Patricia Gómez Medel

Mother of two, who left her job to care for her daughter after she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She has since completed two diplomas in diabetes education.

I am Patricia Gómez and have two children: Miguel and Fernanda (Fer).

When Fer was 4 years and 7 months old, she started drinking a lot of water and going too frequently to the toilet. Her paediatrician ordered some medical exams for her, and we discovered that her blood glucose was very high (500 mg/dL). She spent four days in the hospital and underwent many more tests, but no one would tell me what was going on.

Once she left the hospital, we were referred to a paediatric diabetologist, who confirmed her type 1 diabetes diagnosis. He also told us that we needed to measure Fer's blood glucose levels before meals to inject the appropriate amount of insulin.

I had many questions which were left unanswered. At that moment, I only knew the most negative aspects of diabetes, and thought my daughter was going to die very soon. As a mother, I felt helpless, so I decided to quit my job and take Fer out of school so I could dedicate my entire time to her.

Three years later, we experienced a period of many changes. I had to go back to work, after a divorce left me in a very delicate economic and emotional situation. It was also time for Fer to go back to her old school, but the Director told us we needed to look for an alternative institution where Fer could be looked after better. It was the first time that we experienced this type of discrimination.

Everything changed when we met Dr Gilberto Mauricio at the Instituto de Diabetología. He taught us that diabetes can be controlled, and gave us the therapeutic education we needed to be able to properly self-monitor Fer's diabetes.

Fer's diabetes care costs amount to 525 USD each month – or a total of 6,300 USD per year. I do not see this as an expense though, rather an investment in my daughter's quality of life. We may only have holidays every four or five years, but thanks to our efforts Fer has never been hospitalized again and lives a full life without complications as a student at Guadalajara University.

After completing two diplomas, I have become a diabetes educator and that is my profession now.

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