A letter to my future self…
“A baby has a 1% risk of developing diabetes if the baby is born to a mother who is age 25 or older and had type 1 diabetes. A baby born to parents who do not have diabetes has a 0.3% risk of developing the disease.”
(www.sharecare.com) I know I shouldn’t let the fear of a type 1 diagnosis affect me but I wouldn’t wish this incurable auto‑immune condition on my worst enemy, let alone my beautiful children. Am I being irrational when every request for an extra drink of water or late night visit to the toilet I think, Is this it? Are their little immune systems getting ready to attack?
Miss 6 likes to test her own blood sugar levels (I suppose this is to be expected when you have a Type 1 mama). Recently she proudly announced “I just tested my blood sugars and I’m 9.8. (176 mg/dL)” What? Keep calm. Breathe. My heart was racing. A non-diabetics blood sugar level normally falls between 4.0 mmol/L (72 mg/dL) and 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dL). Sounding slightly hysterical I asked her to wash her hands and check again. Check again! I begin mentally rescheduling our afternoon plans, organising a babysitter and sorting the logistics of a hospital stay while we all get to grips with another type 1 diagnosis.
Miss 6 returns moments later and checks her blood sugars again… 5.6 mmol/L (101 mg/dL). She must have had something on her fingers that caused the previous high result. What a relief! My heart rate slows but the fear remains.
Just when I needed a little help to let this go I discovered the latest Diabetes doing things podcast with Dana Howe. Dana is the social media manager for Beyond Type 1 and third generation type 1 diabetic, her dad and granddad also have type 1. She has grown up surrounded by type 1 diabetes. Her parents knew what to look for and acted quickly when Dana started to show signs of type 1 diabetes, avoiding Diabetes Ketoacidosis (DKA). “DKA is a dangerous complication faced by people with diabetes which happens when the body starts running out of insulin.” (www.diabetes.co.uk)
Dana has had an incredible support team from the very beginning. Being a third generation diabetic meant she had extremely knowledgeable and passionate advocates by her side at all of her medical appointments (her parents).
With that in mind I will breathe and carry on. Life is busy, mad, chaotic, fun and interesting, just as it is. I must kick the fear of a type 1 diagnosis to the kerb and enjoy every precious moment. Even though I will watch for the symptoms of type 1 diabetes like a hawk, I choose to cross the type 1 diagnosis bridge if we come to it and only then!