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Diabetic parents and the effects on their children

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Lottiusprime, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. Lottiusprime

    Lottiusprime · Newbie

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    I’m new to this forum so just wanted to reach out as i don’t know any other type one parents of small children and wondered how it is affecting them. For myself, today i had a disabling low in a local supermarket with both of my children with me (5 and 2). I felt no signals of a low sugar coming on Until i was at the checkout, my legs giving Way repeated and i fell to the floor in front of a shop full of people, to my surprise In the background of my blurred vision and blackout my almost 5 year old was screaming to the entire shop that i was a diabetic and that i needed sugar, he then ran off into the shop and grabbed me a big bottle of Lucozade and a pack of jelly sweets and started shoving them in my mouth.
    I literally don’t know what would have happened had he not been there and saved me, I feel so emotional about the whole thing and feel so proud of him but also so terribly guilty that i’m a terrible parent and that he is too small to have such a responsibility as he did today. He never should have been put in that position and he told me afterwards that he thought i was going to die and it scared him.
    To summarise i wanted to see if there were any others out there that have hd similar experiences and how you felt about how your diabetes is affecting your children mentally.
    Sorry for the long post, really interested to hear some replies.
    Thanks :)
     
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  2. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Expert
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    Hello @Lottiusprime

    I am mum to one child and was diagnosed with gestational whilst carrying her which went after birth and came back as a type 1 diagnosis when she was 3 so she's known me only as a t1 diabetic, I have had numerous hypos in supermarkets with her, oddly enough supermarkets are dangerous places for me as brain is busy trying to process information and physical exercise, anyway despite suffering hypos I have always managed to treat myself, however have had to sit down or just stop to treat, she's has been amazing, so patient and helpful, it's not left her scarred or overly concerned though, kids are adaptable unlike us who can be sensitive to their needs and concerned our condition impacts on their welfare, I really believe she will grow up to be tolerant of people and their needs, I have worried about the long term impact, but we are open and discuss the impact of my condition on her, it's pretty much accepted as the norm. Although I had a really bad hypo at Harry Potter world on her birthday, completely misjudged bolus calculation on butter beer and she will never forget that, but despite the fact she won't forget it, it's still not affected her, she's resilient and moved on, we should give them a lot more credit for their ability to cope better than us with this.
     
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  3. Lottiusprime

    Lottiusprime · Newbie

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    Hi @Juicyj,

    Thanks so much for your response, it’s great to hear another diabetic parent’s view on these kinds of situations.
    The time you mentioned of your low at Harry Potter word, was it your daughter that helped you to treat the low or were you helped by an adult?
    I’m really interested in looking into what mental effects And/or benefits it may have being a child with a parent who has diabetes, I wonder if there’s been any research Done.
     
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  4. kev-w

    kev-w Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I embarrassed mine at junior school when I chucked a hypo in the playground picking them up, I was a single dad working on a building site and it was warm, I missed the drop and starfished on the floor as the eldest was coming out aged around 9, I'd have looked drunk, 14 stone in shorts, rigger boots and tattoos, her teacher sorted me out that time :p but I did cringe the following morning dropping them off before work, I'll have had a few 'bad' ones n the first couple of years with the kids as I was still on Humilin S and it was like that...

    Good on your 5 year old helping out, it's going to happen from time to time so it's good he can, he deserves a cream cake or something as a reward/treat. And it doesn't make you a bad parent, if you're worried about a repeat check your bloods before you hit the shops next time.

    :)
     
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  5. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Expert
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    @Lottiusprime my hypo at Harry Potter was treated by me but it was a long low at the end and I had to sit down for about 30 mins and then when we got to the car I fell asleep as I was wiped out. I felt awful as it was her day and she couldn’t hit the souvenir shop.

    I think we all live and learn through experience, as Kev has said if you can monitor your bloods or run higher levels before you shop next time then hopefully it shouldn’t happen again, but personally I don’t feel it has a huge impact on them unless we make it so by going over and over it again, a reward is a good idea too as a thank you.
     
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  6. JenniferM55

    JenniferM55 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    How proud you must be of your son :)

    You should be very proud of yourself too, teaching your son how to cope, as young as he is, to what life throws at us.

    Your children I'm sure will grow up with a great sense of responsibility which is no bad thing.

    I'm not one for wrapping children in cotton wool, life is life, it is what it is.... it's our responsibility as parents to prepare them for what life throws at them. You're doing a great job :)
     
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  7. Fairygodmother

    Fairygodmother Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I already had T1 when I had children so mine knew it was part of me from the very first. Like yours @Lotiusprime, they learned to get the hypo treatments and my younger one learned early to tell when I was becoming hypo: she says my eyes change and my mouth gives it away.
    The only time I was really worried was back in the 80s, before any of the warning tech and more subtle insulins we have now. I used to get bad hypos at night which gave me the odd perception-changed nightmare. Our younger daughter used to lock her bedroom door.
    They’ve both become decent adults and younger daughter invited me to room share with her when she was attending conferences in nice European towns - I explored Valencia and Florence while she was deep in the interstices of eco engineering and design. She also took me to Jersey for my 70th.
    Like @JenniferM55 says, there’s no long-term benefit to wrapping children in cotton wool.
     
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  8. Chloelox

    Chloelox Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I’m a new diabetic mum, my daughter is 3 months old and requires a lot of medical care. After pregnancy I began to honeymoon and I hit a major low, luckily my friend was with me and she grabbed her off me and told me to sit down while she found something sugary. She sat on the floor with me and my daughter until I started to feel better.

    I felt guilty for weeks as I don’t know if I would have managed it well without my friend being with me, but hey! I’m still learning. I don’t hide my diabetes from anyone, with all my friends and family knowing how to check my sugar and treat accordingly. As my daughter grows up I hope she will also be able to spot signs or symptoms of highs and lows and learn how to help me if I’m unable to help myself.

    Try not to worry; it’s just part of life for us. I bought Dexcom, it helps so much.. it alerts when a low or a high is coming so I can treat to try and avoid it! It’s brilliant, especially running around after a little one!
     
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  9. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I think all of us t1 parents may have traumatised our small kids at some time and like you i worry about my kids getting a premature anxiety because they discover that mum is vulnerable!
    I wheeled my toddler to nursery to pick up the other 2 and fainted (full blown thrashing about and wet myself) outside having drunken my hypo supplies. It was nasty and an ambulance got called. Another child may have got upset too because the staff raided the kids' lunches for sweet things! They are teenagers now and do remember it but we just talked about it whenever they wanted to even though I didn't particularly want to remember it! They seem fine now with no signs of over anxiety although my older son is quite sweet and protective of me as well as being a horrible grunty teenage boy!
     
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  10. Goma5

    Goma5 Type 1 · Active Member

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    Haven't had a bad Hypo that would have been obvious to my children (2 + 4), but the oldest understands that i need 'medicine sweets' every now and again. He doesn't bat an eyelid about injecting etc..

    I think they're completely un-phased by it to be honest at that age, but i can imagine your initial experience would be scary for you and your child. As said above, if you can get a CGM, it's a life-changer, particularly if you haven't got 30 seconds to fingerprick because the children are about to start pulling red wine off supermarket shelves!
     
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  11. JMK1954

    JMK1954 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    We bought up my son with the info that he should dial 999 if he ever found me on the floor ,or asleep in the house and impossible to wake. We also showed him where to find my glucose tablets and a small bottle of Lucozade if I ever asked him to get them, use the pre-programmed numbers on our phone to call my mother or sister etc. In fact, he never needed to do any of this. However, when aged 11, he told me quite firmly not to cook an omelette before doing a blood test. He was right too. He said my eyes were the danger signal.
     
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  12. JaneC

    JaneC Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    This is such an interesting discussion, my two now in their 20's, had a lot to put up with and I always felt guilty at subjecting two little girls to a mother who had some inevitably bad, visible and embarrassing hypos over the years and knew from about four years old where the biscuit tin was for mummy who was feeling a bit little, (I'm 5'10”). My job was to stay on top of it as they were always wanting to call one of the 999 programs where a small child got a medal from saving their mother from a ‘diabetic coma’. It’s not what I ever wanted for them ever but they are well balanced, happy, healthy young women and I guess living with me was all they knew. They never though had any sympathy for girls at school fainting and crying at the annual jabs having grown up with syringes, they were cold and shark eyed with no worries having theirs. Your children will be fine.
     
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  13. Rose22

    Rose22 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have two children 5 and 10 and I had gestational with both, which went but came back a few years ago, late onset type 1, now been on insulin for 6 months. I have told them to call 999 if mummy is very unwell or on the floor because of low blood sugars as it’s often only me and them, and they are really understanding, they see when I just need some time to sit and eat jelly babies and biscuits. I have felt worried about how I’m unable to do things sometimes as I don’t feel well, but I think kids are so resilient and they go with the flow. They often don’t notice if im low and munching as they’re busy. I Inject in the kitchen (often too late right before serving up) in front of them, they don’t care or notice, it’s normal now. They know it’s my insulin. I try to keep it all low key and simple but not hide it. My SDN said to tell them I’m on insulin otherwise children can worry mummy or daddy is very unwell etc. I agree with others, I think it makes them more caring and informed. I wish I didn’t have diabetes but I do, so we all have to get on with it as best as we can and find the positives. I think hypos out or in public with them feels worse as we are trying to look after them yet we need help ourselves in that moment! I had a hypo right before school pick up, was 45 minutes late and felt awful, like I’d let them down and couldn’t do the basic things, but after I made a plan, would check my blood sugars in the run up to pick up and eat an apple to tide me over, plus got a group of trusted friends who if needed would help collect the kids last minute should I happen to hypo etc. As it’s always a bit of an unknown and right when you could do without it happening!
     
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