Monday 6 November 2023

Diabetic Milestones

We all have milestones come up in life, somehow diabetes seems to throw a few at us that we hadn't really thought about.

The week before last we finished filling our first sharps bin. I say "we" but it was our daughter's doing obviously. 

That bin is full of the needles she used every day, on average 4 to 7 needles, and the empty cylinders of insulin, the fast acting she takes before she has carbs and the long acting she has once a day at night. 

That bin represents a lot of learning in our little family. We've learnt that having diabetes complicates everything. That getting her levels right one day doesn't mean they're been anywhere near the next. It sometimes feels that the change in the direction of the wind can alter her levels. We learnt not to get hung up on the odd bad day and to look at the bigger picture. 

That bin has some moments in there, highs and lows. It has the needles where I begged and pleaded for her to inject herself, it has the first needle where she did it, and where I ran around the house and screamed with joy when she made it happen. That needle represented her taking charge of her diabetes. 

It represents all we've learnt about food and how we've all changed our diet slightly as a family to make everything seem normal. How a slightly more diabetic friendly diet has made me feel slightly better without realising anything wasn't right. We learnt that our diet was pretty good before, that our children understand food more than a lot of adults. 

It has moments in there that shows how close her siblings are with her, whether that's her younger sister working out her carbs for tea and prepping her needles as she gets something else ready. Or whether it the moment where I was doing the food shop with her younger brother and he put back the breaded ham I'd picked up and replaced it with some that wasn't and just looked at me and said "less carbs". I had to hide a tear from the little man who often seems wise beyond his years and already a better understanding of diabetes than most. 

It hides the late night wake ups for hypo treatments, or the alarm buzzing for a hyper and the need for insulin. Or how the other night we both sat chatting at 2 in the morning because her sensor wasn't working right, knowing we'd both be tired the next day. It hides all the sweets she's had to eat even when she wasn't feeling like it because she's gone low. It hides the glucose tablets and little sugary shots she'd taken, the cartons of apple juice drunk in the middle of the night or at in the morning. 

It hides the fact she went shaky before her alarm beeped, or that my phone tells me she's going low on the bus on the way home and I have to trust she'll sort it out on her own. 

It hides the calls to the hospital because we can't figure something out, or the high of coming away from a check up feeling like we're doing okay, the doctor giving his approval, even if her alarm did buzz 4 times during the appointment...

It hides a few tears, both from me and her mum, and maybe from our daughter, but she's always stoic, I've not seen her shed many.

I remember when she was first diagnosed, I read a forum of parents chatting about their children with diabetes. On there one mother said how she cried every single day for her son and the normal life he'd lost, and I just thought No Way am I going to be like that, it wouldn't be fair on her or on us. I was determined as far as we could we'd own this problem as a family, we're always stronger together. 

I so proud of the way my daughter has stepped up to this problem and how she's handled it. Starting a new school, adapting, and just getting on with life. 

One sharps bin down, many, many, more to go.

So F-you diabetes. You won't get us down. 


  1. I don't often comment on your blog but today I must. Add me to the list of those who weep in admiration for your daughter's courage. Truly F-you diabetes.

  2. Your family never fails to amaze me Kev, just brilliant!

  3. Kev, I have always said said you are a great dad, and this post proves it, it's very pleasing to hear she is doing well and as a family you all have each others back.

  4. Tell your daughter she's one of my heros. I have so much admiration for her.

  5. Kudos to your family, especially your daughter, for being such "rock stars" in dealing with diabetes. It is hard WORK. Y'all have mapped a great beginning to this life's journey - keep it up!!

  6. Congratulations!! This is such a great story of your whole family and how they are working together to all eat better.
    I once knew a couple who wondered why their 5 month old daughter wasn't eating more baby food. At 6 months, she had wet diapers all the time, and one day she had a sort of seizure. They called an ambulance and off she went to the hospital, and became the youngest person ever to be diagnosed with diabetes at Harris Hospital, Fort Worth, Texas.

  7. Sending all good wishes to you all.
    I was in my fifties when I was diagnosed as Type 2 diabetic. I didn't handle it very well.
    A year later I was told to start injecting Insulin. Again, I don't think that I coped at all well. Of course, I have adjusted and adapted and it is now part of daily life.
    So. I am full of admiration for your young daughter who has coped so well and hats off to you her family who have all adjusted

  8. Good for you and your daughter for staying positive. With today's technology, this disease is no longer a tether. I have a friend with the same type of diabetes who completed his dream train trip across Siberia a number of years ago. It took a bit more planning but he was able to complete it and is better for it.

    I might be naïve when I say this but perhaps someday there will be a cure for such things like this.

  9. Kev, such a heartfelt and (to me, anyway), wonderful story. You are your family have done an amazing job. Well done.

  10. As parents we want the best for our children and you are doing marvelously well as a family supporting your daughter. She is one very strong brave girl. You must be very proud.

  11. extraordinary family. extraordinary kids. I am so happy to see how your daughter is coping and the mature support she's getting from her siblings

  12. extraordinary family. extraordinary kids. I am so happy to see how your daughter is coping and the mature support she's getting from her siblings


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