The interview of Elodie, Romain's mother
Hello Elodie, could you introduce yourself and your family in a few words?
I am Elodie, 39 years old, married to Sylvain, mother of Justine soon 14 years and Romain soon 11 years, type 1 diabetic since 2016. After Marseille, French Brittany, we live in Orange in the Vaucluse. I like hiking, mountains, skiing and dark chocolate? On the professional side, I am in transition...
When was Romain's diabetes diagnosed? What do you remember about the first period after the diagnosis?
It was 6/24/2016, he was 6 years old, we had to move 3 weeks later because my husband had had a professional development. The diagnosis was rather mixed because even though a big shake up was underway, I didn't know what was going to happen to us. A life turned upside down. But Romain had a great team for his discovery, and has only good memories.
Diabetes is still not well known by the general public. How would you explain to someone what diabetes is and how it affects Romain's life and yours as parents on a daily basis?
Diabetes is an autoimmune disease that comes into one's life without one really knowing why. I find that like many diseases, the child loses much of his or her carefree spirit. As parents, we try to maintain this child's life as much as possible. But it's tiring sometimes.
The preconceived notion that you want to debunk at all costs?
I wish that T1D was known so that people wouldn't think "you must have eaten too much candy, you're contagious, or you can't eat what you want".
Tell us a positive or funny story about Romain's diabetes.
On the parents' side, Romain's diabetes has taught us tolerance and respect for others, and that not everything is visible. Romain would tell you that the most important thing about his illness is Naya, his service dog.
What advice would you give to someone who has just been diagnosed with diabetes?
I would say that you shouldn't try to be perfect all the time, that there are moments that are great and others that are not so great, but it's ok. Because life is made of ups and downs, and that's what builds us. Surround yourself with our beautiful t1d community and enjoy life ?
Kaio-Dia was created because many accessories were either boring, of poor quality, or uncomfortable. We would really like to continue to change this, as we have already started to do. To do this, we would like to know what you need, like, dislike or miss in your daily life. Romain's views as well as yours are welcome!
Romain needs fun items that don't interfere with his daily life or activities. His first armband stung and slipped off, another one felt like a tourniquet. He needs light and soft textures to wear and above all, ones that don't cause skin reactions. Now that Romain is in college, he would have liked́ a bag that could hold his pump (omnipod pod), his reader and strips, sugars... But not too big, Romain is a small size and that makes a bag "like everyone else" (I think in particular Eastpak bags) but with pockets or compartments more practical to quickly find his equipment.