Happy Halloween

Tonight is Halloween. The time when all the ghouls and ghosts, witches and all manner of supernatural things come out to play. We all get dressed up, play games and search for sweets and chocolate.Made into a massive holiday from America, this day is becoming more and more popular. It is one of our favourite times in our house.

Generally I find there are two types of Halloween people. The people who put there efforts into the costume and master the art of dressing up the people who work on their houses and create the most elaborate spooky haunted houses for people to visit.
As all my kids forage for candy each year we with 5 under 10s are dressers up. Luckily for us my parents go to town to decorate their house and have now got a sizeable collection of creepy, scary items so they can transform their garden into a haunted house. 
We love Halloween. Carefully choosing our outfits for the kids, walking round in the dark getting together with our other friends with more children than sense ha ha. Me and Mrs Berg love joining in. This year we are bananas, in every sense of the word. 
As you can see we never leave our house undecorated. As part of our tradition we all carve pumpkins and leave them outside. Over the years I have become rather a good pumpkin carver and pride myself in developing my pumpkin carving skill each year. The kids draw up a design. Hollow out the pumpkins and then I carve them to there design. I always do one myself too because I’m such a big kid. 
This year we have a rather serious dilemma in that it’s the first year since my son was diagnosed with Type 1. What do we do about all the sweets he and his siblings will gather? Is it fair for him to see? Is it fair for him to be excluded? Well it is each parents own decision as to how to respond. Obviously banning sweets altogether would be the preferred choice. Some people just carb count the sweets and let them consume as much as they want. There was even a clever parent I read about who bought toys for his neighbours to give to his son as he did the rounds.
We definitely don’t want to exclude him from collecting the sweets as that is a big part of the festivities. Also we would find a certain awkwardness from requesting from everyone at the door a Diabetic alternative. So he collects as normal but when he gets home he can pick a handful of his favourites (to eat in smaller carb counted portions throughout the week) and the rest he can trade to us for a prize. Thankfully the promise of Lego can be our greatest ally in the fight against diabetes. 
I find that their is a lot more to do on Halloween than sweets so we like to concentrate on bringing the family together for games and carving pumpkins, telling spooky stories and scaring each other, and finally sitting down at my mums haunted mansion after a cold night out and eating Potato Hash. 
I will show you our photos of our night tomorrow. 
I wish you all a spooky, scary Halloween. I hope you have a good time.


Diabetes Awareness Week – Final Thoughts

So it is nearing the end of Diabetes Awareness week, and I just wanted to share a quick post just to thank everyone this week who have been involved personally and generally with spreading awareness.

It has been nice to see so much support within the Diabetic community we have just joined, there is so much help, advice and care out there for Type 1’s, I really feel my son is in safe hands.

I want to take this opportunity to thank out own Diabetic team in Burnley and Blackburn, they are now part of the family. I know 24 hrs a day they are at the end of a phone, and no medical team I know of previously has insisted on so much involvement.

2015-06-19 10.47.05

In the next year, we will be getting more involved, I already plan on running at least the Manchester Marathon for JDRF along with other similar fundraising runs, also Mrs Berg is already planning a sponsored cycle. I know the kids will also want to do some things as well.

It will all be in the blog, so keep reading and hopefully next year I will be able to provide a total of money donated and a list of helpful ways Bergs Place has contributed to such an impressive and doting community.

The day that changed my life

The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. Baz Luhrman – Wear Sunscreen

This is the quote that came to mind when the nurse conclusively diagnosed my son as having type 1 diabetes.

Although it had crossed our mind several times over the years, including the last few days that prompted our action, I had never really believed it would become a tangible reality. Thoroughly taking the ‘it happens to someone else’ approach.

Mrs Berg has a sixth sense about these things though, although that’s not giving her the credit she deserves. Instead it is more accurate to say that Mrs Berg is very good at diagnosis. And therefore after a week on holiday with constant visits to the toilet, and his head in the sink glugging down water, we booked a doctors appointment.

In the doctors office Mrs Berg insisted that he was tested for diabetes.

I received a phone call from Mrs Berg in tears to explain that our son was being rushed to hospital, his blood glucose level had been in the 30’s and he needed urgent attention. At this point I had no idea how serious this was, or what a blood glucose level was. I rushed to the hospital anyway. To be with my son. My normal 7 year old. What I didn’t realise was that it would seem that the little boy I had got dressed this morning would disappear, and that we would all at some point mourn his loss.

This is not strictly true, but it is a feeling that translated our thoughts over the next couple of months.

For now I sat by my son holding his anxious hand, trying to reassure him that the needle won’t hurt very much. He has a fear of needles, something that I now find ironic. After his tests and a long wait, we are finally told what we didn’t want to hear. He was confirmed with Type 1 Diabetes, he would have to stay in hospital until his blood sugars were stable.

It was like a serene bubble. I was not upset, I don’t think I understood fully what it meant. Even Mrs Berg was speechless. When one of the kids is in hospital, I go home with the other 4 and Mrs Berg stays with the one staying in. For me this was a chance to go home and think. But my wife had to stay, these first couple of days were the worst, because we were apart and bombarded.

When I finally got to her only the next day, it was the first time I had seen her so ashen faced, and distraught. It was one of the few times I had seen her voluntarily leave the hospital to go home and rest. It was my turn to stay in with my son. After only a few hours it was easy to see why.

Even with the time I had had to get my head round it, I was still left feeling overwhelmed within the first couple of hours. Diabetes, I soon found, was a very time consuming, involved disease, that required constant management. Like a good father I was determined to do whatever I could to learn everything I could about his condition. It turns out that this is a lot.

First the procedure of the blood sugar tests. Which at this stage involved pinning my son down each time. Followed by lots of sobbing. These occurred round the clock. 2am, 5am, 8am, the poor lad never got a rest. Then, also intermittent injections of insulin, with bigger needles. Members of the diabetic team came round with long talks/lessons about diabetes. We even attended a seminar about diabetes.

This was all in the one night I was there. No wonder Mrs Berg needed time at home. By the time my shift was done I had enough paperwork to rival any text book.

We were just in shock, and the more we heard about diabetes the more upset we got.
But, Mrs Berg was back, she had time to have a cry and get settled enough to come back fighting. I had had a rest and had begun my education, I was a lot better informed. Most importantly my son had started to accept that he had to have needles poked in him, and that this was not going to stop.

I would like to thank at this stage the Diabetes Team in the hospital. They have been (and continue to be) such a valuable support group during what was our families darkest hour. They went through everything we needed to know, provided reassurance, counselling, and guidance. Putting true emphasis on the person who mattered, my son, and making him feel comfortable and at ease with the thing that changed his life so rapidly.
They set out a plan, provided free equipment and lessons in how to manage his condition.

Today we still have weekly appointments and still have so much to learn.

In our time in hospital we learned a lot about diabetes but we didn’t realise at the time how much more was still to come. However it changed us into something new, an ambassador for our child, against diabetes. Devoted to managing our sons life long condition.

So that was the day my life changed, our families life changed, but it was just the beginning.

Ultimately I am today left feeling grateful that my son has something that I can help and contribute to help manage for him. The disease did come out of the blue, and I could have been left without a son to look after. This way I can work towards helping my son, and feel that my actions go towards making his life better.