Diabetes is a disorder of the blood. People with diabetes are known as diabetics, and their blood cannot produce insulin. This means they have high levels of sugar in their blood, which can be dangerous.
When you are first diagnosed with diabetes, you will be asked to go on to the diabetes ward. Here you will begin to learn more about the disease, and you and your family will be given all the information you need. There’s a lot, so don’t be worried if it’s confusing at first!
Diabetes is best cared for at home, as part of a plan which fits around your life. You’ll visit a doctor every few weeks, and less regularly as time goes on. You can monitor your blood sugar at home, and inject insulin as well as follow special diets to help control it.
Staff from the hospital will visit your school to talk to your teachers, school nurses, and others. This is so that everyone in your life knows how best to look out for you. You can also see a psychologist if you’re feeling sad or worried about your diabetes.
You’ll have a big review with a doctor each year, when you’ll have a number of tests to see how you’re doing. Your height, weight, feed, blood and urine will also be checked to make sure everything’s fine.
When you reach 16, you’ll be asked to move up to Young Adult Clinic. As you get older, you’ll be able to look after your diabetes alone, without the help of your family. Young Adult Clinic helps you learn how, and prepares you for Adult Clinic at 19.