This is our first parent of a child/young person with type 1 diabetes. We hope to continue our series of profiles for as long as they keep coming in. If you are interested in writing a piece for Thriveabetes please let me know. We’d love to have you! Email me at Grainne@thriveabetes.ie.
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Introducing D-Mum Julie
Julie O’Sullivan is at stay at home mum to two teenagers; Neil aged 19 years and Abbie aged 17 years. She says that she “loves em, but sometimes ya want to kill em! I think any mum of teens can relate.
Julie’s daughter Abbie had gotten very thin, when she was 11 years old. “I noticed her drinking a lot and she’d complain of tummy aches. I thought hormones, growth spurt, or maybe her periods were about to start when I took her to the doctor.”
When the GP checked Abbie’s blood glucose it was 25 mmols/l. He explained to Julie that they should be within a range of 4 -7 mmols/l. What Julie saw on the blood glucose meter was a big difference. He sent them straight to A&E; “Boy, did we get our brains fried trying to learn it all at once”. Julie felt that her little girl looking at her asking to make it all better mommy but she couldn’t.
A blood glucose monitor has now become apart of every minute of the O’Sullivan household daily life.
“The next two years were hard on everyone. Abbie was on a rollercoaster of highs and lows. I was so stressed trying to keep it as normal as possible but anything planned had to suit our injections, meals, snacks, making sure all her stuff was with us at all times. I really felt I lost close friends in that time. They just didn’t get that there is so much to do when you have a child with type 1 diabetes. My son felt it was always about Abbie, even though I tried my best to give them both the same attention.
Five years on since Abbie was diagnosed, she has worked so hard with her carb counting. We waited 3 years to get pump and it’s not going back. There were some hairy days at the start with her pump but it was SO worth it.
Yes! Being the Parent of a child with type 1 diabetes does change everything. My healthy baby girl is now dependant on insulin for the rest of her days. Our days of just getting up and not worry about blood sugars are here to stay. She is my brave little soldier, just gets on with it, so proud of her.
We are on this Rollercoaster Ride and we are just holding on tight, taking the bumps but enjoying the thrills.”
Julie O Sullivan. Tralee, Co. Kerry