Our names are Jaimie and Philippa. We are sisters and we are both diabetic and avid pump wearers.
I am 10 years old and have been diabetic for 2 years. I love to swim, horse ride, play basketball and ride my bike. The pump has enabled me to rejoin girls scouts. The meetings are held over the time when I needed to eat my dinner when I was on needles but now I just eat a little later when I come home. I can sleep over with my friends now too. Although I like Mum and Dad to test me I can do that all myself. I am learning more and more about foods choices and the carbs in everything I eat. This picture is was taken at Thanksgiving, we ate later than normal and I ate quite a bit but we went to bed with normal sugars. We still get some highs but the nurse says that is when we are growing. Because of my sister, Mum knew when I was becoming diabetic and one day when I was sleepy and letharigic she tested my urine and it was in the two hundreds. I didn't need to be hospitalized like Philly and didn't go on needles for about 3 months but now thats all behind us. Phil and I have races to see who can pump up the fastest!
We always carry those urine test strips around because when we drink in resturants, you can use them to make sure that the drink is really a diet drink and not sugared by mistake, as can happen sometimes.
My name is Philippa. I am 7 years old now and I was diagnosed when I was 3. When I was diagnosed I had been getting very thirsty, and wet my diaper often, so my Mummy took me to the doctor, who diagnosed my diabetes. I had to spend three days in hospital, while they stabilized my blood sugar level, and while they taught my Mummy and Daddy what kind of food to feed me, when to feed me, how to test my blood sugar levels, and how to give me shots. It was a very sad time for the whole family, but we all worked very hard together, with the help of a great team of Doctors, Nurses and Dietitians, so now we feel better about it.
Last January (1999) I went on an insulin pump. This made our lives so much better. My sister has diabetes too and with the pump our HA1cs are nearly normal but we can eat when we want to. We count Carbohydrates and I have four blood tests a day, more if I feel high or low. I usually do my own tests at school but at home I like Mummy or Daddy to do them. I have to think a bit more about the clothes I wear, so I always have somewhere to put the pump but my school uniform is a jumper or trousers, so most of the time it is not a problem.
All our friends know how to look after us when we feel low and know that we carry special bags to school that must not be messed with. Some of our friends parents look after us for sleep overs or on days off school and that is so nice that we can do that.
Mum and DadSome one once told us that it would take 3 years to adapt to having a diabetic child, with the double wammy of both girls being diagnosed it has taken a lot longer. Your family life has to change and adapt but now as we are entering puberty with the older child we are struck by how close this disease has made us as a family and how little other parents sometimes choose to be involved in the lives of their children. The girls talk to us about everything and know that we will both always support them. An awful lot of children don't know that. Sometimes reliance can build closeness whereas premature independance can breed the loneliness and isolation that trouble our teens so much. By having to plan and coordinate their lives because of the diabetes, you are also sending those message of concern and support that so many parents forget to send to their children. We would all hope that we would have been good parents anyway but their diabetic care provides us with that conduit to send those loving messages.
You can send e-mail to Jaimie, Philly, Mum and Dad at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Last Updated: Sunday December 05, 2004 11:15:54
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