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HELP, I just found out my mum has type 1 and I dont know how to help.

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by aprilsnail, Oct 13, 2017.

  1. aprilsnail

    aprilsnail Don't have diabetes · Member

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    Hello,

    I found out yesterday that my mum who is 44 has type 1 diabetes.

    She is really struggling to cope and I just don't know how to help her.
    I don't fully know how being a diabetic works all I know is 'its a lifelong sentence' or so I keep reading everywhere!

    I understand she will have this forever but I want her to know I'm here for her and what ever she needs I'm there but I don't know what he needs..

    My mum is a very reserved kind of person and keeps a lot of feelings hidden and I'm worried she isn't dealing with her new diagnosis very well. She has spent most days since she was told, in bed on her own.

    I want her to know it's going to be ok, but I don't even know myself if it is going to be ok.

    Please help me help my mum.
     
    • Hug Hug x 6
  2. Diakat

    Diakat Type 1 · Expert
    Retired Moderator

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    You sou d like a great daughter and just wanting to help is a good start.Let her know you care but try not to nag.

    She has had a big shock and is grieving for the old her. T1 is mostly self managed so she is the only one who can make the choices, decisions and calculations involved.

    You can support her by going to appointments with her. Making sure she has hypo treatments in the house a d letting her talk things through.
     
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  3. JMK1954

    JMK1954 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm very sorry this has happened, aprilsnail. Does your mum live in the UK ? Who diagnosed her diabetes, a hospital consultant or a GP ? Spending days in bed is not really going to help with anything, though if she is feeling ill it is understandable. Do you know what treatment she is on ? Sorry for all the questions, but unless we know what's going on It's difficult to offer even general advice.
     
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  4. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi. Hopefully your Mum will be getting advice on using her insulin, avoiding hypos etc from her clinic or surgery. Yes, it is for life but when well-managed with the insulin there should be few problems. For all diabetics it's usually worth having a diet lower in carbs but veg, fruit, proteins and fat are OK. Even as a T1 keeping the carbs down a bit can avoid weight gain. If you or your Mum have any questions do come back and probably the T1 forum would be best.
     
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  5. aprilsnail

    aprilsnail Don't have diabetes · Member

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    We do live in the UK, Leeds. She was diagnosed by the Hospital, it all happened very quickly which is why its such a shock.
    She went to the doctors Tuesday with what she thought was a kidney infect but was told she had an emergency appointment at the hospital Wednesday morning in which she was told you have T1 diabetes.
    I don't know exactly which meds she is on, all I know is she takes a 12gram injection once a day and 4, 4gram injections a day also.
    She is feeling slightly better today which is a relief but still very upset and shocked!
    Thank you for your kind reply
     
  6. aprilsnail

    aprilsnail Don't have diabetes · Member

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    Daibell,

    Thank you kindly for your support and kind comments,
    I think we just need to get to grips with what were doing!
    Things like where's best to put the needle, telling people, the realness of complications.
    All things that at the moment are so new to her and our family that we feel a bit left out.
    I'm so glad I have found this incredible site full of wonderful people.

    It really does feel like we are no longer on our own.
     
    • Hug Hug x 1
  7. lou258

    lou258 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Well done on such a supportive response that will be helping even if it doesn’t feel like it!
    Has she been given details of a diabetes nurse or any appts? I’m in wakefield and the centre and staff at pinderfields have been great to me - not sure if you can ask where to be assigned but thought it may help :)

    When she is feeling a bit better the book think like a pancreas has lots of great info. But for the moment she’s probably feeling quite rotten and so relaxing and being pampered a little will probably help!
     
  8. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    Maybe you can take your mum out for a trip to the beach or the woods, or shopping, zoo, cinema, spa? Sounds like the getting out of bed part is the first concern here. Unless she stays in bed because she feels ill of course. If you want to take a bite on the road, check the internet for low carb snacks. Anything low carb won't mess with your mums blood sugar, so you can eat something yummy even without understanding all the technical diabetes stuff. Wishing you and your mother all the best!
     
  9. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Possibly the most useful thing you could do for your mum is get her to sign up to this forum.
    She will receive advice from people who have been in her exact situation and from others who have been Type 1 since early childhood.
     
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  10. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Hi and welcome!

    Can you show your mum this thread? Let her see your first post. How you feel.
    then let her read the rest of answers - and tell her that she can ask anything.
    Since her diagnosis is so new, she will still be in shock, and just knowing that there are people here who can answer her questions and who have been through the same thing may help tremendously.
     
  11. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi again. When things have settled down a bit, ask the surgery for guidance on carb-counting. This is where you adjust the amount of 'Bolus' i.e. Rapid insulin you inject at meal-times. Currently your Mum appears to be on fixed 4 units at each meal which means she needs to roughly match the carbs to that. As and when she starts carb-counting she can then adjust the insulin to the carbs she wants to eat which gives better control and reduces the risk of hypos. BTW the 24 hour insulin is referred to as the 'Basal'. The 12 daily units may need slight adjustment after a while and the surgery should give guidance on that. Ref where to inject, the general advice is to use the stomach for the Bolus and the outer thighs for the Basal. It's not a rigid thing but the stomach is a absorbed a bit quicker which is more suitable for the meal-time insulin. You can Google insulin injection sites to see suitable body shaded areas but seek advice from the surgery where possible.
     
  12. JMK1954

    JMK1954 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It's good to hear your mum is feeling slightly better. If she's feeling thirsty, water is the best answer at first, because it helps to flush out the extra sugar. I agree that getting your mum out of the house is a good idea. A bit of gentle exercise in the fresh air, with you as company, will do no harm. Just getting her out of the house might give her a mood boost, even if It's just a trip to your place. What counts with diabetes when you're treated with MDI (Multiple Daily Injections) is having your insulin and meals at about the same times consistently and sticking to this routine. It all becomes fairly automatic after a while, so you don't have to think about it nearly as much. Nobody manages to do everything perfectly all the time, we all make mistakes and forget things, but being consistent helps to keep things stable - and works better. The initial shock is always the worst thing. I still remember being diagnosed at age 10. Your understanding will be a great help, I'm sure.
     
  13. aprilsnail

    aprilsnail Don't have diabetes · Member

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    Hello all,

    A little update on my lovely mum, today we have had more of a talk about things and we are starting to learn together.
    I have read her all of your lovely comments and she is extremely overwhelmed with your support.

    She herself has a question for you, is too much carbs bad?

    This morning she has had 1 sugar in her coffee accidentally (force of habit after having 1 sugar in coffee for the past 20 years)
    She then ate a sausage sandwich then then took the injection but now she is unsure if that's a bad thing or not?

    Were still learning, and the support team at St James' Hospital have been incredible, they have phoned my mum everyday to make sure she is ok.
    She had all 4 members of staff crying when she found out, they even wanted to take her home!
    They really have been a godsend to her.

    Thank you again x
     
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  14. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The right amount of carbs is often debated on this forum, with views ranging from carbs being the spawn of Satan to carry on as normal.

    As with most things, it basically boils down to moderation.

    I recall when I was dx'd it would have done my head in if I was told I had to radically alter my diet, and I think having just been told they will now have to inject every day for the rest of their life, it puts unneeded pressure on newly dx'd to suggest that they can forget about toast as well.

    Some accomodations are sensibly made. For example, I'm not going to sit down and polish off a big pile of cake anytime soon, I'll have salted popcorn instead of sweet if I go to the movies, I choose diet drinks.

    But if I decide to have a full fried breakfast, I'll have the works, including toast, potato scone, hash brown, whereas some will say, oh no, you can only have the bacon and egg. I can eat the whole thing because I can make a sensible guess at the amount of carbs in it from Carbs & Cals app on my phone and past experience tells me how much insulin is needed to cover it and remain relatively flat. Your mum will pick up that experience as time goes by.

    Some do find that a low carb approach works for them and fair do's to them. But I think newly dx'd are as well to defer making those sort of decisions till they have learned more and can make an informed decision.

    Although it is a huge shock to start with and it seems very grim at the moment, as time goes by you and she will be surprised by how unrestricted it actually is. I've been backpacking all over the world, eaten local dishes wherever I've gone and not had any issues even with relatively high carb meals.

    It does take a bit more planning ahead than your non-T1, but seeing as your mum is a parent she's likely already got skills in that department from raising you!

    Oh, and cake isn't totally out the window either! I haven't actually got that much of a sweet tooth, but I don't say no to a bitbof cheesecake or eclair every now and then, but would tend to steer clear of heavily iced stuff, mainly because the sheer amount of insulin to cover the sugar in that coyld have unpredictable results if you get the calculations wrong.

    Good luck to your mam - it's not a walk in the park, but it is manageable!
     
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