Double trouble – by Jenny Foster
In the few weeks leading up to this significant moment Ewan had only shown mild symptoms, yet here he was presenting with a blood sugar reading of 37. (I can say that now and understand why that level was met with wide eyes from our GP!). None of our family members had had any experience of the condition and so I hadn’t made the connection between his symptoms and what turned out to be their cause.
Our steep (actually, it was more like vertical) learning curve began.
Unfortunately for Ewan the news came as a double whammy. During our 4-day stay in hospital to try and reduce his blood sugar readings, Ewan also tested positive for coeliac disease (a serious condition meaning a life without gluten).
Plans were made for him to have a small intestine biopsy to confirm the diagnosis, but only once we had adjusted to our new life with diabetes. We put this to the back of our minds and dismissed it as just another way of Ewan’s body telling us that all was not well.
Things actually settled relatively easily. Ewan impressed us all with his laid-back attitude to all that was happening to him and after only 2 weeks back home he was happily injecting his insulin himself. Our family, the diabetic support team, his teachers and friends had all been fantastic and so he’d quickly established a routine at school and at home that was suiting him well. His blood sugar levels gradually reduced into single figures and amazingly we managed to keep them there.
To our disbelief however, Ewan quite quickly started showing the signs and symptoms of coeliac disease that we’d been made aware of in hospital. Having never seen these signs before we questioned our suspicions as over sensitive parents and accused ourselves of ‘seeing’ symptoms that weren’t actually there (because we didn’t really want to believe that they were).
But, following a biopsy 3 months after his diabetes diagnosis the news we had been dreading came. Hitting and shaking up our routine like a tornado tearing up a small farmhouse – the biopsy had confirmed Ewan had coeliac disease.
To be continued…