Today (14th November) is World Diabetes Day, also the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922. This time last year, I “liked” a couple of awareness posts from acquaintances on social media and thought nothing more of it. Yet, they had planted the seeds in my subconscious that eventually led to my daughter’s diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes just 11 days later.
My Daughter’s Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis
The first signs were that my 5-year-old was unusually thirsty, needing to go to the toilet more frequently and seemed tired and lethargic. At first we weren’t concerned about her symptoms as we believed she was still recovering from Covid-19, which she’d had a few weeks earlier. But she got worse, eventually becoming very pale and frighteningly thin. I was hoping it was just a water infection, but in the back of my mind I remembered the symptoms of diabetes and knew that it fit.
On the 25th November 2021, we took her to the GP for a blood test and she was rushed to A & E shortly afterwards, due to extremely high blood sugar (over 30 mmols/L). She had developed a dangerous condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), and was admitted to the children’s ward for 3 days. She was put on IV fluids to flush out the ketones and then onto IV insulin, before moving on to pen injections. It was an incredibly difficult time (you can read the full story here) but we got through it. I am so grateful that we found out about her T1D in time and got to take her home.
A Year Later…
Almost a year on, we have all adapted to life with T1D. My daughter is able to eat what she wants (as long as she has insulin) and do anything that any other 6-year-old can. She doesn’t let her diabetes stop her and is becoming an expert on her own care. We have the support of a team of nurses, a consultant, a dietician and her school staff, as well as our family. We also benefit from amazing technology like the Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor and the Omnipod DASH insulin pump, provided by our incredible NHS. I’ll be posting more about our first year with T1D on her “diaversary” (25th Nov).
Know The Signs
Being diagnosed early is so important for all types of diabetes-it can save lives. According to diabetes.org, someone is diagnoses with diabetes every two minutes. But we have the power to #RewriteTheStory if we are aware of the signs and risk factors.
The 4 Ts of Type One Diabetes
T1D is an auto-immune condition and is NOT caused by lifestyle factors such as diet or weight. It can happen to anyone at any age, and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. It’s important to be aware of the most common symptoms:
- Toilet – going for a wee more often, especially at night.
- Thirsty – being constantly thirsty and not being able to quench it.
- Tired – being incredibly tired and having no energy.
- Thinner – losing weight without trying to, or looking thinner than usual.
Find out more about the symptoms.
Symptoms and Risk Factors of Type Two Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes develops more slowly than type 1, though some of the symptoms are the same. In addition to the 4Ts above, you may also notice:
- Cuts and wounds taking longer to heal
- Genital itching or thrush
- Blurred vision
However, a lot of people don’t get any symptoms, or don’t notice them as they can come on gradually. Therefore, it’s important to know your risk. Find out about the risk factors of T2D or try the know your risk tool to find out your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
Find Out More or Get Involved
The theme for World Diabetes Day 2021-23 is Access to Diabetes Care. The focus of the campaign in 2022 is access to diabetes education, with the slogan “Education to protect tomorrow.”
- Check out the information and resources on diabetes.org, worlddiabetesday.org and JDRF and consider making a donation towards funding research into a cure.
- Follow these hashtags on social media: #WorldDiabetesDay, #RewriteTheStory, #NailingDiabetes, #WeAreOne, #EducationtoProtect.
- Take on the #NailingDiabetes challenge and paint your nails blue to raise awareness.
- Share a blue circle selfie.
Do you know anyone with diabetes? Is there anything you would like to know more about?
Thank you for sharing this. That must have been so scary and nerve wracking. My mom has it too although she has Type 2. Best wishes going forward- it sounds like your daughter and your entire family have adapted well
We have some family members with Type 2 as well, although apparently there’s no causal link. Thanks. We are getting there!
It impacts so many people. Feels like this topic should be covered more often. But it sounds like your kid is doing okay managing, so that’s great news.
Dewey Decimal System Day is December 10. 📚
“The only limit to your success is your own imagination” – Shondra Rhimes
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I wish you a merry holiday ⛄ season, and a New Year full of peace, joy, and creativity.