Aiden Nel, a teenager with Type 1 diabetes, tells us the highlights and challenges of the support from his family concerning his diabetes.
My family tries to support me with my diabetes as much as possible. Most of the time their support is good, but to be honest there are times that the way they go about supporting me does upset me.
One of the positive ways that my mother supports me is when she cooks; she tries to cook with the least amount of sugar, and as a family, they try their best to not have more carbohydrates than necessary.
As a family, we also only drink sugar-free cold drinks. It’s very rare that we will have a sugar cold drink, like Coke or Cream Soda, in the fridge.
My sister likes sweets, but she is very considerate and won’t eat them in front of me. I still do eat sweets, but not as much as other non-diabetic children. I just need to have my insulin immediately.
One thing that does upset me though, is that we don’t often eat dessert. I sometimes feel that this is because of my diabetes and what child wouldn’t be upset if they could not have pudding?
The biggest bugbear is the constant asking of what my reading is. Every night, before I go to bed, they ask me what my reading is. Before I leave for school, in the morning, they ask me what my reading is. Sometimes I do get irritated by all the asking and checking of my readings. However, I do know that it is for the best and they are asking out of concern and love for me. So, I do not stay upset for long. I just go and test myself, and then everyone is happy again.
Even if my family sometimes upsets me, they still do their best to help me, and I am very grateful for their support and love.
Aiden Nel lives in Port Elizabeth. He is 14 years old and has Type 1 diabetes.