Rina Puri: Daughter Mya diagnosed with T1 at Age 5, A Mother's Perspective
Being the parent of a Type-1 diabetic child doesn’t come with manuals on what to do, how to feel, how to manage your child’s health, or any of the many things involved with managing a chronic disease like Type-1 diabetes.
Rina Puri, mother of two – 8 and 9 years old – shares her story of managing her child, Maya’s, diabetes. Rina lives in Georgia with her daughters and husband.
Maya was five years old when she was diagnosed. Rina says the day when she was told that her five-year-old Maya was a type-1 diabetic was the hardest day she’s ever had as a mother.
Maya has had diabetic symptoms throughout her life, but Rina thought Maya had a recurring flu. “It’ll go away soon,” she had thought, but the alarm bells became loud when Maya’s teacher called Rina to inform her that Maya had finished two liters of drinking water during a day at school.
Rina had rushed Maya to the hospital, and upon receiving the diagnosis, she was lost and confused.
Rina says the information overload she had to deal with the first few weeks when Maya was in the hospital were hard to accept. Having a healthy daughter one day, and then the next being told all of the shots, dietary regimens, carbs counting, and all of the many other things she had to balance was too much for her.
Rina also says that she had hoped her husband, who is a physician practicing with his father, would be knowledgeable on what to do, but when Type-1 diabetes hits home, all of the textbook solutions become inadequate.
Rina has been able to get over the shock of the first few months after the diagnosis. She also shares how she has been able to explain to Maya why she does what she does: the injections, the food and all the management steps she takes to keep her daughter safe.
Rina says that telling Maya the WHY behind the WHAT has made her daughter take responsibility for her health, even though she’s only nine years old.
Rina is also grateful to the endocrinologist who has been instrumental in helping her and her daughter – and her family – deal well with Maya’s diagnosis.
“When we go to the endocrinologist, he speaks directly to Maya, asking what she did that week and how she has been managing it. This makes Maya feel responsible for her health, and it has been helpful,” Rina adds.
Rina says that Maya can now carry out pump changes herself. Also, Maya started a diabetes club in school, where she and other parents in the club play games with the kids.
Rina is grateful for how well technology is helping her and Maya manage their situation, especially CGM and insulin pumps.
Rina agrees that there is still so much she needs to learn, and she is open to learning and helping her daughter live a healthy life.