What is peace when you have a four year old on insulin? After the shock of learning that your underage child has diabetes wanes, you will spend all your life being overprotective, making decisions and unmaking them, running to the doctor for the slightest reasons and before you know it, you have a spoilt brat for a child. But I dont blame you. We have all grown up knowing that diabetes is a disease of the fat old rich. Most of the people we know who have diabetes are either amputees or blind, and so, you, as a parent has every reason to be worried. You have every reason to ask yourself questions on behalf of your unsuspecting child.
Your child will have a relatively normal life if the condition is well managed. So don’t forget to push your child a little more, don’t shy away from asking them about their grades. If your child wants to dance, let them.
As a parent, your role, apart from being a mother or a father to your sick child, you will also be the primary caregiver. You are the one who is going to be administering the insulin to your child, you are the one who will watch their diet, you are the one who is going to look out for any complications and you are the one who will ensure your child sees a doctor regularly for check up. If your child is going to be in and out of hospital, then you are the one who is going to be spending time with them in the hospitals. You cannot therefore afford to know nothing about diabetes.
Here are some of the things you need to know;
WHAT IS DIABETES?
A disease in which too little or no insulin is produced or insulin is produced but cannot be used normally resulting in high levels of sugars in the blood
INSULIN –a hormone that allows the body to use the sugar that is generated from the foods we eat.
The foods that we eat are usually broken down into glucose (sugar). Insulin helps the body to use this sugar.
THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF DIABETES!
Most people just know diabetes. But doctors will tell you that there is type one and type two.
The problem in both type one and type two is high blood sugar level but the two are basically different entities.
This is the type that normally affects children
Caused by insulin deficiency
Commonly affects adults
Cause- insulin resistance. Here, there is insulin but it is unable to perform its work
A diagnosis of diabetes is made by measuring the sugar levels in blood, in a hospital setting.
But here are some of the symptoms that should make you suspect diabetes in your child
- Excessive eating
- Excessive urination
- Taking too much water
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
If your child develops any of the above symptoms, then it is prudent to have their blood sugar levels tested
NOW THAT YOUR CHILD HAS DIABETES;
- They will be on insulin for life or until a doctor feels it’s time to change to something else.
- They need to watch what they eat- but how do you explain to a four year old that they can’t have muffins and fanta orange while all the children in their class are having fanta orange?
- They must never skip their insulin doses-
You cannot afford to skip a dose. Forgetting is unforgivable.
- It is a lifelong disease- once diabetes visits, it stays with you through all your ups, downs
- There is no permanent cure – not yet. But it doesn’t mean you won’t lead a sufficiently normal life
- You need hospital insurance get a good cover, you cannot afford o be stressed about the hospital bills too
- They will need a personal doctor aka pediatrician- a child is no small adult. Get them a nice paedtrician to walk with them.
For diabetes in particular, we know there’s a relationship between lack of glucose regulation and complications like blindness and kidney failure. So if you were diabetic and you knew that you could get your glucose in a tight, normal range by just adjusting your lifestyle, wouldn’t that be great? ERIC Topol
Diabetes is a lifelong disease that basically means you will make more trips to the hospital more than the average person.
Here is why you need follow-up
To review the insulin dose based on the sugar levels
To prevent complications- by regularly checking blood sugar levels, do organ function tests