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Diabetes Connect Corner: Meet Gemma & Ella

by IBD Medical on May 31, 2022

My names Gemma & I am mum to Ella who is now aged 8.  Ella was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes back in April 2019 at the age of 5.
I personally was unaware of type 1 diabetes and exactly what looking after
Someone with type 1 diabetes entails.  Safe to say diagnosis day for me was very overwhelming and very scary. Having to learn to take care of your child again and the fear you have walking out of those hospital doors.  Fear of getting something wrong, it’s incredibly overwhelming.
Ella was displaying symptoms of type 1 but it’s only now since her being type 1 that I can look back and recognise these as symptoms of type 1 diabetes.  Ella had lost a little weight , she had started wetting the bed and sleepwalking (very unlike her ! ) and she was also very tired all of the time.  This is why now being the parent of a type 1 I continuously share and try to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of type 1, and always encourage people to go and get any symptoms checked out.
The night before diagnosis, I remember sitting and googling some of Ella’s symptoms and saying to Ella’s dad it’s saying it could be type 1. But I didn’t think it actually would be.  I put it all down to a water infection. But things very quickly changed after a visit to the GP the next day! 
I won’t lie and say that things have been easy the past 3 years - it’s been hard and plenty of challenging days.  Ella’s struggled and has needed some Psycology sessions.  But the strength and courage Ella and all other type 1’s show daily amazes me! To put up a fight everyday against a chronic condition that never gives you a break , that is 24/7 and relentless. 
I’m grateful to be asked to share our story with Glucology and the community, as one of our main reasons we decided to start sharing on social media is to raise awareness for a condition that is often easily misunderstood. There are lots of different presumptions about this condition and we like to set the story straight. We also have met lots of lovely people online some of who I would class as friends and often my first thought when I need some advice or if we are having a bad day are always picking us back up. 
Ella did nothing to cause her diabetes , type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition and nothing could have stopped Ella getting it!  Ella can still eat a healthy balanced diet like anyone who doesn’t have type 1 (yes even sweets, chocolate and cake!).


We will continue to share our story in the hope that it helps others and continues to raise awareness of what it’s actually like to live with type 1 ! Type 1 will never stop Ella or define her as a person , but sometimes it likes to throw a few curveballs in the way!