I’m feeling very conflicted today. Usually, taking care of Kaitlyn’s type 1 diabetes takes priority over everything else, but today, I made a conscious decision in the opposite direction. She had a class birthday party today, and I decided not to make a special trip to the school to dose her for her treat. What does that mean for her? She gets to sit there with a full plate and not eat it while the other kids do. Ugh! Just typing it out makes me feel worse!
Here’s what led to that decision. My toddler Lily miraculously went down for a nap at a normal time today — it’s been days since she did that, and I didn’t want to disturb her for a trip to Kaitlyn’s school. Last night Lily woke up at about midnight and was up for several more hours. She’s trying desperately to phase out of her naps during the day, but without them she gets so tired, and by the evening, she’s inconsolable. She’s also been fighting off a cold, which just magnifies all the sleep problems we’ve been having.
So, I’m writing this as Lily (finally) sleeps. Kaitlyn will save her treat to take home with her, and I’m hoping that she’ll forgive me when I go to pick her up after school!
It’s so frustrating when, as a mom, I have to choose between one child’s “thing” and another child’s “thing.” For some reason, I feel like I owe it to Kaitlyn to take care of everything that has to do with diabetes at every moment because it’s not fair that she has the disease in the first place. Does that mean that I play favorites?
It’s days like this that make me feel that we’re going to have to come up with a better solution, so that I don’t have to choose between diabetes care at school and something else important. Most of the time, it’s not a big deal to come in and help dose Kaitlyn for the occasional party; it’s just those not-so-perfect days that get in the way sometimes.
Here’s what I wish would happen: The teacher takes a picture of Kaitlyn’s plate with her cell phone and texts it to me. I tell her how many carbs to tell Kaitlyn, and Kaitlyn doses for the amount. Sounds easy — right? Yeah, right! In the perfect world, with perfectly willing teachers and staff, it’s still tough to make everything go right because of all the laws about what they can and cannot do. I really don’t think I could reasonably ask for changes on her 504 Plan that would include teachers or nurses using their personal cell phones or allowing Kaitlyn to dose herself, since the doctor’s orders state that it should be done by a nurse during school hours.
So that’s my vague wish out to the universe, but in the meantime, I’ll work on getting Kaitlyn more independent, and on that magical day when she’s ready to handle all the dosing at school — and ready for a cell phone of her own — we’ll be the ones throwing a party!
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.