In November last year, my ten-year-old daughter Hayley and I were laughing in the aisles of Toys ‘R’ Us, when all of a sudden she turned ghost white.
In the months leading up to her collapse, Hayley was always thirsty, had lost weight and was regularly having tummy aches. I’d put it down to a growing phase. I wish this had been the case.
I raced her to the medical centre where the doctor told her to rest up and drink water. But I just knew something was seriously wrong. The next day I took her to my doctor. The look in the doctor’s eyes confirmed this was serious. After a urine and finger prick test, Hayley was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. My heart sank, and an element of guilt washed over me. Looking back, we had no idea just how much this would change our lives forever.
Type 1 diabetes is a life-long autoimmune disease where the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, or very much of it. If left untreated, type 1 diabetes is fatal and the cause still remains a mystery.
A personal account- A day in the life of a Type 1 diabetic:
Many people don’t realise that having children with type 1 diabetes changes the lives of everyone close to them. Since Hayley’s diagnosis we juggle trying to lead a normal life between finger pricks and constant monitoring. For the time being Hayley can’t be on her own – which means carefully balancing and planning every single aspect of our lives.
Spontaneity is now extinct in our world! We meticulously plan our days and, if something unexpected arises, things go from hard to almost impossible.
But in all this craziness I know I’m lucky because of the unwavering support from my good friend Nicole. Her son Eric attends the same school as Hayley and we met through play group. Nicole’s been there for us from the start. She’s been my rock, a constant shoulder to lean on and a trusted ear to confide in.