Expressions: Silly questions your mum will ask about diabetes

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.ย “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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

33 thoughts on “Expressions: Silly questions your mum will ask about diabetes”

  1. I would have asked the same questions and have the same worries. I hope that you can all work together to manage GG’s diet and control it that way, and like you said, she won’t let it change her. You’re strong together as a family and you can all support each other to help GG x ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Oh Helen, what a shock for you all. One of my mum’s best friends has a daughter with diabetes. She’s had it since we were 4. We have been friends all our lives and I can tell you that she did some of the ‘naughty’ things, went on holiday to Mexico for a month and we’ve had some crazy nights out here and there. We’ve been at the beach when she had to inject her insulin and nobody would have even known. She has also been perhaps a bit wiser than her years at times, but that’s just her personality more than her diabetes. I don’t know if I can put your mind at rest, but I remember growing up with her and her often asking me as small kids why her parents made such a big fuss of her diabetes when to her it was so much more straightforward after all. When my mum made crazy cakes to avoid sugar and what not, she used to laugh at how little she’d care if there was normal cakes on the table and how it would not bother her!!!

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  3. It’s great that her brother has got on board (albeit a bit grumpily) with helping her. I’m sure it will take a bit of adjusting to but lots of great role models out there leading amazing lives with diabetes (i think i read somewhere that halle berry is diabetic). I only had it gestationally and it was a real eye opener to different kinds of foods and how things like fruit which seem so innocent and healthy could easily push my reading over the limit. But i found other things like yummy gingerbread flavoured porridge to be fine. She sounds like an amazing girl who is doing really well with it. x

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  4. Well GG it sounds to me as though you’re being very mature about all of this. In all honesty, i think ice cream is the first thing on most girls’ minds (even at your mummy’s age!). Your mummy’s not doing too bad either. As you say, cut her some slack ๐Ÿ˜‰ x

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  5. What a week you must have had Helen.

    It sounds as though you’re coping much better than I would and asking all the questions I’d forget to ask until I got home and would then kick myself for not asking.

    Thinking of you x

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  6. Thank you to everyone for all their support. I know it means a lot to Helen & GG. I’ve been in awe of both GG & Helen on how they’ve coped/managed with such challenging news. GG on how she just gets on with it – she still keeps smiling, her big cheesy smile, yet she must feel “its not fair” – she doesn’t show it. I’m sure she will go on to be more amazing than she was going to be. And Helen – such a rock, when there is process to be done – 1st class. But to do that when I know she is hurting so much – her girl/daughter, my girl/daughter. I know we will be even stronger as a family & make sure we don’t forget The Bug – he’s been a star too. GG, Helen & The Bug – I’m so proud of you guys, I love you sooo much. Hang in there, it will be OK, I promise. And I can always dance my jig to cheer you up? Or tell you stories about ham baguette man? Etc….

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  7. Do you know northernmum if not I would suggest you pop across as I am sure she will be able to shed some light for you and your mum!! (I tried to include a direct link in my comment but it wouldn’t let me, basically it’s all the w’s northernmum dot com)

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  8. Thought I would pop over to find out how you are coping after the diagnosis. I’m not surprised it’s been a big shock for you -it’s a huge thing to take in and your worries are perfectly natural. It sounds like your daughter has been a bit of a star dealing with it all.
    So pleased you are getting lots of support from Jane. Xxx

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  9. What a shock this must have been, and I love your honest, not-so-crazy questions – so refreshing. You made me smile at many bits, esp the drugs bit. Your daughter sounds like she’s taking it so well. Not so easy for you, I’m sure. But life has taught me that amazing things can come out of situations that seem overridingly negative, esp if you have a positive attitude, which is something that i can see you all have. For a start, your lovely son might start following her food habits, which can’t be a bad thing? BTW a friend of mine has started a no sugar diet and she is loving the book ‘I Quit Sugar’. It has some great breakfast ideas, esp the muesli, which you might find helpful as breakfasts are a nightmare for their high sugar content, aren’t they? Hang in there. You’re all going to come out of this well, I’m sure. Sx

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    • Thanks Siobhan, cutting back on the sugar has definitely improved my own energy so yes, it will be good for us as a family to be made to consider what we eat more carefully. That said, with Type 1 it’s not about the sugar really, it’s just a question of getting enough insulin for what we consume. The tough thing isn’t mealtimes, but snack time, when there’s no insulin to deal with the extra food – then she is very limited. It’s just sensible eating for most people, but it’s tough on a child to know that she can’t just have a packet of Haribo occasionally when she fancies one ๐Ÿ™ Thanks for the book recommendation.

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  10. So sorry to read about the diagnosis, it must have been a huge shock to you all. It sounds like GG is already taking it in her stride and I’m sure mum isn’t far behind.
    Am in awe of mum’s questions – I would never think to ask about illegal drugs because of course in my world my kids will never take drugs or drink alcohol. They will get bigger and older, but they will still be good at all times!

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    • Of course they will Sarah, as long as you don’t look too hard ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Actually, the nurse took me totally seriously, said most people ask the same, and that not all young adults want to try drugs these days. I am so turning into my Dad with all this stereotyping of the yoof of today!

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  11. I just wanted to say that I am sending you both love. I have a close friend with diabetes (diagnosed as a child too, aged 8) who has done everything you would want your daughter to do (and probably some things you hope she won’t!). I also have a friend whose son was diagnosed last year and know it is a learning curve. BUT it will be alright, albeit stressful and she will keep on amazing you. Strength and hugs and love

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