Kim M.

Transitioning to Middle School With T1D

I can’t believe that Kaitlyn is down to the last month of fifth grade! Eeeek! Where’d the time go? What happened? For us, that means no more elementary school. My shock and denial won’t help me now, so I’ll just have to prepare myself for the inevitable. She will be off to middle school in the fall, and unless they start selling time machines, there’s nothing I can do about it.

I’m so nervous. (Can you tell?) Elementary school has been our safe haven — a place where Kaitlyn is comfortable, where she knows everyone, and everyone knows her. The teachers, nurses, and staff at this school have been absolutely incredible. Her nurse, Laura, has watched over her since kindergarten and knows Kaitlyn as well as a close family member. Not to mention, her instincts with Kaitlyn’s diabetes management are spot-on. I am so sad to say goodbye to her!

Mama emotions aside, we all agree that the jump into middle school life will be a huge change. Soon, Kaitlyn will have multiple classes every day with a different teacher for each one. There goes the comfort of having one point of contact, a single authority figure to keep an eye on Kaitlyn. She’ll have six different teachers now? Really? What if they all have substitutes on the same day? Do they even have school nurses in middle school? (Actually, I know better on that one; my oldest two kids have already braved middle school, and I know the school has a nurse. But still, I have more butterflies in my tummy about this change than I did when I went to middle school a million years ago.)

There is one bright spot in this transition. What’s almost as good as having a nurse Laura (a.k.a. a fairy godmother) at school? Having an Anna! Her older sister, Anna, will be in eighth grade and will take Kaitlyn under her wing without even thinking about it. Kaitlyn will always be able to find her big sister if she feels nervous or scared. They are only two years apart, but they almost act like little twins. I’ve actually never heard of sisters getting along as well as they do, and that makes me feel much better about this middle school arrangement. You never know, though — raging pre-teenager emotions could take over, and all harmony might cease! We’ll just have to risk it. Middle school, here we come!

 

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.

Related topics:
People in the Know: Transitioning to Middle School
The #1 Most Perfect Thing to Say to a T1D Parent
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