Today, we leap "Inside the Sugar Free Mind Of.." Kelly Dixon!
Kelly's son, Hunter, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at a very young age.
Come read their story!
Can you tell us about when Hunter was diagnosed? How old was he?
Hunter was diagnosed at the age of 22 months in 2004. During the summer months there were some signs, but with no family history, I did not realize what those signs meant like soaking his diapers, always thirsty, some weight lost, and reoccurring yeast infection. I had just gone back to college and it was the first time Hunter had really been away from me. I was told that the stress of being away from me at daycare made the Diabetes come on faster than it would of. Within the first few days of starting daycare, Hunter had become very quiet, not that hungry and very clingy to me. Of course just the thought of it was because he was away from me for the first time. The night before he was he was very listless, pale, and started throwing up. I ended up taking him to the doctors in the morning knowing there was an After Care Clinic in the same building as our doctor if we were unable to get in to see her. As we were waiting, another patient who had just been called in had told the doctor she doesn't know whose patient it was but there was a child that needed to be seen right away (I am thankful to this lady since because of her we were seen right away). All three doctors at the office looked over Hunter and they told me that the ER will be waiting for us to come and to go right away. Once we got to the hospital ER, Hunter was put in the ICU part and as I was waiting a nurse came out and asked if there was any history of Diabetes in the family. He told us that he "officially" could not tell us that it was Diabetes until the doctor showed up but that is what was going on with my son. We spent a week in the hospital for Hunter to recover and for me to get the hang of taking care of my son with Diabetes.
What emotions did you go through at diagnosis?
I did not know too much about Diabetes. However, I had an acquaintance that was Type 1 Diabetic and her Diabetes was not controlled during her childhood and at that point in her life she was almost completely blind and waiting for a kidney dialysis. It scared me that my child had to go through this.
How has the diagnosis changed your life? Your family? Your marriage?
I was already a single mother at diagnosis so nothing really changed. I did take half a semester off from college (but was still enrolled) to get used to everything.
Did you have a good support system when he was diagnosed?
Myy main support was my mother and my sister. They both were trained along with me on everything to do with Diabetes. If I needed some time to myself, they were there to help me.
Did you get involved in a diabetes support group soon after diagnosis? If so, online and/or offline?
I really wasn't too involved with support groups since most of them in my area were parents only and I did not have anyone to watch my son. I have in the last few years have connected with a lot of diabetic families on Facebook which has helped.
What online diabetes communities/support groups, if any, would you recommend and why?
There are a lot of different Type 1 groups on Facebook that have been very helpful.
What part of the world are you from?
Oakville, Ontario, Canada
If someone reading this interview post who lived in your state/providence was living with Type 1 Diabetes and wanted to connect with you for support, would you be OK with that? If yes, how could they contact you? Yes, by email. firstname.lastname@example.org
In your opinion, what is the hardest part about living with Type 1 Diabetes, and why? My son does not realize when he is either low or high, which means unless he is testing himself at scheduled times, he never knows.
Can you say/think of anything positive you have found about having Type 1? My son has had some great opportunities to meet different people such as George Canyon.
What can you think of that you do/allow, despite of caring for a T1 child? We try to live as much as a normal life as we can.
What diabetes-charitable organizations, if any, do you support, and why? We have been a part of the JDRF walks and are hoping to get back to do more walks soon.
Do you have a facebook profile? http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=638675164
What advice would you give to a family newly diagnosed? That there are no silly questions since we have all been there and also that every person with diabetes is different.
What 3 things would you like more families NOT living with Type 1 Diabetes to know?
That it can be deadly, my son did not get Type 1 Diabetes because he was fed too much sugar, and he can still live a normal life.
Do you work outside the home, work from home, or are you a stay at home mom? I am a stay at home mom.
Thank you Kelly for letting us get inside your "Sugar Free" mind! We, too, hope that you and Hunter can join more walks soon, and I do hope you are able to find a kid-friendly support group for you and him! Support is such a powerful thing when it comes to any disease! I am so glad to hear that your family is so supportive of you both!
If you would like to be interviewed, or know someone who does, please feel free to shoot me an email to T1DTeamLenny@Gmail.com with the subject title "Interview"! We are always searching for new and exciting D-Moms, D-Dads, and adults living with Type 1, to share their stories!