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Photo by Łukasz Nieścioruk on Unsplash

The trick or treat edition for all parents

Like many parents of a certain age in the UK I never went trick or treating in our neighbourhood when I was younger. That was just something that happened in American movie’s (I reference one of my all-time favourite’s E.T.). However, in more recent years it has become a tradition to go trick or treating. Now you might be thinking what a nightmare (on Elm Street — :-)) if you have a child who is type 1 diabetic and you’d be right. But to be honest the amount of sweets for any child on a night like Halloween is a nightmare for all parents that don’t want to be peeling their children down off the ceiling from a sugar rush. You might also be under the impression that because our lady is type 1 diabetic, she can’t have any sweets at all. That is a myth (much to our daughter’s relief). She can eat any sweet as much as the next child, it’s just a little more complicated. You need to really think about what is being put into the body and make sure you count the carbohydrates of each item of food, so you can calculate how much insulin is needed. …

I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reaction to technologies:

1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.

2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.

3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.

Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

I’m well over the age of thirty-five, and I do have a tendency to now look at technology through a different lens. I increasingly find myself asking those all important questions: ‘Do I really need that app? Do I have time to learn another new technology? Am I too old for Tik Tok?!’ However, when type 1 diabetes health and technology combine then I’m at the front of the queue to find out more. The work that is being done in this field is astounding and brings hope for a potential future cure. But whilst we wait for that next leap, the technology that is with us today is already helping many families. …

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Photo by Zahra Amiri on Unsplash

It can be quite hard as a parent of a type 1 diabetic superhero, to know whether they are having a tantrum because they can’t get their own way, or whether they are hitting their brother because their sugar levels have gone through the floor. In my previous article, Appraisals, hidden disabilities and me, I attempted to give a flavour of the rollercoaster ride of adjusting to life with a type 1 pre-schooler. This time I wanted to delve a little deeper to help explain some of the practical challenges of managing hypo episodes in a young child.

Hypo is shorthand for hypoglycaemia and it’s when blood glucose (sugar) levels in people who live with type 1 diabetes become too low. If it is not treated it can lead to unconsciousness and in extreme cases may even prove fatal. …


Michelle McKenna

I write about caring for an amazing child who is type 1 diabetic as well as writing children’s fiction.

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