Friday, November 10, 2017

He Should Do That, He Can Eat That, And His Diabetes May Vary

Daily, I am reminded we each, each and everyone of us, have our "thing".  I believe most of us want others to understand, or attempt to understand, our "thing".  

I want more understanding and acceptance for Joe and all persons with t1d.  The daily care, attention, and psycho-social-emotional toll the disease demands can be overwhelming.  To an outsider we can look like we are micromanaging things and making a bigger deal out of things than there needs to be.  Many people do not realize the attention to detail that must occur, in order for things to run smoothly and safely for Joe throughout his days...and his nights.  Misinformation and misunderstanding and subsequently the judgment of persons dealing with this high maintenance chronic condition can be frustrating.  

The following conversation took place a few weeks ago.

"Hi, is this Joe's mother?"

An apprehensive "yes", was answered.

"This is Mrs. (blank), his (blank) teacher."  

*Silence.  He's never liked the subject matter this teacher teaches.  I entered the conversation with trepidation.

"I wanted to learn more about his type 1 diabetes."

"Ohhkay.  What would you like to know about?"

"Well, it seems like he is doing a lot of 'stuff' for his diabetes during my class."

Joe had just experienced a couple of weeks of low-ish numbers.  So, this did not surprise me.

"What time of day is he in your class?"

"At the end of the day."

"Oh well that makes sense.  He has been running a bit low and he most likely is looking at his number and taking sugar.  After school he either walks a couple of miles home or he has hockey practice.  He typically would need to eat a snack for hockey and he might take some sugar tablets prior to walking home... what have you seen him doing?"

"Yes..he is taking some tablets and I have seen him eat.  ..... I also overheard him...and I didn't want to call him out in front of his friends...but he was telling his friends how he drank a chocolate milk, some orange juice, and he ate some Cheerios.  I know that probably isn't good for his diabetes and thought you should maybe know."

*This is where I take a deep breath and remind myself that I am thankful this teacher called me and wanted to learn more*

"It's totally fine if he eats those things.  He would need to give himself insulin for them to cover the carbohydrates.  Sometimes, he uses those foods to boost up his blood glucose or to treat a low."

"Well, it's just..that....  I have some friends who have diabetes....  It seems like Joe is doing more work ...with his diabetes... than they do."

*This is where I again, take a deep breath and remind myself of my gratefulness for her phone call*

"I think your friends  may be a little bit older than Joe (like by 50 years) and they may not have the same type of diabetes, and they are most likely not as active, and they may not be trying to keep their blood sugar in the range that Joe is trying to keep his in.  Each person's diabetes can vary quite a bit."


Teaching teacher about our day-in-the-life.

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