Type 1 Diabetes, at any age is a dreadful disease, but imagine if your child is diagnosed when they are only three months old.
Type 1 Diabetes means the pancreas is unable to produce the insulin the body needs. Sugar levels can be high or low and need to be measured throughout the day. As a consequence of Diabetes, people can lose their eyesight, limbs and suffer renal failure, heart disease and stroke. To combat this disease, blood sugars are measured by a prick of the finger to obtain a drop of blood, which is then measured. Depending on the levels, depends on the quantity of insulin a person must inject.
With medical sophistication, most who have diabetes use a “pen” needle at morning and lunch times and the needle tends to be used before bed. Once upon a time, kids with Diabetes were not allowed to play sport.
There is no cure for Diabetes. There are different types of Insulin available and I believe pig insulin is what most use today. How do you explain to your child they must have 3-4 needles per day?
A number of years ago I was heavily involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (JDF ) Australia. My son’s Godfather is dad to Kate, who was diagnosed at three months of age. Her mental attitude is amazing. To watch her grow up to be the beautiful adult she is today has been a joy. Over those years only once have I witnessed her despair. Four years ago, her kidneys failed and she was in Intensive Care in a London hospital. Her parents were there immediately, but the problem was getting her home.
We all remembered the President of the Melbourne JDF who lost her daughter mid flight, through kidney failure. A mutual friends’ daughter who died recently with complications from diabetes. Last year, Kate was having laser treatment on her eyes, as she has been losing her sight. The pain she went through was excruciating and it was the only time I had seen her “give up”.
Being the amazing young lady she is, Kate is back on track, being watched closely by her doctors and enjoying life, but it does sometimes become a struggle for her.
Recently watching the news, a story was broadcast showing an artificial pancreas has been developed and from testing, appears to be a success. What a wonderful thing to be able to offer all who have Type 1 Diabetes.
I joined Juvenile Diabetes to help raise money to find a cure. We’re not quite there yet, but things are happening.
To learn more, watch this short video: “ONE ROAD TO HOPE: The JDRF Artificial Pancreas Project at the University of Virginia”.