Talk to young diabetics and it soon becomes clear that the disease requires a lot more than just physical adjustments. Children often feel isolated and rejected by their peers.
BY Ilse Salzwedel for YOU Pulse magazine
Ryno du Toit (6)
"The worst is that I can't just eat anything at parties. Special food must always be provided for me."
Megan Swanepoel (9)
"The children tease me," she tells us, her chest heaving with sobs.
Brandon Swanepoel (12)
"Since I started using an insulin pump and don't need to inject myself so regularly, the other children have started to accept me."
Rachel Lombaard (11)
"The worst is that I have to inject myself six or eight times a day. The children at school tease me when I feel bad or get nauseous and start shivering." When she began using a diabetic pump the children tried to grab it from her because they thought it was an iPod.
(This is an extract from an article that originally appeared in YOU Pulse / Huisgenoot-POLS magazine, Summer 2007. The current edition is on sale now.)