And yes, we are counting!! Of course we are counting as we are currently on an exciting journey of seeing how long we can go for, without my son having to inject himself with insulin.
My eldest son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes five months ago, and we did listen and understand when we were told there could be no cure and that he would need to give himself four insulin injections a day for the rest of his life. But this has not stopped us from working on our own ‘cure’ and doing the best we can to try and prolong our ‘Honeymoon Period’, or aim to eliminate the need to administer insulin forever.
The ‘Honeymoon Period’ is what is referred to when typically after diagnosis; the pancreas starts to function slightly or even normally again for a period of time. It can be a few days, weeks or months – I’ve even heard of up to year – and our sole focus at the moment is to make this last forever (as all good Honeymoon’s should!).
So yes, my son has been insulin free for 65 days now, which seems to be nothing short of a ‘mini-miracle’ but then my son is unique and nothing can stop him when he is focused and determined, even though he is only thirteen.
And how are we doing this and what are we doing? Well we are mainly focusing on diet and exercise, plus a little ‘colour healing’ and following amazing advice from a dear friend, who specialises in holistic well-being and natural therapies. Exercise and physical activity is a major component in being healthy and keeping on top of stable blood sugar levels when you have Type 1 Diabetes.
My son has always loved sport and physical activity – rugby (union) is his whole world, and hey he’s pretty good at it too, so exercise is not hard for him. He currently plays rugby twice a week, trains twice a week, has PE at school and usually spends a day at the beach on the weekend, so he is doing at least 1 – 2 hours of exercise almost every day.
The BIG, BIG, BIG component that we are attributing the insulin free period to is diet. As a family, we made a conscious decision to eliminate all sugars (or as much as possible) out of our diet and we have been following Sarah Wilson’s ‘I Quit Sugar’ program for just over three months. Part of this is to remove anything that contains more than 3.6g/100g sugar out of your diet, including fruit, sauces, soft drinks etc. Sarah’s program teaches you all about sugars and the way they affect you, particularly fructose (which is the ‘no-go’ zone) and lactose (which is good up to a point). And she teaches you about why fat is important and diet/low fat products are not. It also doesn’t mean the end of all things sweet; it’s just focusing on different sources to add sweetness to your diet. It’s certainly been a big learning curve for all of us and it has amazed me what products sugar is in and also what it is not in!
The final thing we have really focused on is eating natural and organic foods (yes – this is from the person that did ‘Maccas’ on the way home from footy and could easily drink 10 cans of Coke Zero a day!). And we have again been amazed, the taste is far superior, we feel fuller for longer and we are all enjoying our meals much more. We are virtually following a Paleo style diet although not strictly – I’m not an angel!
As previously mentioned, we decided to all follow this program as a family, as we felt it was only fair for us all to do and not just my son, and it has been surprisingly easy. All of us have embraced the change, lost a bit of weight and feel fabulous and much much healthier. We can’t even eat foods full of sugar anymore, to us it now tastes disgusting, and we are astounded by how quickly our tastebuds have changed.
Our diet/menu changes have been a lot easier too following the purchase of a Thermomix, but I’ll save that for another blog!
So we are determined to maintain our new regime and we are enjoying the change. I am ecstatic that my son has now been insulin free for the past 65 days and our focus is to now aim to hit 100 days insulin free, and see how long we can make this last for.
Keep your fingers crossed for us, and we’ll keep you posted!!