Well, we have arrived at our second birthday for GT1!

It’s been a fantastic journey so far and we have had the pleasure of meeting lots of wonderful people.

Go Type 1 is easy to run and seems to have also given us a lifeline, a positive focus. Parents and children have been very complimentary about the sessions and facility of GT1 too, and we have enjoyed every session.

Type 1 Diabetes is always nagging but we are learning to stand together and try to keep it in its place. The more I talk to other parents and children, the more amazed I am at human strength and hope. That may sound a little cheesy but it’s very true. At GT1 we see children from very young to mid teens, coping with pain, frustration and difficulty, not just with a smile, but with an enormous zest for life.

Type 1 Diabetes is no-ones fault. There is nothing, yet, that can be done to prevent it, but I imagine we are not the only family at GT1, who wonder “Why me?”. However, we learn, quite simply, that there is no reason for Type 1. It was nothing we ate in our pregnancies, nothing we did as new or experienced mothers and fathers. It wasn’t a wish for time off school as a child, it wasn’t a result of bad behaviour and it wasn’t anything we did or didn’t eat or drink.

Type 1 Diabetes just happens sometimes and sadly it doesn’t go away, no matter how much cinnamon we eat or exercise we do. No matter how many carbs are eaten, it is still there. It doesn’t discriminate or select, it just happens, and once it happens, its here to stay until a cure is found.

So we learn to adapt. If a monster is going to ride on your shoulders for ever, it’s probably a good idea to get to know it and learn to live with it. This is what the families at GT1, and all other families with Type 1 learn to do. We prick our childrens fingers and toes all through the day and night, to work out how much insulin or how many carbs are needed to keep our children healthy. We learn all about pumps and pens, sensors, alarms, air bubbles, occlusions, bent cannulas, repeat prescription orders, carb values, sports glucose needs, adrenaline effects, hormonal changes, insulin resistance and sensitivity, scars, complications, sick day rules and the constant need to explain ourselves to those who are not in the same boat.

We learn to spot trends, and try to make predictions. We have numbers and ratios in our heads all the time. There is no time off, no matter how annoying or upsetting. But that’s not all we do.

We run our children to school and teach the teachers and staff there about the Number Monster sat on our shoulder, we take our children to ballet, football, swimming, parties and again we balance the number monster. Sometimes (well….I guess ‘often’ is a better word!) we over balance as the monster plays tricks and we fall into a hyper or hypo, but we do not give up.

We smile, we laugh, we play, we eat, we run around, we go on holidays, we celebrate. In short, we keep going and we keep living.

GT1 gives a little space where the children and young people and their parents or carers can compare notes and give each other support, as well as have a giggle and relax together. I love that I have heard even very young children show another child their new sensor, pump, or pen. I love that I have seen parents sharing ideas and experiences. But most of all I love that they children, young people and parents seem to feel relaxed at GT1. There is always laughter and chatter. It’s lovely 🙂

So as we hit our second birthday, I raise a cup of strong coffee as a toast, with all the other GT1 families. Thanks for making GT1 so much fun! Have a fantastic day!

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