Monday, 31 January 2011

The Annual Review!!

Samuel had his annual review on 5th January 2011. It would have helped a great deal if in fact I knew this before we went. I thought that it was in March...... oops......, so as I was unaware I wasn't very prepared for how long we were going to be at the appointment.

Ask any parent of a diabetic child about the 3 monthly clinic appointments. They will tell you that we dread them, leading up to it we get the feeling that you used to get if you ever got called in to see the head at school. It's like a test, a test to see how well we have controlled the diabetes. Have we been good enough.......and if not...... why not......what could we have done different? Of course this is not the intention of the visit, it is not to measure our shortcomings and make us feel inferior to the diabetes. This however, is how we all feel.

The annual review is more drawn out than the usual appointment as you have  to see the entire 'team'
It starts with the height and weight, thankfully no drama there. This is carried out at every appointment, although as an extra special treat they measure his blood pressure, which they tell him is testing his muscles.
Then we have the blood test, which I know tests for coeliacs but I don't know what else. Out comes the magic spray, and the blood test is carried out. This time though the veins are not co-operating. The left one went into hiding and refused to realise any blood! So the right one had to be used. Samuel was very good although was starting to get upset, which was  very unlike him. I tested his sugar and it was 3.8! No wonder he was upset. Now, this was a problem, the disorganised person that I am hadn't taken any 'hypo' supplies with us. Bad mummy! Thankfully, as you would expect they had some so it was fine.
Next stop HbA1c test. This is the most feared part. Has it gone up? If it has then you have lost and diabetes has won this time. You sit there feeling sick, waiting for the result, thankfully for us it had gone down from 8.9 to 8.4, phew, we won this time round. Injection sites are checked for lumps and bruising. Unfortunately Samuel takes after me and bruises very easily, so as usual there were some on his arms. Samuel kindly informed the nurse that 'mummy bruises me all the time!!!'
Then it is the turn of  the consultant. He reviews the insulin dosage, looks over the glucose levels and gives his verdict. Once again, for us it was all positive, no changes need to be made, all is good.
It would usually be the turn of the diabetic nurse, however this time she was sitting in with the consultant so it was a 2 for 1 offer.
We were almost there, the dietitian. Now by this point we had been at the hospital for about two hours, and Samuel being a typical six year old boy, was bored and climbing the walls, so didn't what to sit still why I talked. So we made it quick, and I briefly told her what he generally eats. At this point I worry that I am feeding him rubbish.What child doesn't like junk food, granted he doesn't have it all the time, but still the fear is still there.
We are now on the home straight, the final hurdle, the psychologist!
Luckily, this time she didn't really have much to say, only really asking if everything was ok. Which it was, so nothing more was said.

We reached the end, finally. We didn't make it back in time to school for Samuel to have his lunch, so we had a sneaky McDonald's ssshhhh, don't tell anyone. I then delivered him back to school.

So that's it, the annual review, its exhausting! I'm glad it only happens once a year!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

It's not fair !!!!!!!!

Now I would bet money on the fact that you think that this statement is about Samuel. It's not fair that Samuel is diabetic, however, that is not the case, and I would be richer :)
I am talking about the 'non-affected' siblings, but this statement would also be wrong. When someone in the family has type 1 diabetes the WHOLE family is affected. So, what I should say is the 'non-diabetic' siblings.
I have three girls as well as Samuel, the girls, so far show no signs of having diabetes. However, I find myself being just as strict with them and their food as I am with Samuel. I don't let them have food as freely as I used to. They can't have crisps or sweets just because they want to. I don't let them because Samuel can't. I won't let them sit and eat crisps and cake in front of him, it's not fair on him. But...... the reverse could be said. Is it fair for the girls to miss out? They don't have diabetes, so why should they follow Samuel's routine.

The way I see it, and I realise that not everyone will agree. The girls are not going to get ill by NOT eating cake, crisps, biscuits and sweets. Samuel could, and I am not willing to take that risk with his health. We live in a time where obesity is a huge problem, people, especially children are eating far too much junk. So, by reducing the amount the children eat can only be a good thing.
The children, all four of them, don't miss out completely. We still have desert, it just tends to be on the weekend, and we make adjustments to the insulin dose to counteract it. He still has crisps, he has them sometimes with his lunch, and he still has treats. He just doesn't have them ALL the time, which surely has to be a good thing.

So, am I wrong in what I do?
Am I being unfair on the girls for not allowing them to eat what they want? If I am, then what should I do? It's not fair on Samuel to sit and watch them have something that he can't.

Diabetes can be cruel!
It's NOT fair! It's NOT fair on anyone!