Esther Rodrigues, a T1D Mom, shares the joys of seeing her son, Mikyle, celebrate his 21st birthday.
Esther Rodrigues stays in Cape Town with her husband, Antonio, and their three children, Kelsey, Mikyle and Jayden.
I am a T1D Mom, who is exceptionally proud of my son, Mikyle Rodrigues, who turned 21 on 20 May 2020.
Mikyle is a strong T1D Warrior who never gives up. In his quiet confidence, he has the strength of a lion, a will to survive and a burning desire to overcome all obstacles in his way.
Currently, my son’s life consists of studies, exercise, eating lots of food, playing PS4 and managing his Type 1 diabetes.
Our family and friends are supportive and assist us wherever possible. Two and a half years ago, Mikyle fell in love, and that gave him reason to live, reason to fight and unconditional love.
Mikyle was diagnosed at the tender age of 10 in August 2009. I did not know anything about Type 1 diabetes. I was completely dumbfounded with the diagnosis. In the blink of an eye, without any warning, our lives changed forever. Nothing can prepare you for this…Google became my best friend.
As a T1D Mom, I did not know how I was going to do this. I felt as if there was a huge hole in the centre of the earth and I was being sucked in. It was only once we came home, with all the reading and research I did, that I realised what Type 1 diabetes was all about.
The first few years were fine until puberty struck and caused havoc in our lives. We pushed through as best we could but we were advised to look at an insulin pump. Pumps are very expensive and while trying to save towards one, Mikyle was gifted with his first insulin pump by another T1D Warrior, Rowena Carmyn Webb. Rowena gave it to Dr Tracy Janse Van Rensburg, Mikyle’s doctor at the time, to bless a child with it and Tracy chose Mikyle. Sadly, Rowena, an incredibly generous woman, passed away on 22 June.
Eating habits changed as a family
As a family, we love eating. We celebrate with food. Eating habits had to be altered, sugar was removed from our household and sugar-free drinks were bought. Xylitol was used for baking, because Mikyle has a sweet tooth.
I remember the highlight of his school camps were ending the day with hot chocolate topped with marshmallows. So, I searched high and low and made sure that I packed his sugar-free hot chocolate and sugar-free marshmallows when he went on school camps. I did everything in my power to convert the things he liked into sugar-free treats!
Mikyle uses a Medtronic insulin pump and Humalog insulin. To test his glucose levels, he uses a Freestyle Optium Glucometer with Freestyle testing strips.
What Mikyle enjoys
Mikyle enjoys exercise, with his favourite being weight training and recently he started taking interest in cardio, specifically boxing.
Since he has joined the gym, he heals faster, and his immune system is much stronger. The blood glucose control is also much better.
Mikyle enjoys eating food. If you want to steal his heart then cook for him. He enjoys most foods, with emphasis on healthy foods. He is currently studying Dietetics (2ndyear) at Stellenbosch University so he knows the importance of consuming healthy foods.
Most of the time, he is playing games on his PlayStation, driving and spending time with his girlfriend, Tamia.
I was prepared to help my son grow into a strong, independent young man who could do anything he puts his mind to, but it turns out that he is stronger than I could ever have imagined. With many prayers and the grace of God, he celebrated his 21stbirthday with us as a family.
I believe that God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers, and took some of the strongest women and made them T1D Moms.
My hero calls me mom.
Images by RE Photograghy.