I started my Meet the Parents section a little while ago. Its full name is Meet the Parents of Children with Type 1 Diabetes, and you can read the initial Meet the Parents post to find out what it is all about. This time, I am actually interviewing… myself.
Weird I know, and admittedly I have been known to sometimes (constantly) talk to myself. However, I wanted to take part myself as there are some questions, that I haven’t answered on here myself before. So here it is, the very weird A Cornish Mum – Stevie interviewing herself.
Stevie Couch – said C ‘oo’ ch for anyone who cares. For anything over the telephone I just resign to being referred to as a piece of furniture, though, it is infinitely easier.
Where do you live?
St Austell in Cornwall
When was your child diagnosed and how old were they?
My eldest son was diagnosed 13 days after his fifth birthday on 24th July 2009. Over seven years ago.
What were their symptoms and how did their diagnosis happen?
I have written about our diagnosis before but basically, he had been unwell for a while. I didn’t realise quite how ill he was until it was almost too late.
His main symptoms were constant thirst, weight loss, frequently needing to urinate, acetone smelling breath and weakness in his legs. The symptom that I didn’t think was just due to the virus he had, and which luckily had us head to the out of hours doctor, was difficulty with his breathing.
He had been diagnosed with mild asthma already, but I could hear him breathing from downstairs. He was really struggling. The out of hours doctor was going to prescribe antibiotics and some steroids for his chest, but luckily I mentioned his constant thirst in passing. This led to a urine test and then us being sent to the hospital for life changing news.
I still now shudder to think what would have happened if we had just been sent home again. The hospital told us when we arrived on the Friday night, that if we had waited for the appointment with the GP that we had booked for Monday, that my son most likely would not have made it.
Really not what any parent wants to hear. I still feel a glimmer of guilt at times that I didn’t realise how ill he was before, but Type 1 can manifest so quickly, that realistically I know I shouldn’t feel like that.
Did you know anything about Type 1 diabetes before diagnosis?
Not a lot at all, I certainly didn’t know just how serious a condition it is. I had friends with Type 1, but it just never occurred to me to ask them about it much, as I felt it was rude of me. Sadly I didn’t know the signs and symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes.
Is your child on an insulin pump or MDI? (multiple daily injections)
He is on MDI, he has been offered a pump, but really doesn’t want one for various reasons.
What has been the hardest part for you and your child?
The hardest part for me has been, that I can’t make this better. I can’t ‘fix’ this for him and sometimes when he’s having a bad week, I feel like that may just break me.
For him, it is feeling different than everyone else.
Between diagnosis and today has anything gotten easier?
Most definitely. To start with everything seems so hard and confusing, but as time goes on and you find things like carb counting getting easier, things just seem more ‘normal’ again.
Things won’t ever be exactly the same as they were, but they are so much easier than they were. I can carb count in my sleep almost these days. The skin on his fingers toughened so that he doesn’t feel the finger pricks much at all any more and his pain threshold is now pretty much unreal.
It all makes a difference, our lives are back to being pretty blinking great again really.
If you could say one thing to a parent whose child has just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes what would you say?
I will cringe now and drop a YouTube video in here, that I made over a year ago. I was very nervous and my face looks weird ha, but my message is still pretty much the same,
Is there anything you would like my readers to know about type 1 diabetes?
Yes, no one ever deserves any type of Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is never caused by any type of bad diet or lack of exercise, it is an autoimmune disease. A lot of people with Type 2 Diabetes have it due to genetics, other illnesses or plain bad luck.
Yes, there are some with Type 2 whose disease is caused by a bad lifestyle, but despite what the papers and media may try to tell you, they are very much the minority in the diabetes world.
I always tell my son that Type 1 is not who he is, it is just a part of our lives we have to deal with. Tell me a random fact about your child, that has nothing to do with Type 1 Diabetes?
My son is slightly bonkers like his mother, he has a filthy sense of humour that cracks me up daily. He is the most stubborn person on the planet…. apart from me, and he is also one of the bravest people I know. Both my boys are pretty amazing to be honest and make me so proud.
So there you have it, me interviewing me! ;) If you are the parent of a child with Type 1 Diabetes and would like to take part, do let me know by commenting below (I moderate comments so it wouldn’t be published), emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or messaging me on social media.