10 injections a day: How a Waycross child lives with Type 1 Diabetes

Children living wit diabetes

WAYCROSS, GA - Getting a shot is no fun.
 
We toughen up, we go get a flu shot once a year, or maybe a couple other vaccines, but let's be honest, no one looks forward to getting stuck with a needle.
 
Imagine that anxiety you have in the waiting room, even knowing it's just one quick stick and you're done, the nerves can mount.
 
Take that feeling and multiply it by 10 times per day.
 
That's an average of how many times someone with Type 1 diabetes has to give themselves a shot to stay alive.
 
Grant Herrin is just four-years-old and his life is consumed by the highs and lows of Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes.
 
He was diagnosed a year ago, when his parents Brock and Holly noticed he was acting different and more irritable. 
 
"Also, he was drinking water all the time," Holly said. "And he'd literally be screaming at me in the car to pull over because he had to pee."
 
Both of those are signs of Type 1. 
 
"That's a consequence of high blood sugar," said pediatrician Dr. Wynn Kallay. 
 
He explained the nature of this disease and that it's an autoimmune disorder that comes on at no fault of the patients. 
 
"It starts with an inherited gene," and he said from there it requires a second step. A virus causing that gene to halt production of insulin in the pancreas. 
 
"In newly diagnosed diabetics it's more of a challenge because some days they make insulin and some days they do not," Kallay said.
 
It's why Grant's life has become a numbers game.
 
It's constant finger pricks to check his blood sugar, and insulin injections to keep his blood sugar in a healthy, balanced range.
 
"This little, four year old boy, I'm having to make him bleed 10 times a day, that's what gets overwhelming," Holly said. 
 
She says the year has been tough, but through constant work with his diet and help from support groups online, things are getting better.
 
"We limit carbs and he's a happier kid," she said she modifies recipes, because with fewer carbs there will be fewer spikes in his blood sugar. 
 
She then took to her own Facebook page over Halloween.
 
She posted a picture of their pumpkin, painted teal for Type 1 awareness, and stuck with 300 needles. 
 

 
The 300 needles representing the amount of shots Grant takes any given month.
 
"No one seems to understand what goes on behind closed doors," she said "'Oh, it's just diabetes, take a couple shots' people will say. Well it's so much more than that."
 
Her Facebook post was in hopes of generating better awareness and education about the disease. It was shared more than 1500 times around social media.
 
"The hardest part is that it steals away his innocence," she said. "There's absolutely no part of our lives that is not impacted by this."
 
But through constant control of his diet, and 24/7 monitoring of his blood sugar levels -- through smart watches and mobile apps -- Brock and Holly say things are gradually getting better for their tough little boy.
 
"I feel like now the clouds are lifting a little bit, like we finally have our feet planted. A little bit of the sunshine back in our lives," she said.
 
Juvenile Diabetes Research foundation is a great resource for information and there is a North Florida chapter that provides terrific support for families going through this, you can click here to go to JDRF.ORG.
 
 


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment