Thursday 8 September 2016

Back to Basics #6: An Open Letter To A Child With Diabetes

It must seem strange that one day your whole life can change, a diagnosis of diabetes probably sent your parents into meltdown and you are probably confused. I know that it can be scary, so let me take a minute to tell you a few things.

Believe me when I say you're not alone. The endless finger-pricks, the painful injections and those long hospital appointments, many other kids go through that boring stuff too. They probably feel the same things that you do, confusion, frustration, boredom. Although it may not feel like it now, you will get used to it. The frustration won't last forever, your parents will be okay with it too.
Your parents might even take you to meet other children with diabetes, which is always a bit awkward at first but I promise you'll have a good time! Your family are always going to be right by your side, they love you.

It's okay to not understand your diabetes. I didn't and 14 years in sometimes I still don't. Maybe that is not what you want to hear, but this condition is going to be with you for life, so you may as well learn to live with it because it isn't going anywhere! Dare I say, let your parents take the stress whilst they can. You will reach an age where diabetes will be your responsibility, and you wont get a day off, so make the most of it. It's okay to scream, cry and shout. It's okay to say 'why me, what did I do to deserve this'. You're allowed to think diabetes is rubbish and you're allowed to shout it from the rooftops.

You are normal, just like your friends. There is nothing you cannot do. Go and play your favourite games, sleepover your friends house, eat that lollipop and stay up when your parents think you're asleep. You are never going to be any less than anyone without diabetes, you need to remember that. Study hard at school, make new friends and don't be afraid. Go on every school trip.

There are going to be good days. Some days you'll completely forget you have diabetes, it will slip your mind. Remind yourself that you're doing a good job because everyone else sees just how brave you are, and I think it's about time you did too. 

Take all the help you can. Thank your parents, thank your friends, thank your teachers that just get it. Thank those who don't make a big deal about your diabetes because you'll meet the odd person who won't be so understanding. They make the good people look like angels. Thank the angels.
When you're ready, ask more questions. Take an interest and learn from your parents. There will be a right time. I'm not telling you it's going to be easy, but I can promise you it will be worth it.

Everybody has to deal with the cards they are dealt with in life and while diabetes is rubbish, it can be managed and you can expect to live a great life. For what it's worth, little rockstar, I think you are doing just fine.

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A young adult with T1D.

Twitter: @diabetes_geek
Instagram: diabetesgeek


  1. Awesome blog post. Written from experience, and very well written too. A million times better than some blogs online/Twitter

  2. Although not T1 I felt that it did me good to read it this should be given to all young T1's it's written in a language they understand. Brill.