How Diabetes affects our child at school
Thomas’s teacher recommended a really good idea because Thomas was a little uncomfortable just leaving the class to go the nurse and coming back. So the teacher recommended that we could have someone from the class actually walk him down to the nurse, and each day it would be someone different. Then he would have a buddy there and then he would have a buddy on the way back so he wouldn’t feel uncomfortable. And it gave his classmates that short period of time to actually learn a little about diabetes and see what Thomas goes though on a daily basis.
The kids are curious about it
Sometimes she struggles with the pump at school because she feels very self-conscious about it. So, one of our plans is to have us go into the classroom maybe later after the holidays. My husband has a pump and will have some of the students at the school come and talk about diabetes and show their pumps. And maybe play a little computer game, Pump Expeditions, in the computer lab. Most of the kids are quite curious about it.
The other thing that I think has been really helpful is that her elementary school has two full time nurses. One nurse is just devoted to the children with diabetes, so she’s been very good with the kids and she’s become educated about using the pump and dealing with the kids’ emotions of having to go down to the nurse every day.
In my meetings with Stephanie’s 504 coordinator, we just go through her daily routine. What her snacks are going to be, what time her snacks are going to happen, what days she has gym class. We just kind of make a plan and if something changes, it’s not a big deal. Like, we have the MCAS exam coming up and we were talking about a plan because she would be checking in the middle of her MCAS. That means she’ll be leaving her classroom, going to the nurse, missing that time in class, and going back to class. So we came up with a plan that she’d go down and check with the nurse, check her sugar, get her where she’s supposed to be at, she would go to back to class. She would take her meter back to her class just for that specific time just for her MCAS. If she needed to, she would have juice on her desk or a little snack or something if she felt low. If she felt high, she would check then. The teacher would call the nurse, tell her Stephanie’s number, and she would get directions from the nurse. She would just do that all there instead of missing the whole time going down to the nurse, going back up.
How Diabetes affects my child’s social life
Our daughter is quite comfortable sharing her experience with her friends. She finds new friends to be fascinated with the intricacies of blood sugar monitoring and her OmniPod PDM. Other children have consistently reacted with positive interest when they learn about her diabetes, so she does not feel that it is something she needs to hide.
Making smart choices
See, it’s different if your child’s diagnosed when they’re a teenager, but Billy was seven. By the time he was a teenager he knows why he eats the way he does and so if he goes out with his friends, he might have a diet soda, which I don’t like the ingredients in but certainly he can have it. We don’t have that in the house, so that might be something he would have with his friends. Or he might go out for pizza, but he would tend to get salad and a slice of pizza. He might go out for ice cream with them, but then again, he’s not going to go out and have a soda, a pizza, and ice cream. What he tends to do is he’ll have something, but not so much that it’s going to rattle his health or his blood sugar control.
She blossomed so much
During the summer, she was in a community theater production of the Wizard of Oz and it was an intense time. A lot of rehearsals, practices, and costume things. A lot of time on our part to sit there with her from 6 to 11 o’ clock at night for all the rehearsals and performances, but we really made that commitment. She’s blossomed so much because of that. The people all there knew she had diabetes and occasionally she would need to have a snack, but they just went on and she had the best time. They were very accepting.