Whenever I think back to Amy’s diagnosis there’s a part of me which harbours a nagging doubt about whether a particular event played any part in the start of the autoimmune destruction of Amy’s pancreas. I know what the doctor’s say, that it just happens and you can’t do anything to stop it, but surely they’re wrong: if a person doesn’t get ill in the first place the autoimmune system won’t attack the pancreas. I guess we’ll never actually know until they pinpoint exactly the cause of type 1 diabetes.
Amy had been ill with the usual cold/man-flu/call-it-what-you-will which afflicts most people as soon as kids go back to school, the days get colder and the heating gets switched on. I had tickets for her and me to go and see her first ever gig, the dance act Pendulum at the BIC in Bournemouth on the 7th December 2010. During the week before with Amy still suffering we debated on whether or not she should go but I put my foot down and insisted it was only a cold. If you’ve never been to a Pendulum gig watch this and you’ll understand just how hot you get – by the end of the evening we were completely soaked (I know, euw!). It was a late night out for Amy so to help her stay awake we bought and consumed lots of her favourite orange fizzy drink. It was full on sugar. She was still quite poorly a few days later.
Back to the diagnosis story.
On the 28th December 2010 Emilia and I went to see Southampton FC demolish Huddersfield 4-1 and returned in bouyant mood to hear about Jane and Amy’s shopping trip and the impending visit to the Doctor. Diabetes was briefly discussed and a quick Google confirmed what I already knew, that if Amy had diabetes it was type 1 and that meant injections for my little girl who has a fear of needles. I was devastated at that possibility.
The next day Jane and Amy went to the doctors – read the Diagnosis post – whilst Emilia and I stayed at home. When Amy went to see her friend about the party Emilia and I stayed at home and that’s when the phone rang.
I took the call which said we needed to go to the hospital that afternoon, at 3pm. Emilia had stuff to do and didn’t want to come to something that was a routine appointment so I (somewhat harshly) told her the reality of what the visit was likely to mean and the daily injections which Amy would have to endure. You don’t get a call back so quickly if everything’s okay.
During lunch I watched Jane, she seemed so calm, I couldn’t understand how. We left for the hospital, totally unprepared for an overnight stay, they could have warned us.
In the consultation room we all sat down as the DSN spoke to us. I could see it in her eyes already, clearly breaking news like this didn’t come any easier through repetition, and I just waited for the words ‘type 1 diabetes’. I looked at Amy and Jane and there wasn’t much of a reaction; Emilia, like myself, looked full of tears, as did the DSN.
The next hour or two was a blur. I’ve no recollection of what happened next.
It was dinner time and Amy needed to inject insulin, or bolus as it’s really called, and she opted to do it herself. I was so proud, she was only 10.
Emilia and I left to go and get some pyjamas for Amy which meant a trip back home. We knew that the local Marks and Spencer’s would be open so we decided to buy Amy some next pyjamas as a treat. After some food and back at the hospital and Amy seemed okay but had clearly shed a few tears. I gave some food to Jane, spent some time cuddling and talking and left my little girl and her Mum to spend the night in hospital.