One of our children developed diabetes. He was 15 years old at the time. It was a smack in his face and ours and it cast a shadow over the rest of his life.
The confrontation with juvenile diabetes raised several questions:
What can you do to restore your health and to become and stay as healthy as possible? How, as an adolescent and a student, can you organize your life to include strict eating habits and insulin injections without finding yourself on the sidelines in relation to housemates and friends and at the sports club?
And there were more questions after that:
What is the risk for future children? What are the consequences later on in life? What is the life expectancy?
Wim Wientjes, as chairman of the Dutch Diabetes Association, wrote: ‘it is a conclusive fact that particularly the education of diabetes patients in the Netherlands lags far behind.’ (1)
Following my retirement, I had ample time to focus attention on this matter. As an internist for horses, I am familiar with literature on internal diseases. And that is what diabetes is.
But more than anything else, I am the father of a son with juvenile diabetes.
1. Wientjes WHJM (2002). Diabeteszorg is onvoldoende, kwantitatief en kwalitatief. Diabetes, de stille epidemie; Pfizer bv; p 8-19
© Leo Rogier Verberne