Our 2 1/2 yr old son, Chad, was diagnosed with Insulin Dependent Diabetes 4 weeks ago [February 1996, ed.]. The whole thing has thrown a real curve into our life. Mealtimes, holidays, life in general just isn't the same. Somedays it seems really difficult to manage.
We live in Bahrain, a small country off the coast of Saudi Arabia in the Middle East. We've been here just over 4 years, and really enjoy the lifestyle. The big plus is that we only need one income. This has been a big advantage in these early stages of Diabetes. We anticipate another 1 -2 years here, but then we keep saying that - originally our plan was for 2 years. When we leave Bahrain, we will likely return to Canada.
Chad was born in Bahrain at a small British hospital under the midwifry system. It was a wonderful experience (as wonderful as births go). We have always had great confidence in the medical system here...until now that is. The pediatrician, nurses and dietitian are great, but there's nothing like the familiarity of home. Fortunately, the internet just came to Bahrain last fall. It has been a real lifesaver for us. There is very little information available here locally. We were suddenly faced with having to acquire Glucose meters, insulin injectors, diet information (very little of it available locally)... It seemed never ending, but the Children with Diabetes section of the internet was our saving grace.
When Chad was diagnosed, he was exhibiting the usual symptoms - frequent urination, thirst, weight loss. We had our suspicions and had actually read a bit on Diabetes. But nothing could prepare us for the truth. Needless to say we were devastated. It was pretty boring in the hospital - there were no other children, except for the three newborns born, and after a week of being confined to our room, we were very glad to get home.
We are in contact with our pediatrician twice daily (pre-breakfast and pre-dinner). In the hospital Chad was on two pre-mixed insulin injections with a "rapid" injection at lunch. Since coming home he has never required the lunch-time "top up" and has reduced his morning from 10 units to 5 and evening from 2 unit to 1. Personally we feel this is a great achievement.
Diet has not been a difficult adjustment. We ate pretty healthy before hand. The only changes were to whole wheat pasta, more veggies and no ice cream. The kids took to the pasta and the veggies (even green beans and brocoli) right away. The ice cream we've substituted with frozen yogurt, and they haven't even missed it - can't say the same for us.
Chad is a real trooper. He willingly offers his hand for the pokes. He offers the requested appendage for the injections and especially enjoys running down the hallway with the beaker full of urine for the morning dip stick test. He has resumed school two mornings a week, and aside from the teacher being on pins and needles, all seems to be going well.
His sister, Alyssa, almost 5, on the other hand is not too sure about all this. It was tough when he was in the hospital. Mom and Dad were hardly ever home and she was shifted from friend to friend. And to her horror, Chad was getting needles!! Now that things have settled down at home she is learning to accept it all. She still doesn't like to watch, but is very curious.
We had planned a family holiday to the Seychelles in April, but we've cancelled that because we're concerned about travelling to a foreign country with Chad so soon. We will, however, be travelling to Canada this summer for 5 weeks. We plan to see some specialists just to get up to date and have Chad checked over.
As I mentioned earlier, it is great to have the internet as a sounding board. I think we've read everthing there is to read on Children with Diabetes, some things 2 and 3 times. It's been a real lifesaver. Thanks.
Heather & Scott Kyllo
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NB: Compuserve users will have to use the latter
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Last Updated: Wednesday March 16, 2005 16:44:56
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