Mike LeBlanc’s blog is one of the few written by dads that I have found. And it’s a must read for his perspective.
I invite you to read about Mike and his daughter Adele and then visit his blog The Type 1 Game.
I’d like to introduce you to Mike of The Type 1 Game.
Tell me something about your child.
Adele is almost 10 years old and in grade 4. She loves swimming, playing Wii, riding her bike, playing with her many friends, her Webkinz, her hamsters and nice clothes.
She always works hard and does really well in school. She wants to be either a teacher or a doctor when she grows up. She also dreams of getting married someday, owning a big house and having 2 kids and a dog.
She is and always will be my special princess.
How old was your child when diagnosed?
She was 2.5 years old.
How was your child diagnosed?
Adele was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease after being quite sick for 6 months. Upon researching this disease which was totally unknown to us, we came across a list of other auto-immune diseases include Type 1 and recognized the symptoms – insatiable thirst and frequent urination (she would soak diapers in a matter of hours).
How has your child’s life changed since diagnosis?
Adele is socially less mature than other kids her age. She rarely (almost never) goes to sleepovers because of her T1. She doesn’t remember what it was like before T1, she was too young.
On the other hand, she’s much braver than me because of her T1 and all of the nurses are amazed at how good she is at getting blood tests. She’s had lots of practice 🙂
How has your family’s life changed since diagnosis?
Either myself or my wife are always on call and the cupboard beside the sink in the kitchen is a mini pharmacy. We can wake up, check her blood sugar in the middle of the night and go right back to sleep (we practice this every single night).
The thing that my wife misses the most is that we can’t get away overnight just the 2 of us. We’re working on sending Adele to camp next summer to fix this. It is comforting to hear of families that are going through the same thing.
How has connecting online helped you cope with diabetes? What online resources do you use?
Initially, I started my blog to educate friends and family about what it’s really like to live with T1. But I’ve since discovered so many other D-bloggers out there.
TuDiabetes has lots of useful information, but I need to filter through the information and only read the positive stuff. The complaining and complications just make me depressed.
How do you manage diabetes?
We’ve been pumping for the past 6 years. We started using the CGM in May, 2009. In my opinion, the CGM technology isn’t quite there yet, but it’s still a very useful tool.
What would you tell parents of a newly diagnosed child?
It’s a lot of work, but manageable. You’re much stronger than you think you are, don’t get too caught up in the number and remember to laugh once in a while. Oh yeah, and ride your bike 🙂
Self-pity is useless. Get involved in JDRF fundraising and be part of the race for a cure.
What do you know now that you wish you had known at diagnosis?
That your life will eventually return to normal. It’ll be a different normal, but still normal.
Do you do any fundraising?
I am involved in our local outreach program, we participate in the Walk to Cure Type 1 every year and I’ve organized charity bike rides the past 3 years for JDRF.
I’ve also ridden as part of a provincial bike relay across Canada called Cyclebetes in 2009 and will again be part of Cyclebetes in 2010 and beyond.