It's a big week ahead at Big Swifty Towers. Frank's diabetes management is incessant, 24/7 attention, but we're all doing pretty well (and hopefully pride doesn't come before a fall). At his most recent quarterly check-up Frank's HbA1c test gave as good a result as one could possibly expect for a four year old with Type 1 diabetes.
Poor test results with persistent elevations in blood sugar would indicate it's more likely that the person would have increased risk for the long-term vascular complications of diabetes such as coronary disease, heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney failure, blindness, erectile dysfunction, neuropathy (loss of sensation, especially in the feet), gangrene, and gastroparesis (slowed emptying of the stomach). On the plus side you get to wear a medic alert bracelet.
At present Frank has about eight pin pricks a day in his fingers, and four insulin injections. This keeps him in good health but does little for the flesh on his fingers and bottom. Some people with diabetes wear "fingertips of steel" T-shirts. If he takes up the guitar he will have ready made callouses on his fretboard fingers.
So what happens next week? We're off to Addenbrookes Hospital at Cambridge to open discussions about the possibility of Frank wearing an insulin pump. This should help us better match his carb intake with his insulin needs, being able to put smaller doses of insulin into his body, as and when required, without the injections.
And, yes, he can eat meals like the one in the picture, which he enjoyed at a cafe in Ipswich when we saw the mammoth. Type1 diabetes is nothing to do with the current obesity epidemic, and he does not have to avoid carbs in his food. Indeed, a mixture of carbs, protein and fats is pretty good, as he avoids the blood-sugar spikes that we would all have if we had high sugar fast release foods. Don't you wish you had a "full English breakfast" diet like Frank's?!?!
And finally, the usual disclaimer, I am not a doctor, and don't take anything I say as proper medical advice. After all, I'm the guy that thought that, if he shared an active lifestyle, and fed his young son a healthy diet of mixed foods, some wholefood and organic, he would avoid getting any of these chronic conditions everyone's getting these days. Pah.