Friday, 5 June 2009

Little Harry Hypo

Having diabetes isn’t fun, and it can be particularly hard for children who just want to blend in with their peers. Even harder, then, for the parents who have to worry about keeping their children safe from ‘hypos’ – when the blood sugar levels fall too low and need rapid treatment with something sweet to raise them again, or risk possible diabetic coma. The best way to reduce that parental stress is to be confident in the little one’s ability to keep his levels ‘within range’, neither too low or too high, and the best way for that to happen is for him to learn about food and how it affects him, and how to give an appropriate dose of insulin for the meal he is about to eat.

Here in the UK there is an education programme called ‘DAFNE’ (Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating) that teaches insulin-dependent diabetics what they need to do to achieve good blood sugar control…

Little Harry Hypo

Little Harry Hypo had a horrid, horrid hat –
His mother made him wear it if he went to chase the cat!
And also, playing cricket, if it was his turn to bat,
I imagine you’d have sympathy if you lived your life like that!

The hat said ‘Diabetic’ in letters large and red,
And when he wore it in the street he wished that he was dead!
‘It’s so that all the people know’, his loving mother said,
‘That if you conk out on the floor, then what you should be fed!’

Now Harry thought that there must be a better way to live –
He felt that he was normal – so much he had to give!
‘I won’t let this stand in my way, I’ll be more positive!’
And so to ditch the hat became the boy’s main objective…

A lovely nurse called Dafne was his saviour in his plight,
She made him study all his food in order that he might
Learn how each food affects him, get his insulin just right,
And now his basal’s sorted no more hypos in the night!

Now Harry doesn’t wear a hat, but just a golden tag,
He’s always sure to carry jelly babies in his bag,
He never thought he’d spend a day his mother didn’t nag –
But now the hat shines shoes and stuff – it’s just another rag!

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