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Michelle McKenna

April 2021

Dear Parents

If your child has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the last twelve months, firstly I’d like to let you know you will be okay. It will feel incredibly overwhelming right now, but you will get there.

I’m writing to you, because along with many other parents, in some respects we’ve been where you are right now. For some of you it will have been the shock of your child going into life threatening diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). …

This is the 100 year anniversary of the discovery of insulin, which was co-discovered by Canadian, Fredrick Banting in 1921. His birthday was on the 14th November, and it’s remembered each year as World Diabetes Day. Without his discovery 100 years ago our type 1 diabetes story, along with many others across the world would be very different. Insulin not only unlocks the energy for our body but it also unlocks many stories that wouldn’t be here today without it.

Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

Earlier this year, the charity Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) contacted me to ask if I might be interested in…

Photo by Clint Patterson on Unsplash

The year 2020 has been full of upheaval, but the sort of upheaval that has left many of us standing still — unable to move around like before. Whether that be for holidays, jobs or simply meeting friends. In our house, my partner took a career break in 2019 and began a new job late last year. The day he started I resigned from my job, with the intention of taking a short break before finding something new. On my first day of freedom, the pandemic hit the UK shores and I inadvertently became a home-school teacher for a few…

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

It’s no secret: 2020 has been a year that has stopped most, if not all of us in our tracks. It’s been a time of reflection and taking stock of the how strong our emotional and physical foundations are. As the music stopped, did we find a chair? Are we eating well? Are we living in a place where we want to be? Crucially are we with people / cats / dogs we want to be with? These are questions that we might have glanced at before and not fully answered because there has always been something else to do…

Photo by Łukasz Nieścioruk on Unsplash

The trick or treat edition for all parents

Like many parents of a certain age in the UK I never went trick or treating in our neighbourhood when I was younger. That was just something that happened in American movie’s (I reference one of my all-time favourite’s E.T.). However, in more recent years it has become a tradition to go trick or treating. Now you might be thinking what a nightmare (on Elm Street — :-)) if you have a child who is type 1 diabetic and you’d be right. But to be honest the amount of sweets for any…

I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reaction to technologies:

1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.

2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.

3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.

Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

I’m well over the age of thirty-five, and I do have a tendency to now look…

Photo by Zahra Amiri on Unsplash

It can be quite hard as a parent of a type 1 diabetic superhero, to know whether they are having a tantrum because they can’t get their own way, or whether they are hitting their brother because their sugar levels have gone through the floor. In my previous article, Appraisals, hidden disabilities and me, I attempted to give a flavour of the rollercoaster ride of adjusting to life with a type 1 pre-schooler. This time I wanted to delve a little deeper to help explain some of the practical challenges of managing hypo episodes in a young child.

Hypo is…

Photo by me

Only two years ago, work goals and objectives were being set; it was time to take my career to the next level after returning from a year’s maternity leave. It was a good opportunity to set goals around what I wanted to achieve at work for the next year. But you know what they say about the best laid plans… for me they got completely obliterated around July 2018 (update from author: The year 2020 has also given many of us a reality check on what goals are important). Type 1 diabetes had other ideas and took a head long…

Michelle McKenna

I write about caring for an amazing child who is type 1 diabetic as well as writing children’s fiction.

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