It was one of those days … I had been running around like crazy since dawn and still hadn’t had a minute to breathe. It was 5:45 pm and we had a huge group of family and friends coming over for a dinner party at 6. Evan hadn’t gotten home from work yet, and I was scrambling to get the dishes put away and set out food on the table.
In a panic, I started yelling directions to my kids: “Daniel, make sure the bathroom is okay … toilet paper, hand towel and no toothpaste on the mirror! Anna, help Jonathan clean up the toys he got out!” Then I start thinking, when was the last time I checked Kaitlyn? I yelled out, “Kaitlyn, what’s your number?”
I heard the answer, and my heart sank! Her blood sugar was high. I had been so busy running around all afternoon that I had completely neglected her diabetes. It was right before dinner, and it was clear that it would take quite a bit of time to get her numbers back in range. The longer we waited, the longer she would be sitting there with a high number, possibly going higher. I had no choice. I had about five minutes before our guests would arrive, but the dinner prep would just have to wait. Praying that my husband would walk in the door soon and save the day, I walked over to Kaitlyn to start figuring it out. I gave her an injection right away and then began to prepare her a new pump site.
Unlike a lot of other household chores, type 1 diabetes doesn’t wait. When life gets crazy, the laundry can sit in a pile, homework can be procrastinated, and the weeds can stay in the garden. However, if we put off diabetes tasks, it could lead to a medical emergency. Luckily, we’ve never gotten to that point, but I’ve heard of kids being hospitalized because their diabetes got neglected.
Unfortunately, I’m finding that I have more and more of these crazy days lately. My husband is always telling me that I do too much; but no matter how many times I try to cut stuff out of my schedule, it just seems to get busy again. It seems to be the world we live in — we’re pushed to the max on a regular basis. So what do we do to make sure diabetes doesn’t get put on the back burner when so many things are battling for our attention?
One thing that helps me is to make sure certain things are done in a timely manner so that fewer urgent situations arise. Site changes, for example, are something that I have a tendency to procrastinate. I sometimes forget when I need to change a site until Kaitlyn’s numbers start climbing. If I set alarms on my phone to change her site right on time, we usually can avoid site failures.
Another thing I try to do is to make sure her afternoon blood sugar check is done before we get too lost in homework and dinner prep. It’s the one time of day that seems to catch us by surprise. Again, I use alarms on my phone to help me remember to check and get a correction going well before dinner if she needs one.
Finally, I’m trying to teach Kaitlyn to take some initiative to speak up and come to me when she’s feeling out of range or if her continuous glucose monitor tells her that she’s high or low. The sooner she learns to keep a close eye on her levels, the better!
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.