Interview with Roxana Reynolds, Author of 'Help My Child Has Type 1 Diabetes'

As the mother of a child with Type 1 diabetes, Roxana Reynolds saw the need for easy-to-understand, accurate and helpful information for parents in her position.

Three months ago, her book, "Help My Child Has Type 1 Diabetes," was released – a project four years in the making. The back cover explains what Roxana's book has to offer:

Having a child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is a shock and all sorts of feelings and emotions are experienced. The aim of this book is to give parents or carers knowledge and confidence, from understanding about ketones to going on holiday. It also includes 'real stories' from parents that are in the same dilemma.

We had the opportunity to ask Roxana a few questions about her book and what it's like to be a parent of a child with Type 1 diabetes.

What inspired you to write this book?

When my son, Eddie, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the tender age of 2 (he is coming up on 16), it was very isolating as back then there were no support groups and very little information was readily available. In spite of having Type 1 diabetes myself, I was mortified my baby had this relentless disease 24/7. I knew I had to take stock of the situation to enable me to take the best possible care of my son.

I read everything that was related to Type 1 diabetes. This disease wasn't going to take over me or my son. I was going to be in control!

A few years later, when Facebook started, I set up a support group called "What mums and dads need to know to help children with type 1 diabetes." I couldn't believe how many children were being diagnosed, and the ignorance surrounding this disease was huge.

Initially I had just a handful of members, and I personally helped them. Now, years later, with 2,500 members, everyone helps each other.

It appeared many parents were struggling to come to terms with the diagnosis of their child in spite of help from their diabetes clinics. I decided to set up a website with basic facts that parents could relate to. Everything from ketones, food, carb counting – anything remotely connected to care and management.

I realised there were plenty of books on Type 1 but none relating to actually having a Type 1 child plus all the relevant information. So my book began.

Four years later, it was completed and was published three months ago. Already it has benefited parents, carers, family members and teachers. At this time, my book has received 25 five-star ratings on Amazon UK.

How can your book help parents of type 1 diabetic children?

My book is written in an easy way without the medical jargon. Anyone can understand the information. Experiences with my son, Eddie, are mentioned plus real diagnosis stories and all the relevant information to care/manage Type 1 diabetes in children.

What do you think is the most important thing when it comes to parenting a child who has type 1 diabetes?

The most important thing when it comes to parenting a child who has Type 1 diabetes is knowledge.

Knowledge = Empowerment = Control

You need to be disciplined and able to manage your child's condition.

What have you found to be the most challenging thing about having a child with type 1 diabetes?

The most challenging aspect of having a child with Type 1 diabetes is every single day is different. You have to contend with illness, exercise, heat, stress, lack of appetite, hormones and growth spurts – plus you have to measure food, count carbs, test blood glucose levels and give correct insulin doses. You have to be vigilant as day in day out you and your child are on a roller coaster ride. I guess the whole aspect of diabetes is a challenge.

Do you have plans to write more books about diabetes in the future?

I am currently working on my next book for adolescents and adults with Type 1.

Click here to purchase "Help My Child Has Type 1 Diabetes" on Amazon (US).

Click here to purchase "Help My Child Has Type 1 Diabetes" on Amazon (UK).

Roxana is a hairdresser and holistic therapist who lives with her husband and two sons in Bournemouth, UK. She enjoys writing, reading, walking her two dogs, Pilates and yoga.

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