Life, family and Diabetes.

November is the awareness month of Diabetes. We are trying to get funds to find the cure for the lifelong condition called DIABETES, through the Spinal Cord Society.

I try don’t think much about this but when I want to have a mindful moment, when the kids are in bed or one of those days when I feel down and sad ; I close my eyes and the memories of that painful moment when one of my babies was diagnosed with Type one Diabetes come to my mind and I burst in tears.

I am sure there are lots of parents, who have gone trough the same situation, the same pain and worries, the feelings of not knowing what is going to happen, how we can live normal when our kids must have injected insulin to be alive.

It is very hard to understand !

It is very hard to comprehend the responsibility we have as parents with kids with Type one Diabetes.

Mateo one of my sons, was diagnosed at the age of 2.

I remember I was toilet training him when suddenly , his eyes started getting blurred and watery, he was complaining about a sore tummy, he was doing wees more than his twin brother and drinking so much water that I couldn’t believe it!

He could have a full glass of water straight away!

His father is Type 1 diabetic as well, so the possibilities to get Diabetes are much higher. I’ve been at hospitals in the past, I loved the subject of Diabetes when I was studying it, so I knew that his symptoms were not normal but I did not want to accept it.

One day we went to have dinner away from home and while everybody was sitting quiet, Mateo drunk a full glass of water and the entire meal. We all worried and waited to get back home and take his sugar levels with his father’s glucometer… I did not want to know! And oh surprise his sugar levels were 33mcg when the normal values are between 4-12 mcg in children.

The father , my eldest son and me all hugged together and cried because we knew the meaning of that…

So we went to hospital the day after and stayed there for a week and it was the time when I realised that life is vulnerable and we don’t know what can happen tomorrow that makes us appreciate life more, especially when they are so little and so soft and precious!

What is Diabetes? What does it mean Type 1 Diabetes?

Diabetes Mellitus occurs when the body cannot produce insulin or when the insulin the body makes does not work properly. The name comes from Greek as Diabetes meaning siphon or running through, excess of urine.Mellitus, meaning honey like ( sweetness of the urine ) What are the causes of Diabetes?

It could be a combination of genes, and some things in the environment, which are harmless to most people for example common viruses or immune system that attack the beta cells of the pancreas, causing a decrease of insulin.

When Diabetes develops, glucose levels rise above normal, often as much as five to ten times normal. Excess spills over into the urine drawing water with it causing excessive passing of urine and dehydration. Weight loss is common as the body cannot use glucose as source of energy and instead starts break down in fat and muscle.

Excessive tiredness and mood changes are common because the kids feel unwell.

How do I provide Insulin to the body when the body does not produce it?

Insulin cannot be given by mouth because it would be destroyed by the acid in the stomach, so the only way to give insulin is by injecting short and long acting insulin that goes straight to the bloodstream through the use of injections or a pump. That means that the kids or adults diagnosed with Diabetes need to put insulin with needles before every meal and they have to test their sugars levels at least 8 times a day.

It seems easy ah?

And nobody talks about this!

We as parents would like to create awareness of the importance of having a healthy diet free of simple sugars, full of complex carbohydrates, full of vegetables and fruits with low content of sugars as well as water as the main source of liquids and the most importantly full of love and patience.

It is hard to understand what it means to have a normal life with four kids and one with diabetes.

How can I give him a normal life when I need to have restrictions with sugars and food?

Well this is the part that I want to work on this month as I know there are a lot of misunderstanding and lack of information about a healthy diet for diabetics.

I would like you to keep connected because I want to share some of my experiences with you, it is possible to have families with diabetic children, and have a healthy and happy life.

I will be sharing sugar free recipes, model of ideal menus for the whole family .

Live and love!

AndreaP