This is Charlie's Journey to Type1 Diabetes diagnosis.
WRITTEN BY- MICHELLE, Mother to Charlie age 9.
It’s funny how one day you can be joking with your kids and 24 hours later your entire life is changed forever. Last week Charlie was unwell, nothing serious, just the usual bit of gastro. A normal doctors appointment quickly turned to the start of our nightmare. Thinking back, he hadn't been himself for a while. But within hours, we were in a whirlwind of doctors struggling to stabalise our boy who badly needed fluid but had no veins they could access. We were then given the bombshell news that he was in DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis). Diabetes was a word we knew, a word that sent chills down our spine. We knew our baby’s life was never going to be the same. ICU became our home for the next few nights, constant beeping of machines and a nurse that never left the room. The worry was overwhelming. Doctors and specialist spoke to us while we nodded our head, not really hearing the words as we were still trying to process the fact our son had Type1 diabetes.
After a few days, Charlie started smiling again, his sense of humour returning as he was starting to get better, bargaining with the nurses that he would do whatever they wanted if they would give him a little bit of water. He knew what was going on and he knew what it meant, but he continued to be brave, once scared of needles he was now having 4 needles a day. The children’s ward was more comfortable where Charlie would rub his hands together as his appetite grew. His love for plum jam had nurses sneaking them to him to add to his stash. As our boy got better we realised it was time for learning, information overload was making our heads feel like they were going to explode, we would look at each other hoping the other one would remember what we had to do.
On the weekend we were given time away from the hospital, it had been days since I had seen the sun and even it seemed different. Monday night they said we could have a night at home, fear of our new life seemed to overrun the excitement of going home. The first night was the constant doubting of myself, trying to remember everything I had done and I had learned. Constant panic and having to take a few minutes to calm myself down then realizing I knew it, I had this… Setting endless alarms throughout the night, but then having to adjust alarms as things changed throughout the day. Hours spent back up at the hospital learning more, shopping for bags and bags of supplies, insulin levels constantly being altered as Charlies diet and activity changed. As more hours are spent at home our confidence is growing. My brave boy testing his own blood, priming his own needles and reminding me what side we are up to. This boy who has already had an extra burden of being born with a cleft lip, is facing this challenge with everything he has. He is already showing us that nothing will stop him. He is nothing less than extraordinary! Proud is not even the right word.
And me, I have not even cried yet, the most emotional person I know and I haven’t had time to stop and feel it. The tears just won't come out. One day they might. But right now my boy needs me. What I have definitely felt is supported. We have been supported, by our 4 children who have joined together to help me and not complained that I haven’t had time to make sure they have the right uniform for school or sign a note (even though they are worried), our extended family that have helped with food, things at home and babysitting, my friends who have offered their support, these are people that love us and are always there and I’m always grateful for them. What I’ve been surprised is the extra support from everyone else. The Hospital who made us feel we were the most important people there, the school who have staff going to the hospital to train how to take care of Charlie, the school parents who are making sure I’m in contact with the right people or helping with the kids. Thanks to the Type 1 Foundation for going to Charlie’s class and explaining to the teachers about the Online Training Modules and educating the students in Charlie's class and the care packages I received on my doorstep. Thanks to the people I don’t see often offering meals, even Smiggles for their help with Charlie’s medical pack he will have to always carry and the extra goodies to put a smile on his face. I’m amazed at the support we have had. So THANK YOU to everyone that has made this hurdle in our lives that bit easier and the biggest THANK YOU to the Diabetes Team that have filled our heads with knowledge and our bags with everything we could possibly need.
This is Charlie's journey and we are all in this together..
Click on the link for more information about the Online Training Modules or how the Type1 Foundation can support you after a Type1 Diabetes diagnosis.