I was interested in my friend Aiden’s journey with Diabetes. We met in church years ago and I thought what a better way than to interview his mom Rebecca and Aiden. I hope you enjoy the interview.
A note from Aiden’s Mom Rebecca…
Aiden was in grade 10 when he started getting sick. One day he came upstairs, and you could see he had lost a lot of weight and was always thirsty. The next day I took him to Daysland Hospital. They diagnosed him with type 1 diabetes. We were scared. I said to Aiden we would deal with it. It was not the end of the world. We were in the hospital room and the nurse came in with his insulin. He had never given himself a needle before, but the nurse told him what to do and he did it himself. I was very proud of him.
This started a long trek back and forth to the Stollery hospital in Edmonton. He had great doctors there who taught us all about his disease and showed us how to manage it.
His little sister Emily was worried that she might get it, but I explained it to her that it was highly unlikely siblings would get it. Both Aiden’s Grandads were diabetic.
I cried for Aiden as it’s a scary disease. But we didn’t change a whole lot about our lifestyles. He can eat what ever he wants still. The insulin he takes when he eats keeps his blood sugar normal.
Friends had a hard time understanding he could eat what he wanted still. They would not offer him sweets. So, we explained about the insulin. His friends and our family friends were very supportive.
Aiden is very healthy now. He has only ever had one hospital stay since his diagnosis.
To newly diagnosed people I would have to give them this advice.
“Don’t let diabetes rule your life. It’s not in charge, you are. “
My Interview with Aiden:
Kelsey: What type of Diabetes do you have? One or two?
Aiden: I have been a type 1 diabetic for almost 11 years
Kelsey: What’s the different from one to the other?
Aiden: The main difference between the two is; type 1 diabetes is generally early onset meaning it is hereditary and you start to see it at an early age and is treated with insulin injections. Type 2 is typically seen later in life due to unhealthy lifestyle habits and is usually treated with good diet and exercise and in some cases can be fully reversed.
Kelsey: How did you find out what was wrong with you?
Aiden: Well when you have undiagnosed diabetes, you are very tired and sick all the time, and you tend to pee a lot. Those were the most noticeable warning signs.
Kelsey: What is something that is hard for you?
Aiden: Well diabetes can be a scary thing, so sometimes I can be worried about myself, and that can be hard.
Kelsey: Were you afraid of it?
Aiden: Yup pf course, something like that being 16 years old is definitely scary. Even now, I’m in full control over it. But there are still times where it can be scary. But you can’t stop living.
Kelsey: How did your sister and brother react?
Aiden: They were very young when I was diagnosed. At the time I don’t think they really understood, which is alright. I have had it for so long I don’t think they remember otherwise.
Kelsey: What did you change in your diet?
Aiden: The biggest change in the diet isn’t really a big change at all in the long run. It’s actually an idea everyone should adopt, which is “everything in moderation.” I still eat candy and drink pop; I just need to be careful and not to overdo it.
Kelsey: Is it hard to keep your sugars low?
Aiden: Not at all. I have been a diabetic for so long I have completely learned to be in control.
Kelsey: What’s your sign of not feeling well, what’s making you feel better?
Aiden: If my sugars are too high, I feel very sluggish and my vision can get slightly blurry. Insulin can fix that feeling. If my blood sugars are too low, then I get really hungry and shaky. Low blood sugars can be extremely dangerous, but a tablespoon of sugar or a juice box can fix that in just a few minutes.
Kelsey: What is your favourite things in your life?
Aiden: Well my friends and family. I am not too sure where I would be without them.
Kelsey: Do people see you differently?
Aiden: In my adult life, usually no. Though growing up, the other kids didn’t really know or understand what it was, so there were times when they saw me differently.
Kelsey: What’s your favourite childhood memory?
Aiden: I think I have quite a few, but they are generally involved in the sports I played. So to narrow it down I would say high school volleyball/basketball.
Kelsey: If someone had Diabetes what advice would you give them?
Aiden: The main thing I could suggest is always listen to your doctor. They are there with your best interests in mind. It might be scary, but don’t forget to live your life. It will just be a little different from other people.
Kelsey: How were your school years?
Aiden: They weren’t long enough, being an adult is hard. Being in school was the easy part.
Kelsey: Did you have friends growing up?
Aiden: Of course, I had plenty. I even currently live with my best friend from high school.
Kelsey: What are your hobbies?
Aiden: Oh man. Personally, I think I have too many hobbies. To name a couple, I play volleyball in Edmonton, I am into a game called Warhammer and I tend to spend a lot of time on my computer.
Kelsey: What are you good at?
Aiden: Well I tend to think I am pretty good in school.
Aiden: In January I went to Costa Rica for 3 weeks. It was stressful because I hadn’t travelled out of the country before. So I had to acquire as much information as I could get about being safe with diabetes while travelling. It was stressful but a successful holiday.
Here is some information I found on the Diabetes Canada website:
November is Diabetes Awareness Month
Diabetes Awareness Month is a time when communities across the country team up to bring awareness to diabetes and urge action to tackle the diabetes epidemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has created even more urgency as adults living with diabetes are at greater risk of developing serious symptoms and complications, like pneumonia, and they are almost three times more likely to die in hospital. Today, one in three Canadians has diabetes* or prediabetes, and those at age 20 now face a 50 per cent chance of developing the disease. That staggering number speaks to the epidemic diabetes has become across Canada.
With 2021, and the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin just around the corner, Canada can’t afford to ignore the impact of this chronic disease on individuals, families, our healthcare system and the economy. Help spread awareness this November and support us in the fight to End Diabetes!
Here is some information regarding diabetes: