Type 1 Diabetes - how a child is coping

Now I know what you’re thinking. What could possibly be funny about diabetes? And you’d be right. It’s not funny at all. Every single aspect of it is just bloody awful, and the fact that it is occurring to a child makes it infinitely worse. But you know what? She is doing it. All those fingerpricks, injections, snacking at odd moments, not snacking when she wants to – she is beginning to take it in her stride. And she has found things to laugh about – oh what a joy it is to see her infectious smile still there, to hear her finding humour in her affliction.

About 2 weeks into her diagnosis, walking home from school, my brave daughter totally floored me with this statement, out of nowhere:

Having diabetes is like buying something from a shop, then getting it home and finding it doesn’t work. So you take it back to the shop, but when you get there, the shop has closed down. So you can’t return it, or get a replacement.

She’s a whisker away from 10, but she says things like this. There’s a wise old head on her shoulders, and she breaks my heart and inspires my confidence in equal measure.

So there’s disappointment. Massive sadness about a broken toy she can never fix, return, or replace. A sense that she herself is somehow broken, imperfect, not what Santa intended when he packaged her up with so much hope and good cheer. And yet, an hour later she’s going through the Carbs and Cals book (her new bible) with a sense of irony that has us all in fits of laughter:

So between meals I can only have 10g of carbs at a time, right? So according to this I can have 10 cocktail sausages. That’s a brilliant snack! And look, if I only have 2 roast potatoes and 1 yorkshire pudding, I can have a full roast dinner as a snack!

I join in, wanting to prolong the joy of a good laugh as much as I can:

Hey, check this out. One slice of black pudding has exactly 10g of carbs! Shall I get some?

She gives me the look she normally reserves for her father when he dances.

No. Mother. But I can have 3 squares of chocolate, 3 giant pretzels, a mini Cornish pasty, or a bowl of Bombay Mix. What is Bombay Mix..?

She flicks through the pages, looking for more extremes:

A doner kebab has 80g of carbs. So that’s why Daddy needs a kebab when he’s had a few beers, right? Because alcohol lowers the blood sugar. Cinema popcorn is 160g – no wonder you feel sleepy after a film Mummy! And half a Victoria sponge is 79g. Who would want to eat that much cake?!!!

Who would ever eat that much Victoria Sponge?!

She starts to lose interest, and I move on, a moment of fun finished, and the necessary realities of the blood testing routine taking over as I begin to prepare dinner. Then she pipes up with one more cheeky observation:

Actually, I’m a bit peckish. Apparently I can have whole rack of ribs as a 10g snack. She winks at me. Stick the oven on, will you?

She’s perfect.


If you’ve blogged about a funny moment with your child, link up below so we can share. Visit some of your fellow linkers – they’re a lovely bunch 🙂