This is just a post to give you a little view into the life of a type 1 family.
We are almost 2 weeks into the new school year, and all of the hard work we did over the summer time to bring Stella’s BG numbers into range seem to be working. (said with fingers and toes crossed while burning sage and throwing sugar free cookies on the altar of the diabetes gods). We essentially tripled her daily insulin dosage between basal rates, carb ratios, and insulin sensitivity settings. A massive change in routine, like being home for summer, and then going back to school can wreak havoc with blood sugar. It is an awfully stressful time for a type 1 parent. We were a little concerned that some adjustments would need to be tweaked further, but as of now, we are holding steady. With one exception
We pack Stella’s lunch everyday. It is generally consistent day to day, with a sandwich, a fruit, a yogurt, and/or a snack of some kind. Day to day, the carb counts are fairly similar. Stella goes to the nurses office 5 minutes before lunch starts to have her blood sugar tested and insulin administered. The nurse does that based on the carb counts we have provided and her current BG reading. Everyday, we count the carbs and write the number on a note in the lunch box so the nurse knows how many carbs to use. Sounds easy, right?
See, here’s the funny thing about diabetes. On a good day, diabetes doesn’t care about routines, or things that are normal, average, or the same. Diabetes doesn’t care that she eats the same PB&J sandwich with the same yogurt and the same 16 ounce milk. Diabetes is perfectly okay with giving us wildly different results. And while she’s at school, we aren’t there, nor are the dogs, to have someone fix it before she hits 300. Or 50. And that’s on a GOOD day.
Now add in the issue of her school schedule. Every other day Stella switches between art and PE after lunch. Two wildly different ways for her body to deal with blood sugar. On PE days, we used to deduct some carbs from her lunch count because she would burn it off with exercise. And on days she has art, we would give her all the carbs. But here in Southern California in August and September, it’s still hot. And when the heat exceeds a certain temperature, they cancel PE. So if we gave her free carbs, her BS sky rockets. AHHHH!!!!
It’s bad enough to have to remember whether it’s art day or PE day. Since they do every other day, we can’t even say every Mon, Wed, Fri is PE, Tue- Thurs is art. We have to remember what class she has daily, we have to look at the weather report, we have to hope that’s all accurate. And we make all of these decisions before our first cup of coffee in the morning. It’s crazy all of the hoops this disease forces you to jump through. . Especially when you aren’t there to protect and care for your child.
And even if we nail all of that, Laurie will get a call late in the day from the teacher saying “Today is Suzy’s birthday and her mom surprised us with an ice cream party!”. Those kinds of things are supposed to get 2 weeks advanced notice. But more often than not, we get same day, 30 minute advanced notice. And of course we want Stella to participate. Could you imagine being the child sitting by yourself while 31 other kids had ice cream? While it’s 95 degrees? So off to school Laurie goes to bolus our daughter. I can’t even imagine how parents that don’t work from home make this work.
Just another day in the life…