Type 1 Diabetes | When your diabetic child becomes a teenager

Boy oh boy, do I miss the days of the honeymoon. Well of the diabetic variety at least.

When my son was nine, he was rushed to Sick Kids Hospital fighting for his life. What we didn't know at the time was - he is a Type 1 Diabetic. Undiagonosed, it can be fatal. Once diagnosed, it never goes away.

After the diabetes team got him stabilized and on the road to recovery, he was released from hospital and we embarked on our new normal. And fortunately for us there is this very forgiving aspect for most people when they are first diagnosed. Once the scare is over and diabetes education begins there is a "honeymoon" phase. If you are following your nutrition plan, doing your regular blood checks and doing the insulin injections properly and pay attention to the corrections needed, diabetes seems almost manageable.

But...sad to say, it doesn't last forever.



Suddenly, my son's almost perfect A1C (this is the blood test that tells the doctor how your blood sugars have been over time, say over the three months since we saw them last) was too high. For the first time ever we were seeing a NINE. We were always in the high sixes to low sevens. Which is great - 6.9, 7.4, 7.3, etc. Awesome right? Well my son has grown - he is taller than myself, a moustache has appeared, he's suddenly muscular - overnight, I swear ...you know what's going on here. And the hormones at play put everything out of whack. I felt like I was banging my head against a wall most days trying to control his blood sugars. And as soon as we got it stable, it all went haywire again.

We went for our regular check-up and his nurse and doctors came up with a lot of great strategies. Adjusting the sliding scale of insulin, changing his food intake, looking at switching to the pump. Some have worked out great. Some he is not ready for. But what we got from them that was equally important at the time was that this is NORMAL. We weren't doing anything wrong. He grew into this stage and he will grow out of it.

On Thursday, we went to Sick Kids Hospital for my son's second regular three month Diabetes Clinic visit since this monster change and his A1C still isn't what it used to be. But it is lower. So we are making progress. The new dilemma is he has either been a little too high or too low. So what to do now? He is painfully aware of the complications of unmanaged diabetes. He wants to manage it a lot more than we do. He knows he is the one who will have to live with those complications.

We met with the dietitian who gave me permission to take juice out of my house, lol. Not sure why I needed her to tell me I was right to do it but just hearing it from her lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. I have kept juice for emergency treatments, to treat my son's lows. He has never fainted - he has come very close - but never actually hit the ground. This has been a big, scary unknown. But it wasn't treating his lows very well any longer and my family would drink it just because it was there.

We are going to spend the next three months really focusing on a really steady blood level. We are in close contact with the diabetes team, ramping up the fresh veggies and adding in some extra exercise. They have even given us new sliding scales for insulin injections for days he is more or less active.

So diabetes care is still complicated, maybe more than ever.

But somehow it has made everything seem more manageable.


Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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