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Living with Type 1 Diabetes – James’s story

Diabetes week 2022 feature
WCH News
Posted 13 July 2022

Six year old James was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in December 2021. His mum, Annika, tells how a post on the WCHN Facebook page helped her to realise her son might be one of the 10,000 children in Australia living with this condition.

What is type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a lifelong autoimmune disease that attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, and this destroys the body’s ability to process glucose. Our bodies need insulin to turn the glucose we eat into the fuel our bodies need to move and think.

Without insulin, the glucose in our bloodstream builds up and it can be very dangerous. People with T1D must get insulin into their bodies either through multiple daily injections or from an insulin pump.

James’s story as told by mum, Annika.

“At the end of last year my 6-year-old son James got a new drink bottle from basketball and obviously loved it because he kept asking me to fill it up every 5 minutes, to the point he was getting really annoying about it. Constantly telling me he’s thirsty and to fill up his drink bottle. Then one night he wet the bed. That’s not like him at all, but accidents happen, not a big deal. A few days later he wet the bed again. That’s really not like him, and then I couldn’t sleep for the rest of the night. I remember reading a post on the WCHN Facebook page about the signs of diabetes. But that couldn’t apply to us, we didn’t know anyone with diabetes. Lying in bed, all I could think of was ‘constantly thirsty, frequently urinating’. I knew I had to make a doctor’s appointment the next day.

From that day all our lives changed. The doctor told us to go straight to hospital because his blood sugar was 33 when ‘normal’ is between 4 and 10. It’s been a whirlwind of emotions and a deluge of information since then. We have had to learn so much about the pancreas, insulin, carbohydrates, bolus, basal, and CGMs, it was just so overwhelming. What really amazed me was just how resilient and capable my 6 year old son was.

We take it day by day and now it’s just our new normal.”

To find out more about Diabetes, visit this page of the WCH Website.