A Whole New Respect: Living With Type I Diabetes
Eighteen years ago, without my consent, I became part of a relationship that has consumed my life. Diagnosed with Type 1Diabetes at 12 years old brought on fear that no child or parent should ever have to know. In my relationship with T1D, I have learned respect. Diabetes is relentless and unforgiving. I spent many days disrespecting it out of fear – only to lose. A handful of hospitalizations, weeks of IV lines and medications, 17 eye procedures… and the list could go on.
Here is my realization – my fears will always exist. I must use …
1. Post important personal and contact information in a central place in your home.
- The list should include parents’ names, street address, cell, home and work phone numbers, 911, poison control, fire department, police department and helpful neighbors, friends and/or relatives. Be sure to also include doctor’s names and any known allergies or illnesses.
2. Teach your child how and when to call 911.
- Discuss specifics of what an emergency is and when to call 911.
- Make sure kids know what information to give to the 911 operator.
- For younger kids, discuss the different roles of emergency workers and what they do.
3. Talk about “stranger danger.”
- Have a talk with …
5-year old Kimberly was just an infant when she was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis – a chronic lung disease that she will battle her entire life. After receiving her diagnosis, the family moved to Seattle briefly before returning to northern Nevada and a climate that seemed to help Kimberly breathe better.
Still, every three months Kimberly gets sick and needs to be hospitalized. Sonia Budhecha, MD, her pulmonologist at Renown Medical Group Pediatrics, treats Kimberly and other kids fighting lung-related illnesses and diseases.