Ben is our second son, he was born on !8th May 1999, five days after his due date. He had to be delivered by emergency section but was a fine healthy baby. When Ben was 18 months old he had a really bad cold and kept asking for 'doos'. I thought he had a sore throat but as our eldest son had been diagnosed as having Type 1 diabetes just 4 months earlier my husband said we should check his blood sugars. We did and they were 29.4, I cried, I couldn't believe that my little baby was going to have daily injections of insulin for the rest of his life. We phoned the hospital and he was admitted that night, We were not allowed to bring him home until we could show the doctor that we could do his injections ourselves. I couldn't do it and it was down to my husband. How do you sit your baby on your knee and stick a needle in him so he cries because he doesn't know what you are doing?
It's really difficult to keep his blood sugar levels on an even keel, he has had to go to hospital on several occasions after a sickness bug etc when we couldn't get him to keep any food down but he still had to have his insulin. He had to be put on a drip at these times.
last year he became the youngest person in our area to be given an insulin pump. This delivers insulin continously throughout the day via a line directly into his tummy or leg, we have to change the site every two days to avoid blockages, infections etc.
It's helped his blood sugars a little but they are still erratic. The scariest times are when he has a 'hypo' (extremely low blood sugars) as he can black out. We have a special injection to give him if this happens and then we call an ambulance immediately.
But having said all that, Ben loves being out with his friends, going to Taekwondo and playing Super mario on his WII. He is also a fan of WWE wrestling. he likes nothing better than us all to go to the pictures together and Pizza Hut for a special treat.
The long term implications of diabetes are that he is more at risk of heart disease, glaucoma, renal disease and much more.
Our day is made up of constant finger pricking to check blood sugars, every thing he eats is noted and the carbohydrate content meticulously worked out for his insulin requirements. days out mean double checking that we have backup supply of everything we need for his insulin pump and extra snacks and glucose incase of hypos.
Ben is a happy wee boy and is a joy to be with him, he brings laughter everywhere he goes as he's such a comic!
written by Fiona, Ben's mum who regularly stitches for Quilts4kids.