I’ve talked a lot about how we love Kaitlyn’s continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system. It has completely changed the way we manage her diabetes, and some days I can’t imagine how we did without it for so long. It’s helped tremendously with keeping her blood sugar numbers in range and giving us peace of mind. As with everything diabetes-related … it has also come with a few worries.
When Kaitlyn first got her CGM system, we were hesitant to send it to school. We were worried about it for many reasons. For one, we thought it would be quite a distraction, because at first she treated it like a shiny new toy. Even at home, it was hard for her to focus on her homework and other chores, because she was looking at it all the time. We knew that it would be the same story at school. We also worried about the alarms going off in class. We had her system set to alarm if she went too high or too low, which unfortunately happens on a pretty regular basis. Even with precise counting, regular checks and continual tweaking of basal rates and carb ratios, Kaitlyn goes out of range more than I’d like to admit.
The third reason we were hesitant to send the CGM to school was that we were worried about her taking care of it. Even with insurance covering part of the cost, we paid a good chunk of money to get the system, and we didn’t want it to get lost or broken.
After much deliberation, we decided to give it a try and sent it with Kaitlyn to school. The first couple of weeks weren’t perfect. We got a lot of calls from the nurse and caused Kaitlyn’s teacher some extra work, but overall it seemed like the benefits of having it outweighed the frustrations and worries. I didn’t think too much more about keeping it safe, either. After all, we had never lost or broken any of her meters or pumps before. This shouldn’t be too different.
Then, one day, my oldest son Daniel came home from school and said, “Guess what, Mom? I found Kaitlyn’s CGM today!” I did a double blink and said, “What? What do you mean, you found her CGM?”
He proceeded to tell me the story. He was playing near the sandbox with his friends, and he looked down in the sand and saw something black. He went over to it and picked it up, and it was Kaitlyn’s CGM. He told his friends, “Oh my gosh, this is my sister’s!” She had apparently been playing in the sandbox at an earlier recess, and the snap that held the case on her belt came apart without her realizing. Daniel brought it to the principal, who then got it safely back to Kaitlyn. We felt very lucky!
Looking back, I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised. It very easily could have been lost forever that day … buried under the sand or in the backpack of some little boy who thought he’d found an MP3 player. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is very likely that at some point, it will get lost or broken. That’s just life. It’s not like I’m going to leave my cell phone safely home on my nightstand because I’m afraid of losing it. I’ve made up my mind to treat her CGM system the same way. We’ll teach Kaitlyn to be careful and try to help her keep it secure, but we’ll continue to use it for what it’s meant for — continuous monitoring, even at school. Then, when it gets dropped in the toilet or left on the top of the car, we’ll say, “Bummer,” and then buy a new 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.