Living with diabetes can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, so to mark diabetes awareness week in the UK people are being asked to share stories that emphasise what can be done with diabetes.
In this extract from Julie Edge’s new book Can I Tell You About Diabetes (Type 1)? lead character Debbie explains her condition and how it affects her day to day life. Debbie also invites readers to understand what she can do; her diabetes doesn’t stop her taking part in PE lessons, going for sleepovers with friends or enjoying her favourite hobby, ice skating.
The extract also includes a section about how friends can help Debbie with her diabetes.
How friends can help
- “I am just like everyone else except that my body doesn’t make insulin like yours does, and so I need to inject it
- Sometimes I feel that I don’t want to be different and so I try to avoid doing anything about my diabetes. Please let me know that you don’t mind if I do an injection.
- Please be patient and wait for me if I have to a blood test or an injection before a meal or a snack or if we are out together.
- It would help if you could remind me to do the test and injection so that I don’t forget.
- If I start to look pale or shaky or I seem not to be concentrating, my blood sugar level might be low. You could ask me to do a blood sugar test to check. Or, if I don’t seem quite ‘with it’, just give me a sugary drink. There should be one in my bag or a teacher will know where to find one.
- If I am unconscious, then please lay me on my side while you get adult help.
- Otherwise, please just treat me the same as you would any of your other friends.
- I can still come round for sleepovers and for tea like everyone else. My mum will need to be in touch with your mum to talk about how to look after my diabetes.”
Dr. Julie Edge has been a Consultant in Paediatric Diabetes since 1997, and is the lead clinician for children’s and adolescent diabetes in Oxfordshire, UK. Can I tell you about Diabetes (Type 1) was published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers in February 2014.