On my daughters first day of kindergarten in 2011 I expected that she would be confident and excited, just as she normally approached life. But over the Summer she had grown gaunt and moody. I figured that moving house and making many changes had perhaps affected her. I was wrong.
The first day of kindy she clutched onto me and cried, looking miserable. I tried to cheer her up and be positive, taking photos, encouraging her to smile. The look on her face broke my heart. Later when I looked at the pictures I noticed how tiny and frail she seemed. My bubbly and normally healthy looking girl had changed.
By the Easter school holidays she had caught a cold and couldn't seem to shake it. Instead, her condition became worse. After seeing a doctor who I thought didn't pay much attention at all, I googled her symptoms, and then took her off to another doctor, suggesting she may have diabetes. The doctor sent us into the nurse, where she pricked my little girls finger, drawing blood and causing her to scream and cry. The results came back showing that her sugar levels were extremely high.
From there it was a whirlwind. My daughter was suffering from ketosis, and was likely to slip into a coma. We rushed her to the nearest hospital where a medical team pounced on her in a state of emergency. When she was stable enough we were transported by ambulance (sirens on) to the Sydney Childrens Hospital in Randwick, where we spent the next week and half facing the reality that is Type 1 Diabetes.
Yesterday my child began her first day of Year 3. We began the day with checking blood sugar levels, deciphering and then administering two types of insulin. She then has breakfast at a precise time with a specific amount of carbohydrates. Her recess and lunch are packed to the carb content she requires. I strap a little bag over her shoulder, which is filled with an emergency 'hypo' pack in case her sugar levels suddenly drop, along with her blood sugar monitor and wipes for her fingers to be cleaned before being pricked (every two hours). She is to carry this at all times.
This morning the strap on her little bag snapped. I didn't have time to sew it back together, so we scrambled to the shops before school to buy safety pins in the hope that they could keep it together for today. By the time we got to school the safety pins had already come undone, and as I attempted to fix it my daughter sighed and said Things would just be so much easier if I didn't have diabetes.
I had a chat to her new teacher, who would now need to learn all about diabetes management in order for my daughter to be in safe hands. I handed over a bag of 'hypo' packs to the teachers aid, who informed me that the school needs to be supplied with a new glucogen kit - which is used in the event that my daughter should become unconscious due to low sugar levels. I'll purchase a new one today, I said. But I'll be close by today if anything was to happen.
I wish that all I needed to worry about was new shoes, pencils and lunch boxes. I wish I could pack whatever my daughter felt like eating for recess and lunch. And I wish that she didn't need to be prodded and poked from morning to night each and every day. But this is the way things are.
We keep hoping for a cure, and I'm sure one day in her lifetime they will find one. For now, this is what needs to be done. And I will remain grateful that she is able to be kept alive, grateful for synthetic insulin, which was first used in 1922 - before then diabetics could only live for a maximum of 3 years.
Her childhood has been robbed in many ways, but she is still here, unlike some of the children we met at the Childrens Hospital. We will keep doing what we're doing, and remain hopeful that some day there will be another way...
Hi LuLu (Justine) I am not a medical practitioner or in the medicine business, but I would like to suggest what you can do to help with the diabetes problem. I have done a lot of searching for answers on various issues and the solutions to so many unanswered questions people have and sometimes, more often than not, become despirate and lose hope. I found good data which you can find on the Web: 1. Dr Jonathan Wright (Tahoma Clinic) in the USA and 2. Robert Redfern in Europe. You can find both on Google.com. I have certainly learned a lot over a period of about a year, when I thought I was going to die, but am am very much alive and working very hard to help making a better world for all. Let me know how you are doing. Best Regards. Eben
Correct and agree with you. Referring to "kid" in an article when a leisure and lifestyle freelance writer can unintentionally cross over into personal development writing. I have replaced the title of the article from kid to child. Apologies for any offence, and we trust that you will continue to receive immense value otherwise from the content published on Self Avenue.
Thank you for your time in commenting on this article.
Hi LuLu, When I went to school, we had an English teacher who was very specific about the correct use of the English language and comprehension. He was very explicit about calling a child a "kid", which is a degredation of his or her beingness, because a kid is actually a small goat. It is slang to use the word, when referring to your or someone else's child. This is not being critical, but my children have always objected to be called kids, when they were small. Let us use a better sxpression for the sake of all our beautiful children. Best Regards, Eben