Naomi’s daughter was initially diagnosed with asthma when she was 2. She was subsequently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 3 and later diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. Her daughter has suffered one episode of flu like illness for which she was hospitalised.
When Naomi’s daughter was 3, she had started to wet the bed and had gone off her food. First, Naomi thought this was probably normal for a toddler and didn’t think anything of it. When away on holiday, her daughter became tired and started to drink a lot. At first they suspected a kidney infection and made an appointment with the GP who then diagnosed her with Type 1 diabetes. It came as a big shock to Naomi as there was no family history of diabetes. Her daughter had also been diagnosed with asthma at the age of 2 and was later diagnosed with Coeliac Disease at age 5. Before the Coeliac’s diagnosis, Naomi’s daughter had been hospitalised frequently due to its interaction with her diabetes which they had not realized at the time. Since, she has been put on a gluten free diet which has helped but due to the nutritional composition of gluten free products, the diet still heavily interacts with her diabetes.
Naomi explained that her daughter’s diabetes is difficult to manage and keep stable as it is hard to predict. Initially, she had not realised the long-term implications and not been given much information about the impact of diabetes. She feels confident now about managing her daughter’s diabetes with her other conditions and explains that she often knows more than some health professionals. Naomi describes how her daughter’s diabetes impacts on many factors, such as her immunity, diet and lifestyle.
Naomi’s daughter has had a severe episode of flu-like illness at the age of 6. During a Christmas break, she wasn’t eating and was sleeping all the time. As this was affecting her blood sugar and insulin levels, Naomi rushed her to A&E. However, all the test results came back clear. By Boxing Day, her daughter’s condition had deteriorated and she started to experience symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis (pear drop smell, high temperature and vomiting) and was admitted to hospital. Naomi was told her symptoms were caused by the flu and she received good support from the nurses but she said that she had hoped for more information. Naomi had not previously been told that the flu could be more serious for her daughter and felt completely in the dark. She was shocked by the severity of her daughter’s symptoms and that this could have all been down to the flu. Also her daughter’s asthma is aggravated by colds and viruses. Naomi now tends to bypass her GP and go straight to the diabetic consultant and nurses as she felt that there was very little the GP could do.
Naomi explains how managing a child with three chronic conditions is a balancing act. She has invaluable support from her mum as well as family and friends. She has also found help from support groups. Naomi is concerned about her daughter’s move to secondary school as she worries that the school may not notice her early symptoms and support is limited. She feels it is important to be firm with health professionals and not take no for an answer as you know your child best.