WATERFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– We’re continuing our look at Type 1 diabetes in kids – how it is to manage and live with this serious disease.
“I can describe that in one word: exhausting,” says Chris Bairos of Waterford. Her 10-year-old son, Christian, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes – out of the blue – in February 2020.
“They give you a cheat sheet to go by,” she says, of information given by doctors, with so much to be learned.
Some life lessons have been tough.
“I didn’t think kids would pick on him because of it and tell him it was his fault that he got it,” she says. “I think something that people don’t talk about is the mental health effects that go with it.”
Impacting the whole family, she says…also noting that one of the hardest things is accepting it’s a lifelong process, one that’s uncertain, full of risks.
“I try to keep my anxiety level down so he’s not so paranoid about it and he can live a normal kid life, he just wants to be a normal kid,” she says.
“The burden of dealing with this disease never lessens because it’s a disease that never sleeps,” says Dr. Cem Demirci of Connecticut Children’s, explaining how patients must constantly monitor what they eat and drink but there are new tools, making a hard situation a little easier. “The technology is certainly helping us to manage this condition.”
“He has a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor so I can monitor all of his levels on my phone,” says Bairos.
Her son has had to grow up fast, getting used to his new reality: “He’s in charge of his insulin delivery, he knows how many carbs he’s eating.”
Both Christian and his mom have found great support in the diabetes community and hope to give back, as well.
“My hope is that he finds a way to embrace it and make it his own and he doesn’t let the disease become him,” says Bairos.
World Diabetes Day is coming up on November 14th.
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