Type 1 Diabetes? Some Advice
The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them. I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.
It’s now been almost 4 years since Jedi, my oldest son, was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Taking care of such a chronic condition seemed daunting at first. It’s a big disease, especially for a little boy. I really felt like I had no idea what I was doing. There’s so much to take in and learn in the beginning, all at once it seems. Now, however, it’s become like second nature and takes very little time out of our day.
We make sure that Jedi’s diabetes doesn’t control his life. One of the very best pieces of advice I received from his doctor upon his initial diagnosis that still resonates to this day is, â€œIf he wants a cupcake, let him have a cupcake. It’s ok to let him be a kid.â€
Here are 3 other pieces of advice that I can pass on to other parents who may be in the beginning stages of this disease:
1. Find a Great Doctor
First and foremost is to find a provider capable and caring to answer any questions or quell concerns, one that you’re comfortable talking with and who takes the time necessary. We’ve been lucky in that Jedi has had a clinic of really great endocrinologists looking after his care. If you’re unsure where to start, you can check out Molina Healthcare to see if there are any participating doctors in your area then go from there.
2. Diabetes Shouldn’t Run Your Child’s Life
At first, I found myself fretting all day about staying on a strict schedule and worrying over his numbers. I never thought I would get over the fear of his blood sugar dropping dangerously low, especially while sleeping, but that fear does subside. My son, thankfully, is really good about saying when he feels like his numbers are off so that helps, obviously. But it’s also not something that we think about all day like I used to, aside from the 5 minutes it takes for one of his tests. Test, shot, done. That’s it!
3. Let Him Be a Kid
The first piece of advice is still the best advice. Yes, his disease is a piece of who he is, but he’s so much more than that. Kids don’t like to feel like they’re different, and even with type 1 diabetes, they don’t have to be. Don’t be afraid to let your child run and play and eat a cupcake!
Great advice. I think most parents feel guilty and think they need to hover over their child out of fear they could take a turn for the worse. The bottom line is to educate, empower and entrust one’s child to God’s care.
I love that you remind parents to let them be children. I imagine its so tough to get that diagnosis and liken your child to a fragile china doll, especially at first.
I would also recommend parents look into getting a continuous glucose monitoring device for kids. Dexcom’s latest sensor, Gen4, is pretty accurate. This will help eliminate the need to regularly prick your fingers for a glucose value.
This is great info. There are so many children living with this disease and learning to be patient while dealing and gaining information is key.