circa 70's - can you figure out where I am?
I am not sure if my memories of being a diabetic in grade school are wiped clean due to DKA that I had in my teens - but all I know is - my memories of growing up with diabetes under the age of 12 - sadly are pretty vague - only pictures and the few journals I keep jog my memory abit more. I remember things from time to time, like summer time at the park across my street, where we had activities that kept us kids out of trouble (e.g. a ride from the west end of Ottawa to the Parliament Hills). Did I have problems with hypos on that ride? I have no idea. I'm sure my Mum packed extra goodies for that day trip, but all I know is, that I had fun (or at least the little snippets I remember - were fun - except for cycling up hills ).
This blog has come to light after reading Steve's blog about being a father of not just one, but two Type 1 diabetic children. Reading how their lives have been affected has made me wonder ... how it was for my own parents. They've never really talked much to me about it, I just know that in those days (I was diagnosed in the 60's) - most of the child rearing went to the Mum who generally stayed at home while the Dad worked. I'm not sure what age I was when my Mum started working again, but I just remember going to hospital visits for my diabetes by myself (being dropped off by my Dad as it was abit of a bus ride and very early in the morning - then I'd bus back later in the afternoon). I guess my parents made me very independent at a younger age then most kids are these days (e.g. Mum's taxi service). l I sometimes think that they had too much trust in me, which ultimately lead to my having DKA in the end.
One thing that came to my noggin' the other day as I was driving back from the boat (mast is now down - sigh - sailing over for this year) - I don't recall going to many birthday parties. Was it because of my Mum being worried about the foods or an overnight sleep over going out of control because of my diabetes? I know sometimes I used to feel abit left out that friends around me would be going to parties - because I'd hear about them at school on the following Monday about their goody bags, etc. I'm not even sure if I felt abit envious - that I - the diabetic child wasn't invited. We're those parents holding the parties scared of having a diabetic child at a birthday party or sleep over?
I know one of the best parties that I still have vague memories of, perhaps when I was 8 or 9 - was going to an Italian restaurant ... that served all of us "ladies”.... Shirley Temples (made from ginger ale / grenadine / garnished with SWEET marishino cherries). Ehgads, these are sugar loaded - and I remembered sucking back on a few of those, along with munching on those cherries. I felt like such an adult - drinking something from the bar!! There was no going back at that point - as I was introduced to foods that I'd never had before at home - though again - no recollection of what I chomped down on - but for myself - it is something that stays in my mind as a good memory.
Remember, I was only on 1 shot of insulin a day of NPH (an intermediate insulin that takes 3 to 4 hours to work - maximum effect is between 4 and 8 hours, and stops working after about 18 to 28 hours). My one day a shot (in the morning before heading off to school) was based on an a diet set up by the dietician at my local hospital based on my needs and insulin dosage.
All I can say is, thinking back, my blood sugars if there was home testing available in those days would have probably been sky rocket with all the sugar / carbs consumed in that birthday meal - yum! yum! I don't even recall if perhaps my Mum had at least had me do a urine test to see where I stood, but then, would a correciton dosage been done if a faster insulin was available then? You just made do with that 1 shot of what I lovingly call "juice of life" a day and tested your urine for level of sugar and / or ketones (all of which are now done with convenient strips rather than my test tube days).
So, with today's parents - I'm not sure how it would be handled going to a party like this. I'd like to think that if I had all the technology at hand like I do now, I would just do what I do with testing my blood sugar, adjust my insulin dosage, and LIVE! I mean having diabetes doesn't have to stop you from enjoying life to the fullest - or does it?