Jessica and Kristian

Jessica and Kristian’s daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 9 months old. She has experienced one major flu or flu-like illness when she was about 1. They try to manage episodes of acute illness, like ILI, at home whenever possible.

When Jessica and Kristian’s daughter was only 9 months old, she developed a flu or flu-like illness which health professionals initially thought to be tonsillitis or the norovirus. However, Jessica and Kristian felt that there was something more going on. Her condition deteriorated so they went back to the hospital; whilst waiting to be seen she rapidly became much worse. She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and had developed a dangerous state of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and had to spend 48 hours in critical care. Her diabetes was difficult to control at first but a year into her diagnosis things started to stabilize. Jessica and Kristian explain that their daughter is still sensitive to many things, such as life changes, new events, changes to her routine, and colds and viruses.

Jessica and Kristian’s daughter experienced an episode of a major flu or flu-like illness when she was about 1. Her symptoms followed the usual course of a viral illness: high temperature and high sugar levels, followed by becoming snotty, suffering from a tight chest, feeling grumpy and sleepy, tonsils went up, sore throat and loss of appetite. Initially, they managed her fever at home with Paracetamol and ibuprofen. They were also trying to manage her insulin levels by monitoring her blood sugar levels every 1 to 2 hours as they can become quite erratic and unpredictable. Additionally, they checked her ketone levels regularly and tried to help her rest. Jessica and Kristian waited 48 hours to see if her condition improved. As her condition did not change they contacted the hospital where they spoke with with the on-call consultant. The GP does not really play a role in their daughter’s diabetes care or acute illnesses, as she requires more specialist knowledge.

Jessica and Kristian have concerns about the overuse of antibiotics and prefer to try and weather a viral illness without antibiotics whenever possible. They also avoid being a round other people who might have a viral illness. Jessica and Kristian explain how they share the responsibility of caring for their daughter during an acute illness or when her diabetes is proving difficult to control. Jessica and Kristian say that they are very lucky that they have flexibility with their work but do often have to think carefully about what work projects they are able to accept considering her health and wellbeing. When their daughter is ill, both parents try to stay at home. They try to lead as normal life as possible and not restrict what they do as they do not want their daughter to feel different to other children. Their daughter has recently started nursery on a part-time basis, and they are seeing how things go.

Her two year old daughter’s blood sugars are high when she has flu-like illness and she can be ill for two weeks.

When her daughter is ill she needs to have her insulin increased but getting the right amount can be difficult.

If her daughter has just got over a cold, she avoids her having contact with others who have colds because she can’t go through that again just yet.

Working for her sister gives her the flexibility to go in later in the morning when her daughter is ill. She is aware of other parents who have had to give up work, or go part-time.