Friday, 25 June 2010

Perhaps slightly controversial?

Chatting to my mum the other day, she said something that at the time shocked me. Now I think about it, I can see her logic, but I still disagree with it.

My sister was born 3 months before I was diagnosed. My mum said if she had known I was going to be diagnosed, she wouldn't have had another child, as she wouldn't have wanted to take the risk of another child having to live with type 1.

As I said above, I can see the logic behind it - living with type 1 is no fun and noone would wish it upon a kid.

But on the other hand...really? When I have thought about having children, passing on type 1 has never really come into the equation. Should it? I'm not sure. I have never taken it into the equation. When I think about type 1 and pregnancy, I think about the risks associated with a type 1 becoming pregnant, not the risk of passing it on. I know the statistics are pretty low, and increase slightly if the father has type 1 (I don't know the exact statistics).

So for me, I wouldn't forsake having a child because of the risk of type 1. I've never really seen this discussed anywhere, so I'm curious about your feelings on it?


Angie said...

It's an interesting one. I wonder if it's a matter of perspective? As someone who's lived with type one from the age of four, my attitude has always been that, while it's not the nicest thing, living with diabetes isn't a horrendous experience. However, I can see that maybe being a parent, things would look different. It might be hard to get past the "bad" things about being diabetic when viewed from that perspective, especially when you are responsible for making all the decisions and living with the repercussions. Maybe the same would be true if you were diagnosed with diabetes as an adult - you can't imagine a child having to do the things you do, when the truth is a child gets on with it just the same.

Personally, it will not affect my decision to have kids. The only time it's come up in conversation with my boyfriend was when I was winding him up about his needle phobia (a kind, supportive girlfriend, me ;)), and I asked him what he would do if one of our kids was diabetic, and he just shrugged and said we'd deal with it. It's never been an issue for us. I'm curious as to what other people think though!

(also, hi!)

Siobhan said...

Ange, I think you could be right in terms of which perspective you view it from. I can see why my mum thought it, but having being diagnosed aged 2, I know it isn't cause for a miserable life.

Nikki said...

Interesting one, I know that I have a 50/50 chance of passing diabetes on to my children. Does that affect my decisions? possibly. I'm not likely to just get pregnant so any pregnancy would be very thought out and well planned anyway. It's a consideration but at the moment I don't think it would stop me having children. I hope I don't pass it on, but if I do it isn't the worse thing in the world.

labradorknitter said...

I haven't been diabetic for a long time. I got diagnosed a bit more than a year ago when I was 29, and still I don't think that diabetes will stop me having children.

Maybe I am biased because I come from a place in Europe with the highest concentration of Type 1s (after Scandinavian countries, of course), so if we all had to take this attitude I guess Sardinians would soon be extinct.

Honestly, I don't think it's that easy. I'd probably be constantly worried about them becoming diabetic, and I don't deny that the risk of my future kids developing diabetes is higher than a person without it, but inherited factors only account up to a certain point. There are also environmental factors that can trigger the disease, take for instance my case... no history of Diabetes in my family (except a grandma treated with steroids for a long long time). It could have been anything... from cow's milk to some viral infection.

I still think there is too little understanding about T1 to decide not to have them...

Big Swifty said...

If one was carrying out a formal risk assessment, one would look at the relative risk (reasonable probability of type 1 developing in child/adult at some time) multiplied by the severity of the effect (it's a rubbish condition to have, but one have reasonable expactations for a good quality fulfilled life). So the analytical approach is "OK, proceed with care". But we're humans with feelings, and emotions and love, so we'll probably just go for it anyway. (Just my opinion, and not to be confused with any true zen mastery.)

Kaitake said...

I believe the chances of a T1 diabetic mother having a T1 baby are 2%. If the father is the diabetic, then the chances go up to 5% for the baby to also have diabetes. Not sure what the stats are if both parents are diabetic. I assume this could also be complicated by other things... See


Anonymous said...

I think about a lot of sad things that might befall my future children, but I have to say that T1 has never been one of them.

Smile4Loubie said...

It has never come into my thought when I think about having children. But like you I can see your mum's view. I think as diabetics we know we CAN cope with it, even if you wouldn't wish it on anyone, there are worse things out there.

Sam said...

Hi, I know this post is older but I was having a look at your blog as I just stumbled across it and thought I could add a different two cents as it were. :)

I'm diabetic and my mum is too. I don't buy that she 'passed it on'. Diabetes is pretty common in my family, both types but with my mother and aunt both diabetic, only I am diabetic out of five cousins and I had chicken pox before I was diagnosed so if anything I would like it to being ill. Both my aunt and mother fought other illnesses about 6 months before they became ill and were diagnosed so....I don't think diabetes has to stop you having children. Yes there is a chance the child could be diabetic but 2% in 100 isn't too bad and I never blamed my mum for me being diabetic at all. Not even when I went off the rails. They didn't even have blood tests when my mum had me or when my aunt had my cousins and they were both healthy in their pregnancies with no complications to the pregnancies or their diabetes. to be honest, I think docs try to scare us saying we need a HBA1C of 6 to have a baby and all that because women have been doing it for years. :)

I totally understand why your mum would have made that choice but I think if you grew up knowing that she would have had another child and wanted to but didn't because of your diabetes, it would be hard for a person to live with you know? Another thing to torment yourself with as you try to keep control and be normal and all the rest of it. Very difficult situation.

I don't know if I would ever have children but I certainly wouldn't let diabetes make the choice for me. Obviously it would be better to be stable but stable at 6 or stable at 7 is all 6 and half a dozen to me:)