There are several types of diabetes, but the most common are type 1 and type 2. In children, the majority of cases are type 1, previously known as "juvenile diabetes". As you may already know, a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes (T1D) in a child changes many things in your life, and a great deal of spontaneity seems lost. Managing T1D requires a lot of work; tasks that must accompany every meal and every snack and adjustments for every activity, not to mention illness, travel, etc. You will learn how to make these new tasks part of your routine, our job is to teach you how and provide you with the tools you need.
Often, in the beginning, your mind is wandering:
- How did it all happen, when did it start?
- Did I do anything wrong, could we have prevented it?
- And, can we really do this?
- Should I quit my job to take care of my child's diabetes?
- Can my child live a full and healthy life?
- Will there be complications?
- What about school and sports with diabetes?
These questions and thoughts can be overwhelming, but we're happy to discuss all this with you to provide some answers, and to help you and your family understand the basics, and to learn how to integrate diabetes into your life, and not let it take over your life. You need a team of experts; a specialized team of clinicians, diabetes educators, dietitians, and counselors/psychologists. Our team will meet with you as often as you need while you master the basic essential skills for managing diabetes: a) checking blood sugar and ketones; b) giving insulin; c) counting carbohydrate in food; and d) recognizing and managing low blood sugar. When you're home, we encourage you to call with questions. We have staff on-call all day: an Advice Nurse during business hours and a doctor on call for urgent questions at nights and weekends.
You will find that sometimes the sea is calm, and sometimes there is a storm, but most of the time waves have patterns. We're happy to help you understand the patterns and navigate the waters of diabetes and mentor you while you establish a comfort level in knowing what to do. Through this journey together, you too will teach us as well, and we always welcome your feedback.
P.S. It you're visiting the Madison Clinic for the first time, you can save some time with the first appointment paperwork, by completing our new patient assessment form in the links below (but don't sweat it - if you prefer we can help you with this during your visit).