Other support required by families of children having Type 1 diabetes
Support from other family members, school and neighbors, is indispensable for the child with T1D. Without ample and continual support, the chances of survival become bleak. The child needs to test BG and take insulin in school, on trips or during exams, may need extra snacks or toilet breaks depending on the BG level, and yet needs to participate in all school activities, and feel integrated with the community, whether class, neighborhood or society at large. The continuous monitoring required increases during times of fluctuation and sickness, throughout the night as well as day. Thus, parents or siblings also suffer from disturbed sleep and emotional stress. Acute complications (hypo- or hyperglycemia) can occur at any time of the day. The lifelong requirement for discipline and regimentation can be exhausting. This gets much more aggravated during adolescence, when the person most space and independence, a process that diabetes tends to hinder. So the family requires ongoing help and encouragement. YDF provides regular counseling to the families to ensure that their emotional needs are met and complications arising out of the condition are addressed in a timely fashion.
Society often discriminates against these persons when it comes to schooling, jobs, marriage, etc. By proving group support, YDF also provides a platform for families to help each other, and for those from upper economic strata to give opportunities for others.
Importance of counseling in Type 1 diabetes for family and children
Counseling plays a very important role for children with T1D and their family members. The initial diagnosis is usually met with shock and grief. It is understandably difficult to accept the need for 8-12 pricks a day for testing BG and injecting insulin, for a lifetime for survival. Extensive counseling is needed to combat the apprehensions faced so that the families can come to terms with the treatment. To avoid needle pricks, parents explore alternative medications, and are vulnerable to becoming victims of quacks and even medical practitioners who make false promises to permanently cure the condition. They lose a lot of money and hope, and sometimes even the life of the child, in chasing the mirage of a permanent cure.
Another common problem is that many families try to conceal the fact of diabetes in their child. A major reason for this is the families’ lack information about the condition. This makes the child feels even more isolated, and even guilty, and can hamper access to help during a hypo- or hyperglycemic episode. The Yog Dhyan Foundation team provides holistic information, which enables them to accept and cope effectively with the condition, and overcome its debilitating effects.