Growing With Type 1 Diabetes

I cannot believe it is 4 years since Jack was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, wow time has flown and so much has changed. When we came home from hospital with our 11-year-old son and a bag full of needles and insulin we had no idea what lay ahead. All that uncertainty, would Jack be poorly?  Would he cope mentally?  Would we cope as a family?

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 22.48.56I wish there was such an invention as a crystal ball, because had I had that luxury I would have seen that it would all be fine. Not ideal, not what I would I have chosen for our child, but most definitely fine.

Here is what we have learnt this year. Just when you get straight and learn to cope with every eventuality the teenage years hit and everything changes. I was feeling quite smug we were doing so well and then we had to start from scratch.

I put it down to the changes that came with becoming a teen. As Jack has grown so has his insulin intake. It really feels like we are upping it on a weekly basis, this was really stressing me out; it is crazy that it did. I felt like I was giving our child more and more drugs all the time, but the fact of the matter is that he needs the medication to stay alive. That is a scary thought and one that I have always put to the back of my mind, but it’s a fact.

This year I have learnt to chill a little, step back and trust my child. I was such a control freak, obsessed with controlling the diabetes. But I had to learn to trust Jack, let him take the lead. I can’t always be there to help him make decisions, so he has to become an independent thinker where his diabetes is concerned. Yes, I will always be at the end of the phone no matter what. But lets face it I can’t go to college of University with him?

There have been times I have suspected he may have been making the wrong choices but I have let him make the small mistakes, allowing him to grow and learn.

Jack has adapted so well, he has had to grow up quickly and take responsibility for himself, something teens don’t usually have to do for quite some time. But do you know what? He has taken on this life challenge and dealt with it in a responsible mature manner, we are so proud of him.

This gives me so much confidence that with our support Jack can deal with the next few years, the growing and changing, being reactive to his condition.

And one thing it is always so important to remember, as far as diagnosis goes, we were lucky. It could have been much worse. Diabetes is serious but liveable, if we can educate Jack to make the correct choices he will live a long and healthy life.


Author of Extraordinary Chaos a family lifestyle and travel blog from a 40+ mum of teenage boys, sharing our family travels, recipes, reviews and country living. Also the co editor of Cruising With Kids Family Cruise Blog

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook


  1. 18th September 2015 / 12:00 pm

    Ah Sarah you are all such an inspiration to me. It is such a steep learning curve, and the consequences of getting it wrong are so dangerous, that the immense initial stress is inevitable. It’s posts like this though, that make others learn to trust that they can do it, and that it will be ok. Thank you, from one T1 parent to another. I do hope one day I will be relaxed enough to do similar for someone else at the start of their journey.

    • SarahJChristie
      18th September 2015 / 12:35 pm

      Helen I am so glad I have helped in some way, its a shame we leant the hard way isn it, but if someone had told me pre diabetes it would happen I would have been devastated, gone to bits. But once faced with it we have no choice but to be strong do we x

  2. 20th September 2015 / 10:26 pm

    Sarah I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for you all to face this but you are a strong and supportive family. You must be so proud of Jack for facing his condition, and at such a difficult age. I hope people read your post who are at the start of their journey, its such a positive post x

    • SarahJChristie
      20th September 2015 / 10:36 pm

      Thank you so much Tracey, it is one of those situations that doesn’t give you very much choice, but we are so lucky that Jack is so positive and brave it has made all the difference x

  3. 21st September 2015 / 10:14 pm

    It must be so difficult to step back and trust Jack to do it right, it is only a natural instinct to try and help but like you say he will have to take control for him self when he is older. I’m sure it has made him more mature knowing that this is something he has to take responsibility for but knowing he always has your support will make the world of difference xx

    • SarahJChristie
      21st September 2015 / 10:46 pm

      It is Hayley but we feel it is time to do it and are so proud of him getting it so right most of the time x

  4. Richard Vaughn
    22nd September 2015 / 5:10 pm

    Hello Sarah, Jack, and family. Jack, it is wonderful to hear how well you are doing.!!

    I was diagnosed in 1945, when I was 6. My symptoms began while I was recovering from chickenpox and mumps. I have survived and thrived for 70 years with type 1, and I have no diabetes complications except some mild nerve damage. It is possible to have a long, happy, and healthy life with type 1. The life expectancy for young type 1 people in the US is almost as good as it is for non diabetics. For people who take good care of themselves, I think the life expectancy is even better than for non diabetics. I believe I take better care of myself than I would have if I did not have diabetes, so I ma have an even longer life, for that reason. Jack, I bet it will be the same for you Don’t let diabetes hold you back, with good care you can fulfill all your goals. Good luck to you!!

    • SarahJChristie
      24th September 2015 / 5:44 pm

      Richard thank you so much this is such a lovely message and one that gives me so much hope for the future x

      • Richard Vaughn
        24th September 2015 / 6:36 pm

        You re welcome, Sarah! Email me any time you want, if you think I can help.

  5. 24th September 2015 / 4:24 pm

    I understand your feelings here, Mom!! Having a child with special health needs definitely adds another whole layer onto family life. My son is a brain tumour surviviour and we are always on edge checking for signs of new tumours and seeing doctors about all the side effects of his illness. Add on top of that the extra meetings at school for his special learning needs – yikes. More stress than I ever signed up for! But no one signs up for it when you become a parent – but we’ll do anything for Babies, won’t we? 🙂

    • SarahJChristie
      24th September 2015 / 10:50 pm

      Ah Bronwyn it must have been so hard for you all but us Mums are made of tough stuff aren’t we lovely lady x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.