A family living well with type 1 diabetes.

Posts tagged ‘diabetes at school’

Happy Little Free Food

I can’t be the only D-parent that makes happy faces out of the zero when writing out the carb counts for school snacks, can I?


Enabling Independence.

Jenna is almost half way through her first year of school. She loves school! Kindergarten has been fun, exciting and full of growth and learning, not just for Jenna but for me as well. I’ve come quite a way from the worried and nervous mom I was at the start of the school year.

We have a routine now and it seems to be working quite nicely. We have found ways of doing things to ensure that Jenna has virtually the same opportunities as any child does while attending kindergarten and still remains safe. I can, in part, credit her student support worker (SSW), her teacher and the school for this success.

Oh sure, we’ve had a couple of hiccups along the way. We are, after all, blazing a bit of a trail here. There aren’t many children with diabetes as young as Jenna and on an insulin pump in the school system here. And every family has their different ways of managing their child’s diabetes. But with good communication and the setting aside of some egos, we (myself and the staff) have managed to maintain respect for one another’s perspectives while achieving our common goal of ensuring Jenna is safe and happy while at school.

At the start of the school year we set a goal for Jenna to start doing some of her own bolusing by Christmas while she is at school with the supervision of her SSW and with my telephone guidance. Presently, I go to the school twice a day, for morning snack and lunch to administer her insulin doses as no staff members at the school are permitted to do so. However, Christmas time is never a good time to initiate a new plan. So we all agreed to hold off until the new year when the dust of the holidays has settled and we are back into the groove at school.

So here we are, well over three weeks into the new year and back into our routine. Jenna is no stranger to bolusing herself with either my or her dad’s supervision. We have handed her her pump and walked her through the process on many occasions. But her motivation is lacking because, well, she’s a kid and she doesn’t want to have to take the time to engage in such tedious matters as inputting carb info and blood sugar results into a mini computer to receive an insulin dose recommendation then input that number and press GO prior to eating a yummy snack — not when Mommy can do it in a third of the time while Jenna can dig in and enjoy social time with her friends.

What kid would want to do that?

But, of course, she has to do that. This is the next small step in Jenna’s slow journey toward independence. So we’ve developed a little incentive program for her at school with the help of her teacher. Jenna is expected to give herself her snack bolus three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with supervision from her SSW and my counsel via mobile phone. She will receive a check mark on a special chart that her teacher has devised and at the end of the week, provided she has met her three-check goal, she gets special play time privileges and she gets to chose a friend to join her for this reward.

Sounds great, right? Well, we shall see. This plan is to be implemented today. In fact, I am going to park outside the school in about a half an hour to do our first phone bolus and still be close enough in case any unforeseen issues should arise. I slid the little, bare-bones cell phone we purchased last week into Jenna’s lunch kit this morning, ready for that first call. I will keep you posted.

The other little dilemma was, how do I provide a mobile phone for Jenna to use at the school to communicate with me for bolusing without it seeming to my 8 year old daughter –who is already asking, and has been for some time now, when she will get her own cell phone– like I am giving my 5 year old her own cell phone? I have had to be careful of language; I don’t refer to the cell phone as “Jenna’s cell phone”. That would give the wrong message to both girls. I explain that it is Mommy and Daddy’s cell phone. Of course, it was a bit of a hard sell for Jaz. But she does understand. Incidentally, Jaz has been bolusing Jenna lately on some occasions as well, and she is a pro at it. Yes, things are progressing nicely. My little girls are growing up.

It’s bittersweet, really.

Update: SHE DID IT! She just gave herself her first bolus without J or I present! I heard her little voice over the phone and I distinctly heard pride as she input the info and pressed GO, giving herself her insulin dose without me there. And I find myself oddly emotional about this rather huge step toward her independence. It reminds me of the first time either of my girls tried solid food after being strictly breastfed. Ah, but it’s all good. She’s taking the reigns. Slowly but surely, she is taking charge. :)


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