The 'Honeymoon' Phase
In the beginning of treatment, the child may experience what is known as the 'honeymoon' time.
This period of time, in which the disease seems to have left, is actually a time of remission. It may begin a few weeks or months after a person with type 1 diabetes starts insulin treatment. The dosage may decrease and the parents may feel elated that their child no longer has diabetes. The sad news is that they still do. The pancreas has found some new strength after a boost from the insulin injections. The pancreas will try to work a while before the cells are all destroyed by the body's immune system. This period can last from two weeks to two years.
It is very important that the honeymoon phase isn't mistaken as a reprieve from the disease. Parents may feel their child no longer needs insulin, but they do. The insulin will help their pancreas function effectively and preserve the beta cells a while longer.
When Sawyer left the hospital, he was on nine units of long-acting insulin. In less than two weeks, he was down to one unit. His blood sugars were under very tight control and his carb ratio needed adjustment to prevent hypoglycemic episodes. Even that one unit of insulin has a significant effect on the body's sugar metabolism and it is very important that the child receives their medication.
The honeymoon is a wonderful time of remission but follow-up care should not be neglected. It is important to keep in close contact with your child's endocrinologist and diabetic nurse. Together, you can create an effective plan of diet, exercise, and insulin dosage to ensure that your child remains healthy. With proper management, a type 1 diabetic can lead a long, healthy, and complication free life, long after the honeymoon is over.