We recently asked our Facebook and Twitter communities to send us their stories—specifically, what it’s like to be the parent of a child living with type 1 diabetes. Having received a lot of wonderful stories, we’re excited to present these favorites on the blog every week.
We hope you’re as inspired by these personal stories as we are, and that you’re willing to keep the conversation going. Tell us more in the comments!
Name: Kelvis & Kelvis Jr. (@iEvents_Kelvis)
Location: Kennesaw, Georgia
My six-year-old son Kelvis has been diagnosed for four years now. No other family members have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Our motivation is to keep our son alive and as healthy as possible at all times. We teach and encourage self-management to ensure he understands the seriousness of his health issue. And also to make sure we feel comfortable when we can’t be there to help him, such as when he’s over his friend’s house; with diabetes it’s important to always be ready.
We haven’t had any challenges with managing diabetes in the school setting because he is home-schooled. However, we still deal with lows during playtime. When Kelvis attended preschool his diabetes was handled with the utmost care; we appreciated all their support. All teachers and staff were ordered to take a two-day class on diabetes management.
My advice to parents who are new to diabetes is to not get discouraged with all the constant highs and lows. Keep your head up and try to encourage your child every day. It’s a hard road, but remember you are not alone in this fight. Nights and days will start to run together, and although you may get discouraged, don’t let your child see you that way…it will discourage them. Stay positive.
Parents of children with diabetes are overlooked so many times. Our faith and friends are what gets us through at 2 a.m. when we check on our kids and find their sugars at 40. Your average type 1 parent does not know what a peaceful night sleep is; we are constantly listening and waking up to check on our kids and make sure they are okay. Others just don’t understand the struggles we go through, and sometimes they can say the meanest things. These distractions don’t bring us down, however; we have a wonderful support system and will keep it that way.
The American Diabetes Association’s Safe at School campaign is dedicated to making sure that all children with diabetes are medically safe at school and have the same educational opportunities as their peers. To learn more, visit http://diabetes.org/sas.