Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What does it mean to live with type 1 diabetes?

November is Type 1 Diabetes Awareness month. If you have ever wanted to ask me a question about my cheeky monkey or her Diabetes now is your chance (well... really you can ask anytime...).

It isn't pink or sexy; it doesn't involve boobs, football players, or cute shirts (but we are always open for assistance for our cause).

It's about 2am blood tests, low blood sugars, high blood sugars, counting carbohydrates and giving 4 or 5 needles a day.

It is about the constant surprise of how resilient your daughter is. Of how her positive attitude makes her life seem normal and making her life as normal as possible makes everything you do okay.

There is always the fear of hypoglycaemia. And the need to plan every small activity due to the impacts on blood sugar control. But the rewards are worthwhile. In the short term they can be better moods and in the long term, a healthier life.

Our future will likely include our cheeky monkey learning to cope with not being invited to many sleepovers or play dates because other people may be scared of needles and 2 - 3 hourly blood tests. But that is okay, because we can have them at our home, and not everyone is afraid.

It's about carrying an enormous bag at all times - a complete chemist and food store in your handbag for all emergencies – fortunately big bags are in fashion now! It's about putting up with ignorant people who say things like "you're lucky its only diabetes", "don't you wish you had breastfed her as a baby" or “she isn’t fat?” But it is also remembering that you didn’t always know everything about diabetes, and frankly, wouldn’t that be wonderful to still be the case.

It’s about the heartbreak when your daughter was diagnosed. It’s about watching her sleep at night and hoping that she will wake in the morning. It’s about wishing it was you and not her.

It’s about waiting for a cure...

(Inspired by and partly adapted from Karina Caton and Emma Savage)


  1. Karina "stole" this from another mum - Emma Savage (which Karina acknowledged on FB). Just thought you might like to acknowledge Emma too :-)

  2. Thanks Kate - I have added Emma. I didn't see Karina's acknowledement...