Diabetes and the Importance of Having a Great Team Around You


One night this week I took part in the Diabetes UK twitter chat. The topic for discussion was the Make The Grade campaign which looks at how schools support children with type 1 diabetes.

Most of the tweets I read were positive, and then I read one Dads tweet that just horrified me.
The Dad lives in Manchester and has a 6-year-old son, who was diagnosed 3 years ago.  Whilst his son can test his own sugar, he cannot inject by himself yet. His teachers are willing to take training to administer his lunchtime injections, but the chair of governors have intervened and stopped this happening.
I just can’t get over this; as a result Mum and Dad have to leave work daily at lunchtime to administer their child’s injection. The Dad told me“we are lucky to have understanding employers.” I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this family ever since. Of course I don’t know the all the facts, but if they are a simple as the Dad explained the School Governors should hang their heads in shame.
Diabetes and the Importance of Having a Great Team Around You

As a result I wanted to celebrate the wonderful people we have around us. Who have made type 1 diabetes an every day occurrence? Like breathing. Or walking.

The Christie family heroes are the wonderful East Lancashire Children’s Diabetes Team. I tell you now, things like that would not happen on their watch. And Jacks Primary and High School (You know who you are)
These amazing people have made everyday life with type 1 diabetes so easy;
Dr. G. Inspires Jack to cope daily but also is able to push him in the right direction if his sugar is not 100%. Jack knows there are no flies on Dr. G he is able to tell if Jack has sneaked in a cheeky Cream Egg on the 15th of March at 3pm. As a result Jack really does consider what he eats. Dr.G also gives him credit for his achievements and encourages him to manage his condition. A true inspiration to Jack.
Nurse V. is a huge family support and taught us how to bring diabetes home, and live with it in a positive way.  She is ALWAYS on the end of the phone, or text message. And always has a solution for any problems, she has taught us to be family experts, how to live with this in a positive way. She once even text me in Las Vegas when we were having insulin issues with all that wonderful American food.
Nurse A. again wonderful, Nurse A is a dietitian and is exactly what Jack needs, you see for a diabetic Jack has an incredibly sweet tooth. Nurse A knows this and is mentally training Jack to cope with life as a diabetic. Where and when he can eat sugar, what are sensible choices and what aren’t.  She is incredibly good at this, Jack thinks she is great but knows she can sniff a cream egg at 100 miles. Again she is always at the end of the phone or text and she too has sent the odd text to foreign countries when we have had food issues.
Diabetes and the Importance of Having a Great Team Around You
Nurse P. Now Jack is not in his care but he was like a guardian angel the day Jack was rushed into hospital, Nurse P was by chance working on the children’s ward covering for a colleague. It’s like fate that he was there that day. As whilst all the other health care professionals were flapping round, and not telling us anything Nurse P helped us through a very difficult 48 hours. And helped us all to deal with diabetes positively. Timing of this is critical if you can hit the ground running it makes life so much easier. And nurse P was so positive from day 1.

Jack was in year 5 when he was diagnosed when he was diagnosed with t1

We are so lucky that both of Jacks Schools, primary and high school have been wonderful, fully co-operative and could not have done enough for Jack.  They not only make his School life manageable, but wonderful. Yes, my Son enjoys School in fact loves it. He engages in sport with the full support of a wonderful P.E department. Enjoys School trips day and has always been encouraged to attend every trip even it means staying away from home. School have worked closely with Jacks team and taken all training necessary to ensure Jacks School life is enjoyable and normal.
This is the first post I have ever written and felt tearful, firstly because I will never be able to thank the East Lancs Children’s Diabetes Teams and Jack Primary and High Schools enough for being so wonderful, inclusive and supportive, and making all of our lives as worry free, normal and easy as possible.
Its a shame not all parents of children with diabetes aren’t getting the same deal. It makes me feel so sad, as I know the people around us have set the grounds for Jack to have a wonderful life managing and controlling diabetes, instead of letting it control him. A huge thank you to you all.

If you have come to his post and are newly diagnosed, then I urge you get to know your diabetes team. Use their expertise and ask question, loads. These people have the power to make life so much easier and diabetes easier to control.

6 thoughts on “Diabetes and the Importance of Having a Great Team Around You”

  1. Gosh what a wonderful post, and how awful that any child should have to go through this without the full support of the adults in his life. I must say we’ve been lucky with our school and Brownies, they really can’t do enough to support GG, and she has good friends with great parents. I can only imagine how hard it would be without all of that.

  2. What an amazing post and what amazing people you have around you to help Jack live an ordinary life with diabetes. I started working for a company that organises diabetes conferences for healthcare professionals and I’m learning so much about this disease. I can’t believe that poor boy’s parents have to go to school every lunchtime – if that was us and we had to do anything like that it would be absolutely impossible to do that – we work too far from home. I hope the school change their mind if this is being highlighted.

    Thank you for sharing your story 🙂 xxx


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