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Maurice Hudson
Living with Diabetes

She had been having the symptoms for weeks. Frequently thirsty. Going to the bathroom.

You had probably brushed it off until you finally went to the hospital. After some blood tests were done, the doctor informs you of the terrible news. Your daughter has Type One Diabetes.

The news hits you in the stomach, butterflies coursing throughout your body. The sight of you daughter in tears. Why did this happen? Why her?

November is American Diabetes Month.

However, diabetes is not a death sentence like people may think it is. There are living and thriving people with type 2 diabetes such as Patti LaBelle, Tom Hanks, and Halle Berry. Furthermore, there are also people living with Type One Diabetes such as Jay Cutler, and Brett Michaels.

Yet how does one make it possible that their daughter can be okay during this trying time? Let’s take a small look at what Type One Diabetes is and what you can do to support your daughter.

It’s best to catch the symptoms early and to not ignore them. The longer your daughter goes undiagnosed, the rougher it can be for her. Some serious—even fatal—health issues may arise if left untreated. Common Symptoms of Type One Diabetes are frequent urination and bedwetting, frequent thirst, wounds that don’t heal correctly, increased fatigue, and weight loss.

Remember that getting Type One Diabetes isn’t anyone’s fault. Type One diabetes is a condition in which your pancreas cannot create insulin. Insulin is the hormone created in your pancreas that makes it possible that the food you eat (carbohydrates), which gets broken down into sugar (glucose), is able to enter your blood cells which creates energy for your everyday life.

Type One Diabetes is believed to be caused by an autoimmune reaction—meaning that your body attacks itself. Your body attacks beta cells in your pancreas that are required for creating insulin. As a result, you become insulin deficient. Some individuals may get diabetes genetically. Other tests suggest that a trigger, such a virus or infection, may be the culprit.

So no, it wasn’t sugar. Wasting your energy wondering why it happened won’t make it go away. And you, or your daughter, aren’t responsible for getting it. Best to focus on how to cope with it, rather than blame ourselves.

Don’t treat your daughter any differently—to a degree. Make your daughter realize that she can do anything she wants to do in life even though she has diabetes. At the root of it, Type One Diabetes is more of a lifestyle change, and there are many diabetics who live successful, long lives.

Still want to try out for the cheerleading team? Want to travel the world? Teach your daughter that all her dreams can still come true. Keep her involved with the rest of the family during trips and try not to omit her from anything as best as possible—as long as it doesn’t affect her diabetes, it’s fair game.

A better lifestyle will lead to a better life for your daughter. Your daughter is precious to you, and so, her health as far as being a diabetic is fragile. Her feet, eyes, and teeth, become much more of an issue with diabetes care.

Eating better foods, becoming more active and having a tight grasp on blood glucose levels will make it possible that these concerns won’t matter as much.

Testing your blood glucose is just data. Never judge your daughter because of her blood glucose numbers. Children, especially at young ages, will be tempted to not tell you their numbers because they will fear judgement. A lot of things can change their numbers during the day—not just food.

Does she have a test at school she is nervous for? Have a dating interest she is too anxious to talk to you about? Maybe, perhaps, she miscalculated her meal at lunch and that is why her blood sugar is below, or above target?

Stress plays a role in blood glucose management. Allow your little angel to be human and make mistakes. Regardless of her blood glucose numbers, she should still fell warmth and support. Losing comfort in telling you how she is feeling won’t go well, and you might have an instance where she has a severe episode of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and not tell you because she is afraid to.

Mental health is important. Diabetes causes a higher risk for depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Emotional support is just as important as physical health. Checking blood glucose, taking insulin, counting carbs, and trying to be in top shape can be mentally exhausting. There will be days your daughter will be bummed about having, be in denial, or be angry about it.

Make sure you are the pillar of light to her frustrations. Spot depression early. Being tired all the time, changes in appetite, loss of pleasure in things she may have found pleasure in before, and changes in sleeping patterns, may indicate that she may be suffering from depression. This can take form in not participating in afternoon activities at school anymore, or not performing their best in school. Being the social support she needs may mitigate some of the feelings she has.

All in all, anyone with Type One Diabetes can live a long successful life. Although it can be challenging, it is up to the parental figures for the emotional and mental support that will drive there little ones to life that they have always dreamed of. Diabetes is but an obstacle, but with hard work and dedication, it won’t be able to stop you (or your daughter) from everything you all deserve in life.

Maurice Hudson is a Freelance Writer who enjoys writing Fiction (Fantasy and Urban Fantasy). In his leisure, his hobbies include reading, playing baseball, and live streaming on advanced family systems. He has been living with Type One Diabetes for the last 20 years.

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