There are so many great things about type 1 diabetes management today. I love the tools we have to use. Since James’ diagnosis, every single aspect of care has gotten better in so many ways. We have better pumps, better continuous glucose monitors (CGM), and better meters, and I LOVE it. Technology helps makes James’ life — and, by extension, mine — so much better!
It also means that all of our devices need care and attention. I’ve talked before about the logistics of charging all of our awesome devices and found some good solutions for the physical location of the charging stations. I also realized that I needed some good time-management strategies for making sure that James’ meter, phone, CGM, and pump are all charged up and ready to go when he is.
Also, with James’ busy schedule, I feel like it’s getting more difficult to make sure we take a few thoughtful moments every day to think about things like making adjustments to his insulin regimen, inspecting his pump sites (and changing as needed), and other aspects of diabetes management.
I came up with a good solution with a silly name, a tweak following in our grand tradition of tweaks. I call it the “Hour of Power.” For us, the Hour of Power works best when James gets home from school. The name is quite literal in that at this time, I take his devices and make sure they are totally charged! But in addition to plugging them in, I also take that time to make sure that everything is functioning properly in our diabetes regimen. I look over his CGM graphs, his meter record, and our schedule, and I see if we need to make any adjustments. I look through supplies and make sure we’ve got enough. I might make a call to our endocrinology team or to the school. I try to remember to talk to James about how things are going throughout his day.
It’s really helping me to stay on top of this responsibility. Just like assigning a physical place for the chargers for his diabetes devices, I’ve assigned a specific time period to assure that I am constantly reviewing his numbers and thinking mindfully about what we can be doing better. With this tweak, we make sure to make time for this important task every school day, no matter how busy.
As diabetes management has, in many ways, gotten more complicated for us, I feel an ever stronger need to make things as stress-free as possible. Just a few minutes of mindful concentration about diabetes has allowed us to step up our game and adjust as James grows. By limiting it to ONLY a few minutes (or an “hour”) a day, it means that the other 23 hours each day can be less stressful.
James’ growing responsibility is on my mind all the time. What I’m doing now will be his job in just a few years! Because of this, I am not only looking for better ways to manage his blood sugar but also to make things increasingly LESS complicated and more likely to become a permanent part of his diabetes management. I’m hoping that by setting up this time period now, it will become a deeply sown habit for him, one that he’ll keep throughout his life.
And that’s how we roll here. We call it the Hour of Power, but it’s really about a whole life, built on the idea that simple habits are what make for a healthy and happy one.
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.