Isn’t it so sceptical to say a childhood without chocolates and sweets? Well, juvenile and diabetes answer this. It’s obvious right, the things which we are asked to stay away from, the curious heart gets pulled towards the same. It is a trigger when this has to be adhered to by a 5-year-old kid who just loves to be in the chocolate castle all the time!
Juvenile diabetes refers to children having TYPE 1 diabetes. It is the most common metabolic disease that occurs to the younger crowd. It happens because of the beta cells destruction in the pancreas and the deficiency of insulin in the body.
Being a juvenile diabetic myself, I would say that living a diabetic life is probably the path that Robert Frost took while he spoke of, ‘I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.’ Now by this, I say that the life journey of a juvenile diabetic isn’t an ordinary one! Adapting to a diabetic-friendly lifestyle has its pros and cons. Some times are challenging for a kid to deal with. There are certain health restrictions, food limitations, peer issues, physiological and psychological correlations. There are side effects from the med-life part like weight gain from artificial insulin, co-illness like poor vision, diabetic foot, kidney issues, prone to infections, low immunity, and a hell lot of many other things. But in contrast, the diabetic lifestyle is today’s most fashionable and in-trend way to look at! The organic and healthy activities can work like magic to the dull lifestyle of the people who aren’t the prey of diabetes after all!
Living on the other side of juvenile diabetes, i.e. talking about the people who are closely connected to the juvenile, is completely another mirror to look at. These people’s lives also change along with the kid’s. The parents have to adopt a similar lifestyle, stay alert with the kid’s changing symptoms and have their back while they are emotionally stressed with their condition. If the kid goes into a state of hypoglycemia, someone needs to be there with him or her. The unconsciousness, the dizzy thoughts (I would say weird) needs to be controlled so that the person doesn’t pass out. Hypoglycemia attacks not only disrupt the balance in the brain, but post-recovery often takes a toll on the emotional or psychological edge of it. There are times when the person is extremely hypoglycemic, loses up his or her control over the bladder, and passes out. At some point, this creates a sense of shame in the minds of the diabetic and brings in thoughts of embarrassment.
When a child is diagnosed with diabetes, every place the child is associated with needs to be informed about his/her condition. Be it the school, the dance class, the cricket classes, the tuitions, or anything. During the emergency cases of hypo or hyper, these are the places that the kid is most likely to be found other than his home. While growing up myself along with T1D, I have experienced the extra care from the school nurses, special permissions for having a quick bite inside the class, and much more fun leverages as well! It wasn’t bad all the times you see! But then came the days when I was not allowed to be a part of the field trips because of my health, and restrictions from taking part in certain sports events for the same reasons! But all of these never meant that I couldn’t do anything specific, it was just that I had to work a layer extra to get things done! Like getting parents or any guardian on the field trip, (or even forging fake signatures of them for permissions!) playing the sport with an extra glucose supply and similar things!
When I talked about insulin and the side effects, it not only meant the physiological effects on the body but also its psychological effect on the minds of the people. With diabetes, there comes the problem of FOMO, fear of social acceptance, losing interests in peer groups, noting isolation as a coping mechanism, momentary depression and a lot of other pricking points. The sight of accepting injections pierced, getting pricked now and then for blood tests, paying visits to the doctor’s clinic more than going for an outing with the family, learning about new diabetes devices than the latest video games in the market, pretty much sums up the life of a juvenile with diabetes. And by Robert Frost’s saying of “and it made all the difference.” I take the difference in saying I found diabetes as a friend and foe, to walk on the road of none with some.