisted my son to take my grandson to emergency, he would have died before his appointment at doctors. My little man is amazing. He’s handling pretty good. He does have his moments but it’s still.an adjustment and I’m sure it’ll get tougher before it gets easier. God bless.
The Mama Maven says
Oh Joanne! Thank god you insisted on taking your grandson to the emergency room — you saved his life. Please, let me know how I can help. I have a great support group on Facebook called the T1D Mod Squad that I belong to, I can also help with how to carb out foods. It’s tough now, but I promise that it will get smoother. Not manageable, but you and your family will learn more what to do and how to keep your grandson steady. I’m going to email you now, but please, reach out anytime.
This is the perfect blog post, the reason I feel blogging used to work so much better in the beginning. People sitting at home, scared about a health issue, wishing they could talk to others, and do more than look up symptoms & talk to a doctor. Your real life story is publicly available to help other folks, anytime of the day or night, get quick answers from a real person. You are awesome, and thanks for being so open about your journey with your son’s health situation.
The Mama Maven says
Thanks Mitch. It’s been a hard 7 months, but we are okay. If I can help another parent through this, I did my job as a blogger.