The Campbell Family
With no history of Type One Diabetes in the Campbell family, Kim and Mike were shocked to be told that their 4 year old son Ryan had the condition. The initial period after the diagnosis saw Ryan get immediate treatment, while his parents started the intensive education program to learn about all the ins and outs of Type One Diabetes.
Daily injections weren’t much fun but Ryan took to it like a trooper, with lots of hugs along the way from big sisters Natasha and Maya. After about a year Ryan was able to start Insulin Pump Therapy which not only made a huge difference at home, but it meant that it was so much easier for Ryan, his teachers and other school staff to monitor and adjust his blood sugars.
Ryan’s also about to have his one month anniversary with Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM), and in the few weeks since he started his parents have already noted marked improvements in how his Type One Diabetes can be managed. Kim and Mike now have peace of mind knowing that they only have to glance at the MiniMed 640G insulin pump to keep an eye on Ryan’s blood sugars, and they’re optimistic about how the new technology will help their son and other Type One Diabetes patients.
The Campbell’s positive attitude means that Type One Diabetes won’t get in the way of anything Ryan or the family wants to achieve, and having access to the latest technology will just make it that much less stressful.
I still remember the hot summer afternoon at Westmead Children’s Hospital. Besides me sat my mother and father, their eyes glued on the young nurse as she explained and showed us the multiple assortments of books, charts, and pamphlets. Two pen like needles and a blood glucose monitor placed on the orange table across from me. Over whelmed and scared by the confrontation of the sharp needles I pulled on my mother’s sleeve pleading her to take me home.
“Don’t worry Meriem everything will be fine, we are here to help you and your family”, the nurse said. She grabbed a soft white teddy bear from the bottom drawer. “This is Tomas, the diabetes teddy bear, he is also a type one diabetic just like you”.
I look up at the nurse as a smile formed across my face. “Thankyou”, I snuffled.
Knowing that we both shared the diagnosis of being Type One Diabetic Tomas made my seven year old self feel as if everything was going to be okay.
From that day on I have lived on the routine of a Type One Diabetic consisting of blood glucose monitoring and daily injections, in the decade I have live with type one I have learnt a lot about myself and my diabetes. Its defiantly been a roller coaster of many ups and downs and that is why I would like to share my experience.
One of the many highlights I remember as a kid was how fascinated and sometimes envious my friends were of my type one diabetes. I wouldn’t wish anyone the burden of this disease but my eight year old friends thought my blood glucose monitor was a cool gadget device and that I was lucky to be allowed tiny teddy bear biscuits and apple juice during class time. I remember having a plastic container made especially for me which consisted of all the delicious goodies for when I had a hypo. I was allowed to play outside and run around with a friend when I felt my blood glucose was high. All my friends wanted me to pick them to play outside just to get out of class. I don’t blame them as they are pretty high privileges to have at primary school.
I will admit growing up I had a hard time managing my diabetes control, I remember coming home from school and tugging in to bars of chocolate than hiding the wrappers so that I wouldn’t be confronted by my parents. When I started to get into running I had no idea of how my diabetes would be affected. I’m glad I started to run because it has helped my diabetes management so much. My blood sugar levels have stabilized and are in much better control than before. Running has also taught me that if you take care of your body than there is no limitations to what you can do. I proved to myself that Type One Diabetes is not going to restrict you from achieving the best in sport. With good nutrition, knowledge on insulin dosages and help from your diabetes educator and family you can live a normal, healthy and happy life.
One of my most scariest but funniest experiences was on my sixteenth birthday. I remember being in a rush to catch the bus Saturday morning. I dialled in my insulin dosages and before I knew it I accidently overdosed on my short acting insulin. That is instead of taking the 8 units of insulin I took 26 units of short acting which should have been for my long acting insulin, (I take two shots in the morning).
I panicked, I cried and then I went on with my day with two litres of Coke by myside and 500grams of jellybeans. I remember checking my BSL every ten minutes as I simultaneously shoved handfuls of jellybeans and gulping them down with Coke. This went on for the next five hours until the short acting insulin wearied off. To my relief I survived and I still managed to enjoy my birthday party that evening. From that day on you could say I learnt a good lesson of making sure I took the right dosages of the right insulin.