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Emma xx

Sunday, 4 May 2014

International Blog Swap Day

I've been partnered to take part in the International Blog Swap Day. So here's my post.

I'm going to tell you about my son who is Type 1 diabetic and how we came to know he was diabetic.

It all started with us becoming worried about his weight, thinking we wasn't giving him enough food, so we increased his portions of food.We carried on for a few weeks weighing him as we went along, he still wasn't putting weight on, he loved his food so it was strange for him to be losing weight while were feeding him up, We started to ask our parents and my grandparents if they thought he looked skinny but it wasn't really a problem with them at the time, they thought he looked OK eventually when our parents hadn't seen him for a while they became concerned so we worried even more. it wasn't just us noticing the problem.

His concentration had dropped in school and at 7 years old his learning hadn't come on since he was about 5. School just thought he would catch up and that it was a case of him learning at a different rate so didn't intervene.

His behaviour also suffered he was starting to be in trouble for something most days.
He also wanted to constantly drink.

Having six children at the time and the rest of them being fine growing and weighing just fine, thoughts started going through my mind what if i take him to the doctors and they take him and the others away thinking we were neglecting him. I couldn't lose them they are my life. 

We started to take photos of him eating and being happy just to prove our case if we were challenged about his weight and after a few days the concerns that he still wasn't gaining any weight got too much and we took him to the GP.

Within about 2 minutes the GP had checked him over and asked him to do a sample of urine, which he did straight away as this was a constant thing as well. The GP dipped the urine using a glucose testing strip and a ketone testing strip. He instantly diagnosed Diabetes and was straight on the phone to the paediatric team at our hospital, he told us to go straight home and get things ready for a stay in hospital.

Looking back on this we were so lucky he wasn't a lot worse than he was as he was only showing moderate ketones in his urine so it was detected quite early. had he of developed ketosis this could of been life threatening, and to think we were scared of taking him to the doctors!

At the hospital he was given a bed and lots of people came to talk to us, which Taylor loved being the centre of attention as he loves being the star of the show! We met our paediatric diabetes nurse Stacy who informed us what the plan of action would be and more tests were done. Over the next couple of days she would be educating us how to treat Taylor at home, The paediatric diabetes consultant was due to be clocking off for his annual leave just as we got there but he came and sat for over an hour talking to us and explaining about type one and reassuring us it wasn't something that we had caused by diet and got to know us a bit. Not many people would be as kind as this after they had clocked off!

He was given two insulin pens and a monitor that night and the nurse started working out how much insulin he needed to lower his glucose levels with hourly testing and corrections. The next couple of days were full of little snipits of information on how to test, inject, correct, and who to contact if we were struggling, the dietitian came to see us too to explain which foods we would need to give insulin for, although the first few days we were given set doses to give him until we fully understood.

It was the most tiring time and the fastest we have had to learn so much but at least we had an answer about what was wrong with our son and we knew we could totally control it. It was a relief!

On coming home we had home visits from the Diabetes nurse and the dietitian to help us and advise us but we were coping quite well and it was decided we would start Carb counting and working his insulin out for ourselves. Our son had totally shocked everybody with his positive attitude to testing by himself and he even injected the insulin by himself after us checking his doses. He must of been feeling so poorly over the past few weeks.

His behaviour improved and the school work has come on leaps and bounds and school have now started helping him a bit more to catch up, It is awful how much a high, or a low blood sugar can change how a person acts and concentrates.

After just over a year past diagnosis at age 8 he was given the opportunity to go onto an insulin pump which we were so excited about. the pump is worn all the time and is connected to tubing which clips onto a cannula site in his tummy, which has to be changed every 2-3 days. this means no more needles other than this cannula change.

After yet more training over a few weeks we came away with an insulin pump and a testing machine which controls it via blue tooth - that's right we can now blue tooth our sons insulin from the kitchen!!
The handset is set up to work out the insulin dose for the amount of carbs we enter so his levels are fine tuned and we can control the speed at which the insulin goes in for different types of food rather than all the insulin going in at once. 
Also instead of having a single background dose of insulin the pump constantly pumps insulin at a tiny level through out the day which can be adjusted hourly.
He can now start to live a normal life and join in with everything that his friends do at school without worrying that his glucose levels will drop as we can adjust this for him for P.E lessons, break times etc. 

now age 9, he loves being on the pump, its his little gadget and it has improved how he feels so much. he is now starting to count his carbohydrates in his meals by himself and we have every faith that he will be able to cope by himself in secondary school. and to think that 2 years ago this boy was doing age 5 work!