Tuesday, August 28, 2007

T1 Kids--How do you handle diabetes care at school?

Today is day two of second grade for my sweet girl. Day one was awesome. Her teacher was prepared, the Teacher's Assistant who cares for her was on hand and ready. Her blood sugars were 92 for morning snack, 112 for lunch and 85 for afternoon snack. Hooray!

Then today, well actually last night, she was 92 at 11:00 p.m. My husband checked her at 2:00 a.m and she was 174. He didn't know she was 92 earlier, so he only did a partial correction. This morning she was 275. Hmmm. I pause, but figure since she didn't get the full correction last night, things might be OK, after all it is only day two of her infusion set. I correct and we head to school.

Morning snack 230, obviously not great, but lower than before. Lunch, 212, OK, lower and its a post morning snack number, but still not great. Afternoon snack, 427. So up to the school my hubby goes to give her a shot (we live a half block from school). She'll be home in 45 minutes, so we decided to wait on changing the infusion set.

Then I went to pick my girl up after school and her teacher was a basket case. She was SOOOO worried that she screwed up. She said, "I should have seen it coming."

I let her know in no uncertain terms that she cannot claim responsibility for my daughter's blood sugar numbers. It is her job to teach her, get to know her and keep and eye out for the symptoms we discussed for almost an hour and a half. I said that if she is worried at all, to ask my girl to take her blood sugar and to call me if there are issues. Her diabetes management is OUR responsibility and we will do our best to care for her with the information we are given each day.

Now, I should say that my daughter has been under the supervision of one Teacher's Assistant since she started Kinder at the school. It took some months of cajoling the administration, but everyone finally agreed that having one person watch over her care (we have no full-time nurse) was better than her, at five years-old, trying to figure out which of the five people at the school was supposed to help her three times per day.

This angel of a TA named Molly is loving and tender and watchful over my girl. She also cares for several children with Autism and Down Syndrome, but every single day at 9:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. she is in the room watching blood sugars be taken, writing down the numbers, helping count and add total carbs, monitoring the pump entries and trouble shooting with me on the phone if there are issues or she just thinks my girl just looks a little off today.

Molly knows my child and loves her dearly and this system has worked great for us. I hate the idea of a teacher being responsible for teaching, managing nearly 20 kids and giving her full attention to my child's diabetes. I like the teacher being an active participant, but not the care provider. It works for us.

Tell me how your little one gets care while at school. What is your biggest worry? Do you trust the people/system caring from you child?


Carey said...

We'll know next week when Charlie starts kindergarten. He didn't go to preschool so it's very new and scary for us.

Prior to the first day of school, we're going in to prepare the staff for Charlie. We've requested they hire a health aid specifically for Charlie. I also don't like the idea of his teacher having Charlie's blood sugars on her plate on top of the regular challenge of teaching 20 kids.

The school, it seems, is very nervous about Charlie's arrival.

Anonymous said...

Hello Wendy,

You seem like quite the practical and loving young mother. Because your family is living with diabetes, I thought you might be interested in helping out the International Diabetes Federation.

We are in the midst of our preparations for the first UN-observed World Diabetes Day ( on 14 November this year, and I wanted to ask you if you would like to help us to spread awareness of this worldwide event and the theme we have chosen for it this year - Diabetes in Children and Adolescents.

It is estimated that over 200 children develop type 1 diabetes every day and there's no question that the disease often hits disadvantaged communities the hardest, and that children in the developing world can die because their parents are unable to afford medication. In many countries diabetes is still considered an adult disease and as a result can be diagnosed late with severe consequences, including death. Even after diagnosis many children experience poor control and develop complications early.

This is why one of our key objectives for World Diabetes Day this year is to double the number of children covered by the Life for a Child Program - We also want to encourage initiatives that can help to reduce diabetic ketoacidosis (diabetic coma) and to promote the sort of healthy lifestyles which can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes in children.

A version of the diabetes circle, the icon we used for our Unite for Diabetes campaign has now been adopted for World Diabetes Day and we have produced a number of web banners that you can view and download here

The way in which you can help us spread awareness of World Diabetes Day is to add one of the banners to your own blog, which we would really appreciate.

The UN's World Diabetes Day Resolution (61/225) was really just the first goal of an ambitious campaign that we have been leading. This is the first time a non-communicable disease has been recognised as a serious threat to global public health and we are hoping now to further raise awareness globally of the disease that is predicted to contribute to 6% of the world’s mortality in 2007.

If you would like to know more about the UN Resolution and our plans for World Diabetes Day this year, just drop me a line at, and I will get back to you with more information.

Many thanks,
Stephanie Tanner
IDF - Communications Assistant

Anonymous said...


Thank you kindly for posting the World Diabetes Day banner on your site. In case you are interested, here is a news update as we are 56 days from World Diabetes Day.

*A Monumental Challenge – Global monuments to light up in blue
This year we are asking every city, town and village to acknowledge World diabetes Day and recognize diabetes as “a chronic, debilitating and costly disease associated with severe complications, which poses severe risks for families.”

We need monuments of local and national importance – from the village hall to the tallest tower – to light up in the color blue of the UN flag (Pantone 279 or as near as possible).

Among the monuments involved, we can count the Empire State Building in New York, the Citadel and Library in Alexandria, the Blue Mosque in Turkey and the London Eye. An up-to-date list of the buildings that have thus far agreed or declined to join the celebrations can be found on the World Diabetes Day website.

We need your help in adding monuments to the list. Let us know the monuments you are pursuing and those that have declined.

Thank you for your support,
Stephanie Tanner
IDF - Communications Assistant

Jon said...

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