Getting over the shock and embracing diabetes
When Jack was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 3 years ago we were faced with many choices. The first was how to deal with the news. There were several ways to deal with this we could loose all grip of reality and embrace the injustice of it all, or we could think hey he could have been diagnosed with worse conditions or even worse an illness.
Don’t get me wrong diabetes must be taken extremely seriously; it has changed our way of life forever. It affects everything.
If it is not well managed it can cause serious life long health problems but in my opinion you do have the choice to learn, fight and manage the condition. This was the path we like many, many others chose.
The 4 days Jack and I spent in hospital blew my mind, We had so much information to learn; it felt like we were studying a foundation degree but the outcome of this degree affected our child’s life forever.
We had 2 hurdles to over come in the first week.
1: Reducing Jacks sugar; this had to be done gradually as he had to come down from a blood sugar of 34 to between 4 and 7. The team around us was fantastic; constantly on the end of the phone or popping in for visits. This was the easy bit.
2: Acceptance, the only way I can describe the feeling of coming home from hospital, is it felt like coming home with a new baby for the first time. You have no experience you just need to learn on the job.
We decided to research famous people and sports people with diabetes, the list was surprising.
- Elizabeth Taylor
- Halle Berry
- Vanessa Williams
- Sir Steve Redgrave
- HG Wells
- Earnest Hemingway
- Andrew Lloyd Webber
To name a few, this so inspired Jack it made him feel that he was not alone, there are people out there who are successful, with great careers that live with diabetes daily like he now had to. This research helped him accept his condition.
I never forget the day sat in Burnley General Hospital, Chris & I being told that Jack was suffering with type 1 diabetes. I wanted to run out screaming and crying, as I looked at the horror on Jacks face I knew that how I dealt with that exact moment in time would affect how Jack dealt with his diabetes for the rest of his life.
It would never go away, it cannot be cured we had to learn to embrace what was now part of our 10 year old Son’s life. We needed to treat the situation with a positive attitude; as an adventure so he would learn how to live with it in a healthy and proactive manner.
Looking back all the signs were there excessive thirst, extremely moody, weight loss that seemed to happen overnight, to name a few. We were lucky that we identified it early, so early when we took Jack to the emergency Doctor he looked at us like we were mad! Luckily the Doctor did agree to do on the spot tests to put our minds at rest. Thank goodness he did, Jacks blood sugar was 34! We had detected the diabetes just in time.
Three years down the line Jack is coping extremely well, we are so proud of how he has just got on with it without moaning. His HB1C tests are generally great and he is as active and sporty as ever.
A great link for help and advice is