Parenting: Learning to live with Type 1 Diabetes

Parenting: Living with Type 1 Diabetes
Posted at 3:30 AM, Dec 07, 2021

Bennett Eskind is your average 9-year-old.

While he loves to play football with his dad, this is not how his parents saw his life several years ago.

At just about two, "Bennett woke up with a diaper rash. He's our youngest of three, we've seen plenty of diaper rashes in our day," Ashley Eskind, Bennett's mother, said.

By that afternoon, the diaper rash was so bad that Bennett's dad Jeremy took him to a local urgent care.

"It was within four days of that visit to urgent care that we had a diagnosis and things got progressively worse very quickly," Ashely said.

That diagnosis, Type 1 Diabetes.

The symptoms....textbook.

"He was super fussy, he wouldn't sleep, all the things you might hear about in the news of what diabetes might look like."

Looking back, Ashley said the signs were there, but it was not something that crossed their minds at the time.

"Five weeks before that we had gone to Disney World, and he slept the whole time," Ashley said. "He was diabetic then, but we didn't know it. He was already combating highs and lows--we thought it was jet lag because he'd never been on plane before and Disney World is crazy, so that's what we thought it was."

Ashley said the diagnosis was not the hardest part, it was telling her husband.

"When I got home and had to tell him, that broke my heart more than anything else."

Ashley and Jeremy's reaction was common.

It is something that Janna Flint-Wilson, a pediatric endocrinologist with Our Lady of Lourdes sees every day. Something, she said, that is important for any parent or guardian to know is that Type One Diabetes is manageable.

"They're going to need insulin their whole entire lives. A common way of taking care of diabetes is we prescribe two different types of insulin: a long-acting type when the kids aren't eating and short acting insulin that brings the insulin into the target range. A very standard way of taking care of diabetes is that kids need to check their blood sugar before meals, and they need an injection of insulin before all meals and they need their long-acting insulin at the end of the day."

This is something Bennett has mastered in the past eight years.

"Do you know when you're not feeling so great?" I asked him during our interview.

"Yes ma'am," Bennett said. "I usually feel like not doing anything and I just kind of get pale because I'm not getting enough sugar in my blood. When I'm high I have to use the restroom a lot and drink a lot of water."

As for Bennett's parents, while they still worry about their son, their fears have relaxed because they realize they are not alone.

"There's so many resources and so many people that you don't realize are on the journey. It's the club that nobody wants to be in, but it's here and you have so much support."