Blog Entries With Tag: teenager


Posted: Jul 5, 2014

Craig Idlebrook who is the editor at Insulin Nation has been asking on their Facebook page for stories from children/parents about their diabetic camping experiences.  I gave Craig a brief description of my Camp Banting experience (and I actually had blogged abit here at Diabetes1.org a few years ago).   

Though boy oh boy could I tell him a lot more – e.g. sleeping with my first “boyfriend” on a sandy mosquito infested beach at the young age of 10.  Oppsie – my parents will now know I was being a naughty girl then.  He’s also asked for pictures but cameras weren’t cheap in those days like they are today.   I said I’d look Monday when I was off work for the pictures just incase but of course, what did I do?!?

I opened up Pandora’s box (aka my memory box) on my afternoon break (I work from home). I have yet to come across any camp pictures (cameras like today weren’t readily available – and not cheap for destructive kids like me  to own).  I did though come across disintegrating scrap books, pictures of friends that I could use as blackmail … KIDDING … sort of.  I haven’t gone thru’ this stuff in 30+ years.  Memory floods are hitting me – but luckily – not many revolve around diabetes – but I did come across something in my careful rummaging around.  

I came across a letter I that might interest a few of those parents – worried about their kids and DKA.  I survived it luckily without any ill effects (sometimes brain loss can occur).   I was 13 years old when I wrote this back in the 1974, and had been diabetic for 7 years already.  

What you will find below is EXACTLY how I wrote it out … in pencil (fast fading – and reason for my typing this out here) … obviously the word “unconscious” was something I didn’t know how to spell

 ***********

May 30th

I’m in the hospital because I had a very bad coma. I came to the hospital at about 3:00.  During Monday I had been very sick and vomiting.  I had a plastic tube stuck up my left hand for about three days. Luckily, when I came to Emergency I was uncon while they were putting the wires into me. It really hurts getting them into you because last night a nurse had to put it in my hand, but right this time. She jabbed me with a 3 or 4 inch plastic needle but it did’nt work. After two other attempts she put it in the same spot as in the other hand. But it did’nt stay in that long. My left hand is all swollen. It am staying here til I don’t know when. But I thought I was leaving on Friday, but I think I may stay Saturday and Sunday because the dietician made my diet up for those days. The food is out of this world. My hair was in a mess this morning but a nurse helped get them out for me. The doctor said I just came in time. He said I’ve been having a coma, (really) for about 3 months

May 31st

Yesterday was DIASTER day, “this was a rehearsal” a woman said on the intercom. Their were lots of ambulances and it was interesting. It’s all because of the bridge they were building near Vincent Massey Park, a lot of workmen were killed or injured for the rest of there lives’. So if something happens like this again all the people in the Maternity ward go over to the Nurses’ Apartments, and the injured go to Maternity. I’m going home today, that’s what Needle Nurse says. I can’t wait. I’m going to miss Mrs. Lachance a lot though. I really like her a lot.

-----------------------------

Note from Anna of today – The doctor who took care of me?  I feel in love with him – sadly my regular endo at the time … WAS NOT AMUSED by my going DKA.  Mrs. Lachance was the lady next to me in my hospital room.  Back in those days – we T1D youngsters were put into the ward for what I am now called … an Old Fart. 

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Posted: Apr 17, 2012



Katia is an amazing young woman that I met on the weekend at the Montreal JDRF Research Symposium..  She's currently at Concordia University here in Montreal completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.  In the meantime, with her busy life, she managed to produce a documentary that takes place over 4 years.  It shows the highs and lows of herself and other teens dealing with their Type 1 diagnosis and was filmed in Canada/USA and Ecuador.


She was sweet 16 in 2007 when she received the diagnosis of diabetes.   Of course, it was devastating to her to discover that she was diabetic (who isn't?), and she went into abit of a slump dealing with how it was going to affect her life.  It was something she knew that she could never get rid of and she decided that the best way to accept it was to take control of her life and one of those steps I feel was working on this project - which when you see the clip - you will be anxiously awaiting for the release of it next month.

She is quite the adventurous gal (she's like my D-twin) - in the way she takes life to the fullest.  Just within a year of diagnosis - she went to Europe by herself for 4 weeks - and discovered that nothing could stop her from doing what she wants to do in life.  Her next adventure was in the summer of 2010 at the age of 19 - she volunteered at the FUVIDA camp in Ecudaor - and she's now done this twice - and hopes to return again this summer.  Despite knowing very little Spanish - she managed to help others there with their diabetes. 

One part of her speech really perked my interest was the Austalian group called Insulin For Life (IFL) - along with the Diabetes Hands Foundation (DHF) provides insulin at the camp in Ecuador.  According to Neil Donelan of IFL - 10 million vials of insulin are produced every year and sadly 1 million vials go to waste.  That left me so angry - hearing this - and of course - as I discovered a few years ago - Banting never wanted insulin to be a money making drug - he wanted it available to EVERYONE that needed it to stay alive with diabetes.  Sadly, this is not the case, as other countries outside of Canada saw the money making potential (sigh) - and now - those of us who are unable to obtain insulin suffer - without insulin - we die.

I can tell that she has a very supportive family - as they were in attendance at the JDRF symposium - something I sort of envy since in my days - groups like this were very rare - and I'm not even sure if my parents would have joined up - since diabetes didn't seem to be a serious thing that I had (or that's the impression I get sometimes).  Seeing all the families at the JDRF events really gets me all pumped up - with meeting up with kids - showing them that you can lead a great life with diabetes (and yes - it's not always rosey - but what life is - that's what living is all about).

Anyway, I see great things for her future - she laughed when I told her that she could be our Prime Minister one day - to her - film making is all that she wants to do in life - but like I told her - you never know - I mean Arnold Schwarzenegger has done a few things in his life time besides flexing his biceps !

 

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Posted: May 4, 2011

I’ve been joining up to more Facebook pages that are aimed at parents with diabetic children and I have had to hold my true comments back due to not wanting to upset the parents.  Well, I’ve decided to roll the dice and bare it all.  I have written about this subject in the past as well as in various forums within the D-OC (diabetic online community) as I was diagnosed just as I entered Grade 1 – so bear with me if I repeat myself (remember – I’m now ½ a century old ).

What has lead me today to write this post is seeing a parent say they are battling a horrible disease.  It hit me like a brick in the face reading that.  I wrote on my Facebook page that parents with that children are likes sponges and to be careful with what they said or thought.  I was once one young like your own son/daughter – and could sometimes hear the whispers (I have Super Power hearing – remember I wear a cape ) of my parents behind closed doors as they tried to fathom what they were up against –if they were bad things – luckily I had shoved those words into the deep recesses of my brain.  Back in the 60’s when I was diagnosed, we had much less knowledge about diabetes in young children (sometimes I think it was hit or miss), we were only 1% of the population compared to the now almost 10%.  I was a cute novelty in the hospital I went to in Ottawa, where mainly Type 2’s were being taken care of.  I darn well took advantage of that as well – I knew where the bread was buttered.

Other than that diabetes was just something that was part of my life and I didn’t really think much about it.  Injections then were just once a day.  Testing of urine a few times a day (I can’t really recall – it just was something I did – just like tying up your shoe laces – wait – now kids use Velcro).  I was a kid just like any other kid.  I wanted to explore, play with my friends!  Luckily my parents pretty well let me do anything I wanted to do.  I was I guess what you would call a wanderer – a parent’s worst nightmare.  I was always off exploring in the woods, going on organized bicycle trips in the summer time with the youth camp that was at the park across my street.  I was just plain active.  Do I remember much about having hypos, etc.?  Nope, all I knew I was a kid having fun, playing with my friends.

I think my parents giving me this independence probably is what made me stronger with coping with life with diabetes.  They did not make a big thing out of it.  Perhaps now-a-days due to all the medical advancements – parents perhaps know too much – and it worries them with trying to keep their child’s A1C at that “perfect” number along with blood sugar readings.  I don’t really recall too many hypo episodes – when they did – it was jelly bean time – yippee!!!  I really don't remember many bad episodes (well - one of my Mum chasing around the house when I had a hypo and my vivid imagination thought she was a giant chasing after me and she's only 5' 2" (1.6 metres).

Of course, in my teen years, life became abit more difficult with peer pressure, etc.  I mean, what parent doesn’t experience problems with their teenager, diabetic or not?  Our hormones are way out of control – we want to be adults NOW – we don’t want to do what our parents tell us to do.  With diabetes, it’s abit more complicated, but I managed alright and was holding down 2 part time jobs along with school.  Again, maybe due to my parents letting me take control of my diabetes much earlier than many parents do today helped?  Was it a good thing?  I don’t know.  I’m to blame I know for going into DKA and coma at the age of 14.  Again, this memory is vague, probably not a pleasant experience for me to remember (or for my parents as well plus as my Mum says - it's too long ago to remember for her).  I survived though; it was a learning lesson, and luckily no devastating results except for what they say a few brain cells lost for earlier memories and my knotted hair got cut short (I was always ahead of time with fashion ).

So, the point of my writing this to all you parents out there.  Please be careful with what you think/say around your children.  After almost ½ a century of being a diabetic – I can attest that I think having diabetes for most of my life has made me a much better person and hopefully the same will apply to your children with having a positive attitude to the ups/downs of what diabetes can bring.  There are also so many great discoveries being made in the 21st century that astound me sometimes, that it makes me excited to keep on living/mentoring/educating about diabetes and I want to be able to try new products and make my life which I already consider is really good, even better!!!   




Picture taken in 1968 when my Nan came for a visit us in Canada
(she thought I was a terribly spoiled child and bought my Mum
a paddle to keep me in place)

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Related posts:

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