When we discovered our son was a type 1 diabetic we were heading out for the Indian Ocean, a season that would include a lot of open ocean, many sea miles and many remote locations. It was daunting to think of leaving the security of medical support to head out on our own with a newly diagnosed child with a complicated medical condition. I searched for others who were traveling with diabetes, and the only people I could find were adults who had dealt with the condition their entire lives. I could find no one doing it with a young child, let alone a newly diagnosed child. So, after a month in hospital and a month of training, we decided we were competent to take on the challenge. It was a big call and we weren’t sure we had made the right one.
That was five years ago, and we have now sailed across the Indian Ocean and across the Atlantic. My message to those out there seeking support is that it is possible, though it is a very scary step to take. If you need support, either as a caretaker or patient, please feel to reach out. Having someone to talk to when in the throws of making your own decision, perhaps our experience can help you wade through the pros and cons, the risks and the compromises. For us, the decision to carry forward with our plans was liberating in that it quickly taught us to accept the responsibility without diabetes cutting our wings, for parent and child alike.