Learning to cope with my son's diagnosis
I’ve raised my kids on my own since my twins were 8 months old. When George was 4 I knew something wasn’t right. He was thirsty and tired all the time, so I took him to the doctors and asked if he had diabetes. The doctor said ‘well done mum’ and diagnosed him with type 1. At the time I was quite pleased with myself because I spotted it - I thought ‘we’ll get this sorted now.’ But I had absolutely no idea what I was in for.
We spent 4 days in hospital learning about blood sugars, needles and more. It was a lot to take in. But I’d do anything now to go back to those days when I was in charge of his treatment. I worked full-time but I had my mum and dad to help, and between us we made sure that George’s condition was kept steady.
Losing George to type 1 diabetes
As George got older, his diabetes became difficult for him to accept. He got bullied at school for needing special treatment, and he had a lot of jealousy about his sister not having it. He was a very angry little boy, and he somehow thought that his dad had left because he had diabetes. I took him to rugby every week, just as a way to manage his anger.
As a teenager it was clear school wasn’t for him, but he got a good placement as an apprentice. He did well and at 18 he had a car and a bit of money in his pocket. He got a new girlfriend, but he didn’t tell her about his condition.
One night, he said he was taking her out to dinner and staying at her house. I was really uncomfortable about him going, but he was 18 and there wasn’t much I could do. I never saw him again after that night.
I know they went out, and I don’t know what he ate and drank, but he became ill. He went to sleep at the girl’s house and he never woke up.