When our child was first diagnosed with type one diabetes (T1D) on September 26th, 1992, we were absolute sponges—educating ourselves about all things diabetes. We asked thousands of questions, listened, researched, and charted a course based on the facts and data we had gathered thus far. Whether we wanted to believe it or not, there is a correct way to manage this disease, and there is a wrong way.
I have noticed, of late, that more and more parents are ‘justifying’ the end by their own means. I have seen actions that defy the logic on the data available regarding certain aspects of diabetes management. I am here to caution decisions made quite frankly by what I refer to as, 'WAG’, short for Wild Ass Guess....excuse my language.
People who make decisions based on what they think, not what the facts show make me crazy. Here's a recent example. I met a parent who explained that because her child was young and had a lifetime of diabetes ahead of her, the parent felt it was okay for the child's blood sugar numbers to run high—between 200-300, at all times.
Quite simply, there is no legitimate, large-scale study to prove this theory to be correct. But because this parent ‘feels okay’ with it, without proof…….it is not only untrue, it could be dangerous.
No matter what any of us may ‘think’, this disease has rules that need to be followed. Closely followed. It’s not an ‘anything goes’ philosophy. There are things that have been said so much that few people dispute them anymore; be careful is my warning.
If you didn’t investigate and find something to be the right way to approach your child’s diabetes management, assume it’s wrong. Because this disease manifests itself so different in each child just because one person says it works in her child doesn't mean it will work with your child. ‘That person’ may have just been very fortunate up to that point.
I get the fact that medical personnel, in some cases, could do a better job in understanding your child and advising you on this journey. But good, sound, medical advice is worth its weight in gold over something someone says in mere conversation.
Diabetes is a medical condition that does not care what we ‘think’ is the right course and choosing wrongly could bring disastrous results. Remember that as you learn more on this diabetes journey.
Advice is good and little can compete with someone’s own experience but always remember that their experience is just that, theirs. If it pertains to you, great! But check out the facts before you choose the path you take. There is an expression, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. We should learn from that. ‘Good intentions’ are just not good enough when it comes to advice on diabetes management. It must be based on truth, science, and data. Do not settle for anything less for your child. Opinions are just not good enough and you know what they say about those who assume (if not, look it up).
Our kids deserve our best effort….so make sure you give it to them.
I am a Diabetes Dad.