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RE: [IP] When your child realizes what diabetes is....sorry so long

Well, I can't tell you as a parent, but I can tell you as a child who
was diagnosed at age 4.  (age 23 now)

First for some background:
When I was 4 I came down with a head to toe rash that just wasn't going 
away.  My mom took me to the pediatrician thinking we would be in and
out, get some hydrocortisone cream and get on with carpooling three kids
everywhere in town.  The doctor had no idea what was causing the rash, so
he took some blood and had them do a quick run of tests on it.  The doctor 
minutes later told my mom that we had to go to the hospital and admit me.
(My bg was 868mg/dl < ~48.2 mmol).  I know I didn't feel great, but I didn't
feel on deaths door.  My mom took me to the hospital about two blocks away
they checked me in.  I don't remember much other then my mom was relatively
the whole time.  I didn't feel scared at all.  I thought the hospital was
pretty cool! Anyways, I got scared when I over heard the doctors talking
my door about how I had "die of betes".  The word gets scary when you hear
wrong. :)  So when my parents came to visit, I started crying and my mom got
with the doctors for talking within earshot.  She checked me out of the
hospital early and started to take care of me at home.  So when I asked my
mom about it she 
cleared up that it was diabetes not die of betes.  And that I was going to
live for many more years.  My mom has always been honest with me since day
one.  I am very aware of 
the complications and what consequences are.  I was a very curious child and
always wanted to know things.  So maybe they felt I could handle it.  When
people asked me why I was taking shots, I would ask them why they weren't.
I don't remember not taking shots and for a while I thought everyone had to.
:)  Not sure this is helping your question though. 

In my experience, although I wouldn't wish this disease on anyone, I think
the people who deal with it the best are the ones who are diagnosed before
age 5.  Mostly because we don't remember what it was like not to have it.
Or at least not much.  For example, I have a lot of friends from my camp
days who, like me, have not had a hard time dealing with this disease.  For
me it has always been a part of my life.  I shower, I change my clothes, I
take some insulin, I eat some food, I go to school/work, etc.  I have been
lucky that I have had doctors along the way who didn't force me to restrict
my food.  I have eaten healthy all my life as a choice but that small slice
of cake w/frosting at birthday parties was nice to have.  But that is
another debate.

Yes, I know the fear of those numbers as they pop up on the blood testing
machine.  But I learned at a young age that it isn't the single high number
once and a while that you have to worry about but the longer string in a

Now am I saying that your daughter won't have a hard time with this disease
because she was diagnosed younger?  No not really.  I in fact had a time
period in my teens where I had to evaluate myself and my care.  I was
writing all my information down and taking it to a doctor who because my
A1Cs weren't matching accused me of making them up.  Truth was I was having
raging highs in-between meals that weren't showing up in the tests I was
taking.  So I decided I was writing all the stuff down for my parents since
the doctor didn't care.  And since he didn't care then why should I.  (OK
teenage angst)  So for 3 or 4 years I tested maybe 4 times a week and fibbed
the rest of the numbers.  If parents asked at dinner I convincingly would
say 164.  Amazingly the numbers I fibbed matched the A1Cs better.  Gee guess
it was ok then.  Argg.  Can't believe I did that to myself.  Knocking on
wood, I haven't noticed any complications yet from doing that and thankfully
I am still alive today to tell you about it.  But before all the mothers
start freaking out and checking their children's blood testing machines...I
was a rare one.  I think as parents everyone will need to weigh the
importance of being pushy about testing, recording, etc with the chance this
will make your child rebel, and trying to stand back and trust they will do
the right thing.  I think a lot of children diabetics are much more mature
then other children their own age because of the responsibilities that
diabetes can bring along with it.  Many of them will do the right thing with
their care.
Most just need a "You know I am so proud of you!" once in a while. :)

Ok off of my babbling soapbox,
Sorry a bit long winded today,

>I want to thank all of you for all your great advice and for being so
>I want to ask parents of children who were dxed at a very young age when
>how their children became aware of the possible complications of diabetes.
>Laura is 6 and I'm concerned about when the day comes when she realizes
>could possibly happen from complications.  She is totaly unaware at this
>point.  I don't want her one day reading a book or being on this website
>discovering the harsh realities.
>I want to sit her down at some point and explain to her.  But at what age?
>How?  Has anyone lived through this who can give me some advice?  When
>people ask Laura how can she take all those shots a day, she says "well I
>don't want to die" with a smile on her face, so she does know there are
>consquences to her actions and non-actions.
>Thank you.
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for HELP or to subscribe/unsubscribe, contact: HELP@insulin-pumpers.org
send a DONATION http://www.Insulin-Pumpers.org/donate.shtml
for HELP or to subscribe/unsubscribe, contact: HELP@insulin-pumpers.org
send a DONATION http://www.Insulin-Pumpers.org/donate.shtml