Friday, February 3, 2023

The Neuquen avatar that symbolizes diabetes in Argentina

His name is Ignacio Martin, but he prefers to be called Nacho; And his drawing became the embodiment of the Pediatric Committee of the Argentine Diabetes Society (SAD). He is 9 years old and lives in Plotier. He plays football, runs, walks to school, jumps and rides a bike. He has a million friends. But his life took a 360-degree turn when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in mid-2020.

He was very thirsty and he ate eagerly. Suddenly he also started urinating and his family saw him becoming thin and pale. He did not know then that he had all the symptoms of childhood diabetes. “He doesn’t sleep first,” his mother recalled. They had to check their blood sugar values ​​every three hours, and they didn’t really know what they were dealing with. But with time everyone in the house learned to cope with Nacho’s situation. He learned to eat again and embraced a new, more vigorous lifestyle.

Nacho is such a resilient kid that he has already incorporated nine injections or more as part of the day his body receives the insulin that his pancreas no longer secretes. Every time you eat something, it stings like in your fingers, legs or arms. However, he is a little warrior who has it clear and teaches everyone with every word that comes out of his mouth.

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Nacho Diabetes Grado 1 Avatar 1Jpg

Maria Isabel Sanchez

When I ask him about his illness and how he deals with it, he quickly corrects me: “It’s not a disease, it’s a condition Because it doesn’t stop me from doing anything. I can eat, go to school, play soccer, run, jump, and ride a bike. You don’t need to be afraid. It’s just like falling off a bike, getting up and continuing“, he expressed. On his side, his doctor looked at him with the widest smile, and it shows how proud he is of his achievements as a patient. It is that Nacho is soft and reassuring. Listen to him After, it seems possible to weather any storm. He has a heavy bag for life, but he makes it look so light.

“She’s very resilient. Everything she receives turns into something positive,” cautions Florencia Grabois, MD, a pediatrician and childhood diabetes specialist at Castro Rendon Hospital. So Nacho talks about a condition, not an autoimmune disease. “It is that as long as you have all the tests you can lead a normal life,” said his doctor.

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Nacho Diabetes Grado 1 Avatar 8Jpg

Maria Isabel Sanchez

Of course, getting this far would not have been possible without the support of his parents and his younger brother Zuriel. They are its pillars, and addressing childhood diabetes with positive outcomes requires working as a team with the support of a team of professionals that includes nutritionists from Plottier. They all fight for a better quality of life for patients with childhood diabetes.

“It was difficult in the beginning. We didn’t know what we were going to find. We were afraid to prick him and it would hurt. But we’ve found we can keep at it. It was a learning experience for all ” Viviana Sagredo and Ezequiel Martin, Nacho’s parents.

From the beginning, Grabois found that whatever Nacho incorporated as new or learning could be expressed on paper or in murals. “He could represent his diabetes, hyper- and hypoglycemia-related actions very beautifully, which we were later able to share with other patients in the office and through the network. This generated a virtuous—and therapeutic—circle In which Nacho was like an artist who built a bridge with other children and with type 1 diabetes,” said the professional. Art as a method of therapy and the added value of fulfilling a social function.

A few months ago, the Argentine Diabetes Society launched a competition to create an avatar that represents a child with diabetes. He proposes it to Nacho and he immediately says yes, wondering how he can do it. Thus was born the award-winning painting that is now displayed in the waiting room of the Casa de Specialidades Paediatricas of the Castro Rendón Hospital on Buenos Aires Street.

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Nacho Diabetes Grado 1 Avatar 3Jpg

Maria Isabel Sanchez

What does the painting represent?

“I first figured out what I could a dragon. It represents my mother, my father and my younger brother who help me a lot. and i amChild, Avatar. i have in one hand a pen that looks like a sword; And the blue circle is a shield, which symbolizes diabetes. (Worldwide). Together, the boy and the dragon help maintain order and the other children,” said Nacho.

At first, she wanted to paint the dragon black, but her mother suggested that it be multicolored. yellow represents joy; red blood; gray and black, fear; green, welfare; Pink, love and blue, diabetes.

The pen looking like a sword in the picture is no minor detail as in real life type 1 diabetes patients are the ones who provide insulin every time they prick themselves.

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Nacho Diabetes Grado 1 Avatar 4Jpg

Maria Isabel Sanchez

Nacho receives a prize for this sketch and is also given a watch that has the feature of marking other indicators such as oxygen and tension in the blood. You can also send a message to your parent’s cell phone when your blood sugar is too high or too low. That is, it is a clock that helps in controlling your diabetes.

Other devices that improve quality of life

In addition to the watch, Nacho wears something similar to a patch on one arm called freestyle, It is an extremely important tool to improve your quality of life, as it allows permanent control of blood glucose values, which can vary due to other factors such as emotions. His mother said, “With the matches of the national team, it was suffering for Argentina and for those who had very high values. That’s why it’s a day, and you learn a lot.”

Unfortunately, not all patients have access to this device, although by law all social and prepaid functions must cover one hundred percent of all supplies.

There is also the insulin pump, another fundamental device that provides hormones to pass through the body as needed. But public health still does not include it as a mandatory input. However, there is Law 23753, which provides for 100% coverage and inclusion of all treatments and advances that make up the health of patients with diabetes.

“I would like it to be easy to access and it should be equally and for everyone”Nacho’s father said. And in his innocence, Nacho finally says that he dreams of eating some banana candy.

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Nacho Diabetes Grado 1 Avatar 6Jpg

Maria Isabel Sanchez

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