Many of you already know that my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes almost three years ago now, but I’d just like to take this opportunity to blog not about photography for a change and give you a little insight into what my six year old son has to endure every three days, the dreaded cannula change.
Since his diagnosis his life, and ours, has been changed immensely. Type 1 Diabetes is a very life changing condition that requires a somewhat regimented lifestyle, to some degree anyway. Andrew started his first 9 weeks as a Diabetic with 4 daily insulin injections. Insulin is the essential hormone that is required for our cells to use and absorb the fuel from the foods we eat. Life cannot exists with out insulin, just like the air we breathe. Under normal circumstances our bodies produce insulin in the Pancreas to match demand depending on what we eat. In a Type 1 Diabetic the cells in the pancreas have been destroyed. This destruction can be manifested in a number of ways such as genetic/hereditary factors, environmental and predominantly an autoimmune response to infection or illness. Type 1 diabetes is not related poor lifestyle/dietary factors like the much more prominent Type 2 Diabetes. It’s a sad fact though that many people think a child with Type 1 Diabetes has been caused by “eating too many sweets”, it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Anyway, back to Andrew. After 9 weeks of injections we were lucky enough to live in an area that promoted the use of Insulin pump therapy and Andrew was given his first pump. This was a lifestyle breakthrough, he could eat like any other normal child and have the odd snack between meals if he needed without the need for extra injections. The downside to the pump is the cannula change and even after almost 3 years it’s still an unpleasant time for Andrew. There is lots of research ongoing into other ways of administering this life sustaining hormone but for now this is the way it has to be.
Below are a series of images depicting the the process we go though every 3 days.