How One Family Found a Way to Manage Four Type 1 Diabetes Diagnoses
Prevention & Treatment After years of struggling to get a hold of diabetes, the family—of which four out of five kids have been diagnosed—established best practices to live the healthy, active life they wanted.
Living with Type 1 diabetes requires a lot of daily organization, testing and monitoring. That can be tough for many, whether you’re the one who’s been diagnosed with the disease or you’re the caretaker of someone who has.
How tech can help
The Hayes family knows just how hard it can be to track and treat Type 1 diabetes. Parents Julie and Bubba say that, although it’s been a bumpy road, they’ve come a long way since their kids’ diagnoses.
A big part of that is how technology has evolved over the years, allowing the Hayes family to manage their glucose levels in a much more efficient and less painful way.
“Before having the technology available today, we never really had a clear picture on what was happening with our kids’ glucose levels throughout the day,” admits Julie. “But having the information in real time is life changing, and prepares us better if their levels are headed in a certain direction.”
With tools that provide such accurate readings, Julie says her kids only have to test their levels twice a day (reduced from six), which is especially convenient for her twin 14-year-old daughters, Ashley (diagnosed at age 3) and Emily (diagnosed at age 4), who are both Olympic hopefuls in BMX; they spend six days a week training. “Their numbers have to be in range in order for them to perform well,” Julie explains.
Being able to easily detect readings through a sensor has helped Ashley and Emily know where their numbers are before and after races, and allow their siblings 16-year-old Melanie (diagnosed at age 11) and 17-year-old McGuire (diagnosed at age 14) to stay on top of their levels with their busy lifestyles too. “Melanie gives a lot to her community and McGuire is a typical, active teenage boy,” sums Julie. “As they spend less time at home, the technology keeps them safe and also allows us as parents to oversee how they’re doing.”
The fact is, in order to live a healthy life with diabetes it must be managed on a daily basis.
Working hard every day
“It’s not a disease that can be ignored, even for a short period of time,” Julie says. While how you monitor and treat your diabetes is personal and depends on your lifestyle, it’s crucial to find a way to manage it in a way that allows you to remain in control. “It wasn’t until we started using a more advanced system that we were able to recognize patterns and make changes that really gave us that control,” she explains.
The Hayes family is an example of how you can successfully manage this difficult disease and still live a happy, healthy life without letting it define you. Ashley and Emily say they want to be known for being great athletes. They want to show other kids with Type 1 diabetes that they can do anything they set their minds to, especially because there are so many tools available to help you do it.
“We admire anyone who’s living their dream with Type 1 diabetes,” Julie says. “We know how hard it can be, but being healthy is everything.”