By Roxana Reynolds
Learning your child has type 1 diabetes is without a doubt a traumatic event for any family. In spite of having type 1 diabetes myself, I was mortified when my youngest son Eddie was diagnosed at the tender age of two. We went through the classic stages of emotion: grief, anger, denial, depression, and finally, after months, acceptance.
The early days were undoubtedly the worst. As the parents we suddenly had all these responsibilities. With this came emotional, mental and physical pressure. The stress around the whole family was huge as we lacked the confidence to ensure our son had the best possible care.
Previous to his diagnosis Eddie had been a bouncy tidal wave of fun. He was a mischievous and wilful little boy.
Diabetes momentarily destroyed that, it felt like doomsday. Funnily enough it didn’t happen overnight. If it had we may have been more aware. It was a gradual, steady decline for our toddler.
On one particular evening, Eddie was all ready for bed but he looked ill. He was listless, unresponsive and drinking excessively. He had stomach ache and felt sick.
Alarm bells rang. I am not a doctor or in the medical profession but I just knew because of having diabetes myself. I put a urine stick in his nappy. The reading said it all. High sugars and ketones meant our son had type 1 diabetes and so our new life began.
After his initial hospital admission I learnt everything I could. Back then there were no support groups and certainly no Facebook. I trawled the internet excessively in a bid to educate myself. Knowledge equalled empowerment.
As years passed my confidence meant I was in more control and wanted to help other parents and carers in the same boat. I set up a support group called ‘what mums and dads need to know to help children with type 1 diabetes.’
It was apparent more help was needed so I set up a website called childrenwithtype1diabetes.com to give all the necessary facts and information to parents of children with type 1. It was this that paved the way for my book ‘Help My Child Has Type 1 Diabetes.’
Having a child with diabetes taught me patience, gave me strength, and above all, gave me the wisdom to learn all that I could.
The book covers every necessary topic relating to the early days of diagnosis. I explain what type 1 diabetes is, the myths surrounding it and the reality of diagnosis.
There are real stories from mums and dads in the same boat. I explain what the honeymoon period is and how to cope with low and high blood glucose levels. There are sick day tips, information on finger pricking and insulin regime. I have included facts about going on an insulin pump, the transition from multiple daily injections and real stories of what having an insulin pump is like. I have included the sports dilemma, travelling abroad, food, carbohydrate counting and nursery and school tips. Everything is written from our experiences.
Since my book has been published it has been very well received and I currently have 28 reviews on Amazon – all five star.
It is my passion to help raise awareness of type 1 diabetes and to help educate parents and carers in the early days of their child’s diagnosis. Knowledge is empowerment.
Fifty pence from each sale of Roxana’s book will go to JDRF. To buy the book, go to www.paypal.com/mychildhastype1 and reference JDRF when purchasing for us to get the donation.