First lessons

A dear friend just found out her 6-year-old niece was diagnosed Type 1 this week. I don’t have a lot of details, just know she’s still in the hospital. I let her know that is a great resource once they get the initial stuff figured out. Now I’m wondering: What are some of the most helpful things you learned at the very beginning, when you first started caring for your T1 child? I’m wondering about things a doctor might not think to mention – stuff that you learned only through experience.

Rest assured I don’t plan to start bombarding my friend or her brother with unsolicited advice or information – I’m mostly just wanting to educate myself so I can be better informed when I hear questions. Thanks!

I know my mom was driving herself mad measuring every bite of food I ate. The doctor saw she was going nuts and told her to relax. Being obsessive wasn’t good for her or me. Crappy BG’s are far easier to fix than a mom having a nervous breakdown or a kid who develops an anxious personality as a result of an overbearing, constantly fretting parent.

I was diagnosed at 8 years old and I think it’s important to let her feel like she has some control over her care too. I think it’s important to not tell her that diabetes and it’s baggage is forever. I remember asking my nurse at the hospital, “How long will I have to do all this for? A few Months?” She said, “Well sweetie, right now, it’s going to be for a while.” She kept it simple, truthful and broad. Telling a 6 year old that she’ll have to take shots FOREVER can be very overwhelming and scary. Try to keep it simple until she’s old enough tounderstand. I wish your niece and her parents all the best.