Lucas and I are taking on the Three Bridges Run as part of the #JDRFBlueArmy!
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that can strike at any time. It affects more than 120,000 Australian families, and 7 people are diagnosed every day.
With no family history of type 1 diabetes, we had never turned our minds or imagined it would impact on our family. But just after Christmas last year, a routine trip to the doctor to get the kids vaccinated against the unusual strain of meningococcal (yep I was more worried about that!) I mentioned to the doctor, thinking I was maybe just being paranoid, that we had noticed in the past week that Lucas was drinking a lot more than usual (usual used to be virtually nothing!) and weeing a lot too, even wetting the bed once which he had never done. Plus Greg had noticed ants all over our toilet bowl that morning which we googled and that’s the reason I mentioned the other stuff to the doctor.
Anyway, his blood sugar was so high the machine didn’t even take a reading. The doctor said not to worry about the meningococcal vaccination but go straight to hospital, ie not even stop by the house to put the vaccination back in the fridge, grab some clothes or leave Juliet with neighbours. I texted my doctor friends, as by this stage we were still thinking in our heads it might be ok and a bit of a false alarm. But he was rushed straight through emergency and his blood sugar then was ridiculously high, like over 30. Lucas was getting really distressed by this stage as was terrified of needles, then they had to cannulate. It was horrible. A very gruff doctor then broke the news to Lucas that it would be a day we wouldn’t be forgetting soon and the t1D diagnosis.
So we were then transferred to the paediatric diabetes ward at rnsh, which made it so real. Thankfully our wonderful neighbours, friends and family stepped in to look after J so we could stay with Lucas and learn what has now become our new normal …insulin injections, constant blood sugar checks, hypos, hypers, weekly cannula changes for his continuous monitor (which is the biggest godsend), glucagon injection in case of coma (thankfully never had to go there) and the worst thing…the stress and constant worry especially when he’s asleep or not with us.
The silver lining has been the amazing support from our families (many of our family members also trained to monitor him and do injections, from parents, in laws, siblings and siblings in law), lucas’ school (especially the office ladies and his teachers), and the other t1D mums who are also there and get it and are now friends.
But the best best thing has been Lucas’ attitude, resilience, independence and living the same life he always has…which includes running. One of the first things he asked after diagnosis was whether he could still do the 10.5km run we had just booked for NZ in September, and he did, and he did awesome! It just meant checking his blood sugar at intervals throughout then a jelly snake when he got a bit low....he tends to drop dramatically after about 5km, so it was a little nerve wracking.
His running has been a godsend in many ways, as his ketone levels at the time of diagnosis were really low, which the specialist attributed in a big part to his fitness and activity. So whenever his blood sugar was crazy high for a prolonged period, his runs (and other activities like basketball and footy) would bring it down.
So whilst he and I have done many runs together in different locations, and had a blast doing so, this run is a very special one with JDRF as a key sponsor. We don’t usually fundraise for the runs we do, but this one we are doing because The JDRF is critical in the support they provide kids like Lucas but also in all the research in finding a cure for good and improving the life experiences for the kids with T1D.
We will be running the 5k, so any friends or family who would like to join us are more than welcome too (we will run at an easyish pace too) :)
Thank you to my Sponsors
Kate & Murray Allan
Greg & Kristie Whitehead
Nicole & Anthony Ng