Reading your post has made me
As a Diabetic Mum I was reading it from the how I would feel if my daughter was diagnosed and also from the perspective of being the child that was diagnosed and how my mum coped.
As a Mum, even though I fully understand all about being a diabetic, I would be frantic if either of my girls was diagnosed simply because Diabetes is such an internal problem with internal consequenses if not treated properly. What I mean to say is, if they has something like Eczema at least its on the outside, and you can see externally if treatment is effective, and treat accordingly if not. With Diabetes the early external signs need to be learned as a parent. For a non diabetic parent that can be distressing and confusing at times.
Any parents on the forum with a Diabetic child, are doing the best they can to understand and learn simply by being here, which is to be commended.
Sadly my Mum even after all these years has never really got to grips with Hyper's, Hypo's, Food (what I can or cannot eat), Lifstyle or Complications. Its been twenty years for me this Nov!
I was diagnosed at 15 years old and the only person in the family to have Diabetes of any sort. :roll:
Tips for all parents with Diabetic Kids:
From the childs pespective please dont forget they are still the same person as they were previously and need to be treated the same, not as the odd one out or the different one. I think I would find this difficult as the love we have for our kids can make us worry and become controlling without even realising it .
My Mum is forever saying "Oh sorry, you cant have that can you!?!" rather than ask if I would like to try something. So I can have no opportunity to decline if too sweet.
Even children need to be given choices, so they can learn for themselves what is good for their body or not, and keep their independance as they grow. This will help them not to rebel when old enough, and get out of control with their food choices as soon as they have the opportunity away from us parents. They will make mistakes but they will learn from them too. No body like to feel ill so it wont be long before they learn what works and what doesnt.
Try and include the whole family in food changes rather than prepare separate meals. Diabetics can eat most everything in moderation if the whole family follows a low Gi diet, which is far more healthy for us all anyway.
Marketed Diabetic Foods, Artificial Sweetners and Diabetic Sweets, IMHO they are a waste of money and aimed at newbie diabetics before they get the hang of it all and realise they are unnecessary. :evil: .
Normal fruit, veg, and meat, with No added sugar drinks, and no or minimal refined foods, are fine along with regular blood tests at first. Till help parents to get to grips with what foods affect sugar levels, and insulin can be adjusted accordingly when necessary.
Better to have a smaller portion, than have to eat differently to the rest of the family. IMHO
Instead of using Diabetic sweets, keep normal sweets in to top up sugars if a hypo is imminent.
70% Dark choc contains very little sugar, I prefer a few squares of this for a treat, rather than normal chocolate, unless Im going low.
Remember that a Diabetic is just someone who has to put into their bodies what everybody else's does naturally, they are not on some drug that alters their brain function, just their sugar levels.
Kids are incredibly resillient, and responsible, when allowed to be. Understanding, support and comfort in times of need, will help kids to grow the confidence to feel normal even though they know their world has changed forever. Its takes time for it all to become second nature, in that time their will be outbursts and sadness but they will come to terms with it. I rememeber it was a novelty being Diabetic for the first year and was coping fine, until a year was up and I wanted it all to stop so I could be 'normal' again. Cuddles helped and realising that normal comes in all shapes and sizes did too. Afterall I didnt look any different on the outside like I thought I did at first.
A chat with the school may help new diabetic children not have to face a million questions from other kids. My school did an assembly about Diabetes while I was in Hospital, so when I returned many of my peers had a basic understanding of what had happened to me, what Diabetes is, and what to do if I went hypo in class.
Try not to listen to the horror stories so many people have, of half truths about relatives with diabtes and what they went through.
Many of the stories people tell me when they first find out Im Diabetic are usually about people with type 2 diabetes who hadnt had treatment in the early stages. Or type 1 and havent had good control for many years, or were diagnosed long ago before the excellent medical treatment we have now existed.
Children and Adults these days are kept under careful dedicated review by Hospitals from the start, and with good control from the beginning are likely not to suffer the complications many of the older generation are facing now.
Free Prescriptions applies to all medicines whether insulin or cough syrup from diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes, so that is definately a positive if nothing else.
Mum has athsma, and has had to pay for inhalers since the 70's as have many others with life affecting illnesses that require medication, and without would be life threatening. Cant figure that one out, but its good for us Diabetics I know.
I hope that hasnt offended or confused any parents, apologies if I have in anyway. This is all just from my personal experiences of course, which may differ from others, of course.
I could go on but have rambled enough