There is a lot to take in when your child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Keep in mind that you aren’t expected to know or even grasp everything immediately. The hospital will take you through several days of education. Just take a deep breath and try to absorb what you can. The rest will come through asking questions, learning through experience, educating yourself and staying in contact with your doctors.
It’s Not Your Fault
Many parents go through a period of blame, questioning themselves on if there was anything they did wrong to cause the diabetes. Simply put, you did nothing wrong. Type 1 Diabetes is an auto-immune disease, so there is nothing you could have done differently. Having diabetes doesn’t mean your child’s life is over either. With proper management and care, your child can do anything, be anything and accomplish whatever they wish in life.
Take It One Day at a Time
Diabetes can be a frustrating disease. There are a lot of factors that will create havoc with your child’s blood glucose numbers. Also understand that as your child grows and goes through puberty, the treatment plan will change. Just take it one day at a time and learn from your experiences. Take notes, jot down things that happened that day that might have caused your child’s blood glucose to spike or fall. Having those notes to refer to will also be helpful at your child’s next check up.
There is a lot of information out there about diabetes. Make sure you go to reputable websites and read as much as you can. For example JDRF is a good place to start. The more you learn the better prepared you will be. Keep in mind most people do not understand the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. You will come across people who will stereotype you or your child. It’s not worth getting upset over, but the more you educate yourself, the more you can educate them.
It’s a Family Affair
Diabetes does not just affect the one who has the disease. Remember to keep the other siblings involved in the learning and care of the child with diabetes. It is important that everyone in the family understand the needs of the child. Also because diabetes can be overwhelming to the parents, sometimes the other siblings feel like they aren’t important. Make sure you spend one on one time with all of your children so they don’t feel left out.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Surround yourself with supportive and helpful people. Get involved with local chapters so you can meet other families who have a diabetic child. Sometimes the best help and support can come from those who are going through it right along with you. If you are struggling to find local groups, ask your doctor’s office. They often know of chapters and support groups and can give you their contact information.