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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Late May of 2014 he had a seizure again due to a hypo and I noticed this seizure wasn't normal it took him a very long time to recover from it but he did. The next morning he had no recollection of what happened as when the seizures occurred he lost his memory not only of that day but what he did the day before I had to sit with him and tell him everything we had done or he had done in the hope that he would remember. After that particular seizure I sat down with him and I told him how frightened I was. This was the man I loved with all my heart it broke me to see him suffer, to see him depressed. I wished and prayed every night that things would get better that he would get better. I would lie awake looking at him checking him, making sure he wasn’t hot or sweaty as I knew him sweating was a sign of a sugar low. I most definitely didn’t sleep deeply. But I didn’t mind I knew I had to be there for him when he became unwell. The talk we had on the Wednesday before he died well it seemed I finally got through and he started eating and checking his bloods more. 31st of May we had gone out for our nephew's first birthday he seemed happy and in good health things were good. We were due to go out that evening as well for a friend’s birthday.We came home and he said he would meet me later as he wanted to watch the boxing, I rang him at 9.30 he told me he was having a low and was going to get sugar but he was fine I asked if he wanted me to come home but he said no he would sort himself out and for me to go ahead and enjoy the night...

At about 2am I came home to find that Ross had sadly passed away, I cannot tell you what happened in the hours after, all I know was that I managed to call the ambulance and authorities took over and I hid upstairs in my bedroom. Tests afterwards showed that he had no food in his stomach and that he did have low blood sugar. For the past year myself and my 6 year old son have struggled through the motions of what we have lost and the suddenness of it. It doesn’t seem real. How were we not aware that this could happen. With a year behind us however I have decided I don't want anyone else to feel the pain that me and my son and Ross' family has felt, there is not much awareness of the dangers of diabetes the psychological problems that can arise from being diagnosed with the condition. I want Ross' story heard in order for people to realise how serious this condition is. 

I want to help young people accept their condition I want to be there for them support them and help them come to terms with life with diabetes. More importantly I want more awareness raised. There isn’t much support for myself and my son we have had to fight in order to get the help we needed. My son is still having to go through the motions of that. Seeing my son grieving for his dad is heart-breaking. I struggle seeing him so hurt. He also has nightmares and gets angry and confused. He is 
now 6 years old. His comfort is going to his dad’s grave and sitting there and talking to him. Watching him do that is a pain as a mother I can’t even describe. He should be taking comfort in his daddy’s arms not in a cemetery. I hope our story along with other stories help to change the way diabetes is spoken about. 

I hope that the dangers of the condition will be highlighted in order to protect people. I am currently in the process of setting up a group so I can support young people and carers. No one should have to feel alone or live in fear of this condition and I won’t let Ross' death be in vain, I will do all I can to raise awareness that’s so desperately needed and highlighting the dangers and Ross' story hopefully will help us do this. 

If you're affected by Ross' story or would like to someone about your own or someone else's diabetes, the charity Diabetes UK have a Careline you can contact - Call: 0345 123 2399*, Monday–Friday, 9am–7pm.

Or if you are in Scotland:carelinescotland@diabetes.org.uk

As time went on things got worse, the hypoglycemic attacks were getting more and more regular, the hospital tried changing his dosage trying to find the trigger. They changed the dosage of the insulin and at one point he had a blood monitor machine placed in him, this would track his bloody levels every 15 minutes. I hoped and prayed they would find the trigger and be able to sort it out and get the condition under control. The results showed that the condition made him more vulnerable when he was asleep. Between the hours of 1am and 5am his sugars would drastically drop and they believed this was why he was having the hypos leading to the seizures so again his medicine was changed.

For a while things seemed to get a little better finally I thought we had got control. However one day we were sat on the settee he had a sugar low our son was with us in the living room playing. I couldn’t get him to eat something sugary and the hypo again made him have a seizure. This frightened me and him. The seizures were now happening in the day. On a few occasions he had 
gone out and I had phone calls from the hospital to say he had been found on the street and taken to hospital by ambulance. Every time he left the house I started to worry for his safety. Low blood sugars were happening more regularly and everything became a battle I used to have to shout at him to eat something sugary when he was having a low literally shoving a spoonful of sugar down his throat, he fought me all the way and when these hypos happened he was a different person he 
was very defensive and angry and would fight me in every way, I knew however this wasn't him and that he was unwell. 

By the time I would get his levels back to normal I would be exhausted. When we moved into our new house I became more of a carer, the fits were regular, the hypos were happening multiple times a day he still hadn’t accepted it he was still in denial he wouldn't eat properly he would up his dosage of insulin if he felt he needed to, he was like a child. The fits that he was having started causing memory loss due to the severity of them, he couldn't hold a coherent conversation and struggled to hold a conversation in person and over the phone. People began to question his intelligence and the amount of times I got asked if he was mentally challenged was unreal. Every time I defended him, every time I would finish his sentences and if he needed to make phone calls I made them on his behalf.

I got to the point where I didn’t feel safe leaving our son in his care I know even he worried, he had completely lost control of the condition. The sugar lows almost always led to a seizure. My son used to get very frightened. It hurt Ross deeply to know his son was frightened for him. The psychological effects of what was going on took a massive effect. He became depressed, withdrawn isolated himself and suffered anxiety. He was frightened of every pain in his body and I was constantly along with his mum, dad and brother trying to reassure him he was ok. He started suffering nightmares so if the seizures weren’t waking myself and my boy up his nightmares did. I begged him to go to the doctors. I didn’t know what to do if I told someone about his condition, he would get angry I was backed against the wall. How was I supposed to get him the help he needed when he wouldn’t let me 
- Rhiannon 

If you're affected by Ross' story or would like to someone about your own or someone else's diabetes, the charity Diabetes UK have a Careline you can contact - Call: 0345 123 2399*, Monday–Friday, 9am–7pm.

Or if you are in Scotland:carelinescotland@diabetes.org.uk