Stupid questions your mum will ask about diabetes

The Type 1 diabetes diagnois came just over a week ago. We were diagnosed at the GP, and sent straight to paediatric A&E for training in how to manage it. Of all the questions I expected to hear my mum ask the doctor there, this one never crossed my mind:

Will she ever be able to experiment with illegal drugs..?

My mum is a worrier. She projects into the future. Whilst I reassured her that I’m only 9, and really not interested in heroin, she thinks about all the things I might want to do as an adult, that she can’t control. She wants to know if I will live a normal life, basically. So for anyone facing a similar diagnosis, cut your mum some slack. She will want to know really stupid stuff like:

  • Will she ever be able to get drunk at Fresher’s Week? The answer is yes, as it happens, although my vodka will need to be taken with full sugar coke, and there will be no slimline tonic for me. Alcohol lowers the blood sugar.
  • What if she wants to go backpacking round South America? That’s fine too. The nurse told us about her diabetic sister, diagnosed the year before she did just that. “The worst thing that happened to her was getting her backpack stolen, with her insulin inside it. She was really cross, because after she’d got an emergency supply from the local clinic, my Aunt flew out with more supplies – and stayed 2 weeks!!!”
  • Can she swim? Yes, my Grandma met a 10 year old last week and quizzed him (poor boy – it would have taken ages) about his insulin pump. He’d just completed his lifesaver’s badge.
  • Will she ever be allowed to have an ice-cream sundae just for the hell of it, in the middle of a summer afternoon, or do a Bridget Jones on the sofa at midnight with the Haagen Dazs? Oh yes indeed, she will. Once she gets to grips with managing her diabetes, if she really wants that treat – if it’s really worth an extra insulin shot – she can have it.

Of course, the ice-cream question is the only one really bothering me at the moment. My mother believes I’m a rule-breaker – the kind of teen who might want to try stuff, just once, just to see what the fuss is about, then make the good decision not to bother with it again. That, so we’re told, is the one thing I can’t do. So that’s that. At least there’s ice-cream.

This week’s Expressions is my brother reading my Carbs and Cals book, trying to figure out what I can have as part of a healthy, balanced diet. A bit grumpy about the current all-consuming nature of my newly diagnosed diabetes, he proved himslef the hero as he proudly announced that I could have 2 profiteroles with my dinner, and that a ring doughnut wasn’t actually all that bad. He’s ok, the Bug, when push comes to shove 🙂


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