When his son Andy was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at just 2-years-old, Drew, who is deathly afraid of needles himself, thought it was the worst diagnosis possible. The thought of having to watch every bite Andy put in his mouth, having to poke his son with a needle every hour to monitor his blood sugar and insulin levels – even through the night – was extremely stressful. Drew says he and his wife Meghan were so nervous and so sleep deprived they were walking around like zombies. He says there was so much to consider and look for and to manage it was almost too much to handle, but that the Diabetes Clinic at the ACH became their family’s lifeline. No question was too much trouble and they could call for advice any time and get the help or reassurance they needed. They even taught himself and Meghan to do pokes and insulin injections and now they are pros – so much so, that Andy just takes it all in his stride. Drew says his now 5-year-old is a trooper with needles, especially considering that he gets up to 10 pokes and needles a day. And that number used to be higher (up to 27 a day) before they got a special monitor that has a patch that goes on the skin to hold in a tiny needle that is placed under the skin and gives a blood sugar reading every 5 minutes. He doesn’t even feel it.
Drew says that when your child is diagnosed with Diabetes you immediately know your life has changed. He says there are so many moving parts to managing your child’s illness that it can overwhelm you. It seems like anything and everything can affect insulin levels – diet, stress, excitement, a growth spurt – and it’s a real balancing act to keep your child healthy. He is grateful to the ACH Diabetes Clinic for helping them all adapt to their new normal – especially Andy is already learning to test his own blood. And while Dad calls Andy a trooper, he has been known to “play the system” by feigning low blood sugar to get extra snacks.
Drew says you never want to have to rely on this type of care, but when those are the cards you’ve been dealt, you’re extremely grateful to have the hospital, and this team of experts, in your corner.
To hear more stories like this or to donate to the 2017 Caring for Kids Radiothon in support of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation visit www.KidsRadiothon.com