So many times I’ve wished I could magically remove the discomfort that Eva feels from time to time and feel it myself instead! While we wait patiently for a cure, I make it one of my life’s ambitions to know as much as I can about Type 1, including how different side effects of it make her feel.
Its not always the sugar’s fault
Firstly, a curious fact to remember that its the lack of insulin that makes them feel unwell, not the high blood sugar. Insulin deficiency occurs from a lack of glucose inside the cells – causing ketones to be produced. If too many ketones are present, this results in the unpleasant side effects.
Children at an age who are able to articulate their feelings relay that when they’re high, they feel heavy – like they’re stuck to the ground or chair they’re on. It hurts to move their arms and legs and if they’ve woken up in the morning with a high, they often want to go back to sleep for a long time. They feel nauseous, angry and weak, but their heart is racing at the same time. Teachers, have observed that their Type 1 students struggle to concentrate and have moments where they look like they’re day dreaming or staring into the abyss. When they ask them if they’re ok – a common response they get is “I feel like I have brain-fog”.
Since Eva is only 3 now, she’s not capable of giving me a full detailed report on how she’s feeling but the things she does mention are consistent with her highs. She relays to me that her tummy is sore and when I watch her closely, I notice her breathing is quickening and she starts to perspire. She complains that she’s cold when its a warm day, or she feels hot when its cold. She also becomes teary and quite emotional.
Take back the power
Strangely, the times she goes high, I ask her again how she’s feeling and she responds saying she feels fine. This can only bring me to think that she has grown so used to this feeling that she accepts it as normal. Yes, this can make any Gatekeeper’s heart sore. No parent wants their child to suffer, but there is a light in this tunnel I can assure you. This notion pushes us to constantly aim for that equal equilibrium, that sweet spot with their levels. Instead of allowing the fear of these side effects to take control, we can choose to flip it around. By removing the fear, and approaching it positively, we disarm this condition of its power and into our own hands. And don’t forget, we’re in this together.
Medical explanation of symptoms mentioned:
1: Kidneys have to work hard to process extra sugar in the blood. When it can’t keep up, the body gets rid of it, along with water that the body needs. 2: To get rid of extra sugar, the body draws water from its own tissues. Because you need that fluid to make energy, transfer nutrients and get rid of waste, a switch flips in the brain telling you that you’re thirsty so you drink more. 3: Your body may pull fluid from the lenses in your eyes, which makes it harder to focus. And high blood sugar can damage blood vessels on the back part of the eye (retina). 4: A lack of fuel can make them tired.
Type 1 Diabetes in Children, adolescents, and young adults: Dr Ragnar Hanas: Fourth US edition
Thanks for reading. Remember we’re all in this together. Without community, we’re alone. And managing this condition alone is very challenging and lonely! Please feel free to browse my blog for other articles and if there’s any topic you’d like to know more about-do let me know and I’ll try to feature it in my next post! You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram. Or simply subscribe below and keep up to date with my latest discoveries on this condition 🙂