Caleb is my second of three children. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of three in January 2007. He has used the OmniPod Insulin Management System since April 2007 and the DexCom Continuos Glucose Monitor since September 2009.
Minimizing Caleb’s disruption at school is paramount. Prioritizing this is less about restricting his classroom instruction, although that is an important right of his, but more about preserving his emotional health.
Every time Caleb has to perform a diabetes care task, it’s a reminder that he is different and that he has a burden from which those around him are free. It divides his attention from whatever is happening in his day, that those around him can give full attention. My goal is to minimize those disruptions, aka: reminders at the hope of avoiding burnout.
- In first grade we minimized visits to the nurse’s office. He checked in class and the nurse came to him.
- In third grade we removed the need for nurse supervision – he used a classroom phone to contact me when a care decision needed to be made.
- In fourth grade we utilized the school wifi system to allow him to text with me for added discretion.
- In sixth grade we introduced CGM in the Cloud.
In general, Caleb is more independent in his care. Where we used to have defined times to check in, now he checks in at his discretion.
There are even days when I don’t hear from him at all and the only diabetes task he has done at school is to bolus for lunch, and at that time, give Dexcom a look. On those days he’s had exactly one interruption to his day because of diabetes. Just one. It’s a taste of normalcy that struck me the first time it happened. It felt luxurious – like being pampered by not having to give this beast attention whenever it demanded it, which is something we’ve grown used to.
Because there are still beastly days, and you never really know when when they will be, we’re always on guard for it. So when the luxury days occur, they are relishable.
We’ve been able to eliminate the schedule because of Dexcom and CGM in the Cloud. We trust Dexcom. Caleb’s been using it for six years and the G4 has fantastic accuracy. We allow it to watch his blood sugar and let Caleb know when it needs attention. The addition of CGM in the Cloud means I also get alerts when Caleb’s blood sugar needs attention, no matter where he is.
We therefore think less about it. Neither of us wonder what might be happening. I’m not worried that he might be distracted and forgetting to address his blood sugar, Dexcom and Share2 are keeping watch for us.
We are allowed to forget about diabetes, even if it’s just for a little while, and it’s fantastic.
I am neither a doctor nor certified medical practitioner. How Caleb and I choose to manage his diabetes should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor any treatment decisions.
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