If you have found this blog, saying Welcome does not really seem appropriate. I know you wish you weren't surfing the internet for diabetes. I felt the same.

A big part of me wishes I were not writing about diabetes, nor did I anticipate to become so opinionated or informed on the subject, but it happened. In 2010, my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

It wasn't really part of the plan… Correction - it was not part of the plan, but it happened. It is not always easy, but I think we are all doing okay, and I hope we continue to do so.

Why the Middle East? I happen to live in Dubai. I don't think that living in the Middle East makes mine or my son's diabetic experience any more unique or challenging than it does elsewhere in the developed world.

I hope you stick around, or read something you like. Feel free to comment and join the conversation, subscribe or follow this blog by liking the Facebook page Diapoint.

Please note: This blog does not give medical advice. I am opinionated, and I share my experiences, but the first rule of diabetes is to follow up with your doctor and/or nurse educator about your care, diagnosis or medication. If you do not have a medical practitioner that is helping you find your way through this crazy world, then do not give up until you find the right one.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Your Diabetic Child is Sick? Translation: Blowing Off Work for the Beach?

We were so lucky for the last several months of flu season - until this week.  My son and I were both hit. Nothing serious, but of course as a diabetic flu will hit him harder than other children. Fortunately, it was parent-teacher conference week at school so a quiet week.

We were both feeling fine after a couple of days of a bad cold until I got a call today.  "Mommy can you come home? I don't feel well and my stomach hurts".   I waited, but then the call came. He vomited.

Vomiting in Type 1 Diabetes is so tricky. Keytones sometimes seem like they increase exponentially. They can only decrease with insulin. Oh, which by the way you cannot really give too much of because then you can easily see severe hypoglycemia if the vomiting continues.

I freaked out several years ago at the first case of vomiting we had after diagnosis and took my son to the hospital. After I got better command of this disease, I was not so quick to go.  I am not suggesting you do this as every case is different, but you will learn a lot on the way. Now, we only consider the hospital in severe cases.

Knowing things can go from bad to worse quickly, I packed up my laptop to head home. As I packed up, a colleague sitting across from me said, "How convenient to have a sick child on a Thursday afternoon."  (For those not in the Middle East, Thursday is the end of the work week here).

He then proceeded to tell me that when he moves his family here he will be sure to expose them to something to make them sick so he too can leave on Thursday afternoon. I should be appalled, right?

I am, and I am not. It is not the first time I have dealt with a comment like this.  Once when I was running out the door to pick up my son when he was sick at school, I got a sly comment from a female colleague who stated she was wishing she too could leave early.

That one hurt a bit. While she has no kids and is not close to married, I expected more from a female from Europe. I offered her the option to spend the afternoon on the front lines of a virus with vomit in a diabetic child and the sleepless night to come. She looked confused by my offer.

Today, I am older and wiser and I can't really be bothered to deal with ignorance. Diabetic or not, it was an inappropriate comment to any working mom. The first statement wasn't funny, and to make a second comment when I did not acknowledge the first was just ridiculous.

I informed the guy that my son happened to be diabetic so it could go bad quickly. Of course he did not get it, nor did I expect him to. But yet, in the spirit of creating awareness, I said it.

Fortunately, when I came home, my son was fine despite some stomach cramps.

My son enjoying the beach - not this afternoon,
but about 4 weeks ago.
The entire drive home, I was thinking of a comment in a diabetic group I follow. A couple of weeks ago someone inquired about my blog to follow it because they wanted to know what it's like to deal with Type 1 in the Middle East.

I think I could sum today up as "stupid comments from Western colleagues" day. Honestly, I feel my colleagues from this region would be more likely to show more empathy, or would likely be more reserved if they thought I was pulling a fast one to get out of work early.  However, that is a big assumption on my part, as there is ignorance everywhere and our situation is not unique to the world.

My advice if you have to ever experience this? Just ignore it. These people are not worth your time or energy. Save that fire and fight for your child because you will probably need it through the night to nurse them to health.

With any luck, karma will sort them out for you.