Life is busy for parents of toddler twin boys.
Ali and her husband had given up hope for a good night’s sleep and were already exhausted when 23 month old Finn started waking up even more.
Too little to communicate, Finn was waking up crying with thirst. He drank so much he was wetting through at least two nappies a night.
“I think we were already too exhausted to think straight – Finn seemed to want water at night, then we were changing his nappies and the sheets because he was wetting through his nappies,” remembers Ali.
It was at that time the family took their first trip, flying to Melbourne with the boys.
“When we had to change Finn’s nappy twice on the two hour flight, we knew that something was wrong,” remembers Ali.
After their holiday they went straight to the GP where the practice nurse performed a finger prick test.
“The result read ‘Hi’ and no-one knew what that meant. They thought there was something wrong with the machine so had to ring a hotline for advice.”
When they figured out his blood sugars were higher than the device could read, their GP sent them directly to Pindara, where Finn was officially diagnosed and started on an insulin pump.
“It’s a lot to take in. Our GP warned it that it’s like doing a 3-year degree in a month; there is so much to learn. Plus there is the grieving process that comes with a serious, life long diagnosis in a toddler,” remembers Ali.
Ali’s advice – connect with other parents, get used to speaking up and asking questions of your medical professionals, and find an older child with diabetes who is doing well and is a great role model.
Finn is five now and starting to ask questions that are difficult to answer.
“It can be heartbreaking when he says, ‘mummy I don’t like diabetes, I don’t want to have it anymore’. How do you deal with that? It’s heart breaking, so I ended up going to a psychologist to learn how to talk about it with him and how to frame it. This disease is never easy, but that has definitely helped.”