Type 1 Diabetes Profile: Liz Gillum

As part of Chris Davies MP Campaign into raising awareness on Type 1 Diabetes and its symptoms, Chris has been collecting profiles from people with live with the condition to show their experiences. This profile is from Liz Gillum who is mum to Chloe who has Type 1 Diabetes from Knighton.

Chloe’s Story

Chloe was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 23rd November 2002, she was 9 years old, this was the single defying moment which changed our lives forever. Type 1 Diabetes not only has a devastating effect on the child but also on the family unit. On admission Chloe’s blood reading was 33.3 (normal blood sugars are ideally between 4-7mmols) she was rushed to Hereford Hospital where she was admitted on to the children’s ward where she was immediately given Insulin via injections to try and combat the high blood sugar.  The impact on the family unit was tremendous

As her parent I remember thinking “No it can’t be, we have no family history”, I since learnt that generally there often is no family history, it’s nothing you do and it’s not from eating too much sugar. Unfortunately the media portrays diabetes as one condition when it’s actually two totally separate conditions Type 1 Diabetes is because the pancreas has decided to stop working – who knows why? This is why it’s so important the work that JDRF and other diabetic charities undertake research to hopefully one day find a cure for the condition, “Hope is in a cure”. The Paediatric Diabetic Nurse told Chloe on admission “In the next ten years we’ll hopefully have a cure” sadly this hasn’t been the case, Chloe now at the age of 23 has had the condition longer than she hasn’t!

Chloe is now a Paediatric Intensive Care Nurse in Bristol Children’s Hospital, her Type 1 Diabetes is treated via insulin pump which is attached to her via cannula 24 hours a day, Chloe tests over 8 times a day sometimes maybe more to monitor her blood readings carefully. One day in the future it would be an advantage for Chloe to have Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) which would cut down on the number of blood tests.   

We all hope in the future a cure is found, or at the very least new treatments/ equipment  are made available to all, it would after all be lovely for Chloe to have a life which didn’t involve testing, cannulas and carb counting after all ‘Insulin is not a cure it’s life support’.