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Raising A Child With Diabetes

Parenting A Type 1 Diabetes Child: Tips For Staying Calm

Parenting A Type 1 Diabetes Child: Tips For Staying Calm

Parenting a Type 1 Diabetes Child: Tips for Staying Calm Medically reviewed by George Krucik, MD on June 17, 2016 Written by Mary Baucom Parenting isnt easy, and there isnt a manual for raising a child with type 1 diabetes. Here are some helpful tips, tricks, and suggestions from other parents of type 1 diabetes kids that may help you along the way. "My tolerance for the disease ebbs and flows like everything else in life. Some days I can think about it all day long and my psyche isnt affected. Other days, I rebel against it. Pretending it isnt important. Refusing to give it the power it demands while it sits on the throne of my boys well being." Meri Schuhmacher, Our Diabetic Life ; mother of four sons, three of whom have type 1 diabetes "The dad must be able to do all the D-care too. If hes slow, fumbles through it, speeds through like a pro, sweats profusely, none of that matters he's getting it done. Thats what counts, he's doing it! Don't complain or criticize if he gets it done. Some of the biggest heroes in championship history were role players." Tim Brand, Bleedingfinger Blog ; father of three girls, two of whom have type 1 diabetes "As soon as you know who your childs teacher is going to be, set up a meeting. We feel its important to meet with the teacher before the year begins. You might want to include the school nurse and the special area teachers in this meeting." Continue reading >>

What Is It Like To Raise A Child With Type 1 Diabetes?

What Is It Like To Raise A Child With Type 1 Diabetes?

What Is It Like to Raise a Child with Type 1 Diabetes? What Is It Like to Raise a Child with Type 1 Diabetes? We spoke to parents of children with type 1 diabetes to find out what they want you to know about their life. Raising kids with type 1 diabetes Dreamstime Caring for a child with special needs is often lonely and exhausting. This is especially true when the illness is both difficult for others to see and widely misunderstood. This is too often the case with type 1 diabetes, a dangerous autoimmune disease in which the body doesnt produce insulin. We spoke to parents of children with type 1 diabetes to find out what they want you to know about their life. Parenting a child with type one diabetes means being your child's pancreas. You are checking blood sugar levels nonstop and dose insulin based on carbohydrates eaten, activity level/exercise, growth spurts, stress, and everything else that could affect insulin needs. Blood sugar dipping dangerously low or dangerously high could cause permanent damage or death. Every day is walking that tightrope with your child, trying not to let them fall off. Karen Lantz. Jonathan, age 12. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 5. We are proud of how our children handle this disease. We our proud of how our son handles this disease. Samuel, age 8, senses his blood sugars accurately; he scores a goal at soccer while wearing his pump; he checks his blood sugar publicly and answers strangers' questions about his diabetes. At six, he biked the entire eight miles for ADA's Tour de Cure. He never takes off his diabetes alert bracelet. He has great empathy when others are sick. - Edward Perrin We worry our children wont make it through the night. Theres always constant worry. You never stop wondering if your child's blood sugar is too hig Continue reading >>

What It’s Really Like To Raise A Child With Diabetes

What It’s Really Like To Raise A Child With Diabetes

For years, I lived in constant fear that I would inadvertently kill my own child. It wouldn’t have taken much. A simple error in judgement or an innocent miscalculation could result in life-ending consequences. In 1996, my son, Albert, became one of the 40,000 Americans diagnosed each year with Type I Diabetes (T1D). Not so long ago, that diagnosis would have been regarded as an immediate death sentence. Still, the National Institutes of Health states nearly seven percent of T1Ds will die from the disease within 25 years of diagnosis. My son was two and a half when he was diagnosed. That means he has a one in 14 chance of not making it to his 28th birthday. Currently, 1.25M Americans are living with T1D. By 2050, that number is expected to grow to five million. When Albert was a toddler, he developed the stomach flu, a common ailment for a young child. However, this time was not so typical. He couldn’t keep even an ounce of fluid down. His eyes were sunken and he was rapidly losing weight. Soon, he became lethargic and dehydrated, so off to the doctor we went. I’m the kind of mother who mentally runs through a list of possibilities in order to prepare myself. Best case scenario — he would spend a couple days in the hospital getting IV fluids. Worse case — meningitis or even leukemia. My mind comprised a checklist of what to do for each potential outcome. Ordinarily, Albert would run down the hall to greet his pediatrician with a hug. This time, I had to carry him. As we approached his doctor, I saw the smile on her face vanish before she quickly caught herself. I wondered why she kept leaving the room during my son’s examination. I found out later she didn’t want us to see her crying. She announced that he was diabetic and needed to be immediately transpor Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes In Children: Parenting Highs And Lows

Type 1 Diabetes In Children: Parenting Highs And Lows

On April 15th, 2013, when twin bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon, a pit of fear and worry ached in my stomach, reminding me of how vulnerable my daughter Madison, a type 1 diabetic, is. I hate to be so grim, but without insulin, she will die. And with too much insulin, she will either go into a coma or die. This is the reality of Type 1 diabetes in children. As a mom, all I want to do is protect her. And when a tragedy like the Boston Marathon bombing happens, I start worrying and thinking about things that I have no control of like if a tornado hit my house, will I have enough time to gather Madison’s diabetes supplies? And if I don’t, will someone find us in time to save my daughter? This disease sucks! Yes, Madison can run around and play, but not without her blood sugar dropping, making her head hurt and sometimes causing her body to shake. And eating is one of her greatest challenges. She will never be able to eat like a kid. Madison loves pizza, macaroni and cheese, and birthday cake. And you bet I make sure she is able to occasionally eat them. But when she does, it comes with a price. Her blood sugar is higher longer, making her stomach hurt and sometimes preventing her from doing homework and practicing piano. But from her perspective, it’s worth it! I know Madison’s disease isn’t the only one that exists. But it is the one that consumes my mind every second of every day. All I want is for her to live a healthy life. And I pray every day that I can help her live the healthiest, happiest life she can. Madison was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on November 4, 2011. Her endocrinologist said, “It was just random bad luck that Madison got it.” Words that no parent would ever want to hear. Words that I never thought I would hear. I knew people who h Continue reading >>

What It’s Really Like To Have A Child With Type 1 Diabetes

What It’s Really Like To Have A Child With Type 1 Diabetes

I have two daughters with Type 1 diabetes, and in my experience there’s a disconnect between what people think it’s like to have Type 1 diabetes and what it actually is like. Many people are not aware of all the variables that come into play to control blood sugars. Some people think you take your medicine and you get a steady blood glucose of 120. In reality, you have to guess what the dose of your insulin is based on your guess of what the carbs in the food are based on what your guess is of the portion of food that will be eaten. Plus, you must take into account your guess of the amount of fat and protein in the food, and whether one has just exercised or is about to exercise (and how much exertion that exercise will involve). If you are about to go to sleep that must be taken into account, or if you’re going to be somewhere difficult to treat a low (such as a child on a school bus) keep that in mind as well. And don’t forget to pray that your pump infusion set is working and that your insulin didn’t fry in the heat. Now push go on your pump, or poke your arm with a needle and, voilà, you’re done! A diabetes disconnect also results from confusing headlines, such as Cure for Type 1 Discovered (it’s in mice) or New Drug for Diabetes (it’s for Type 2). Many book titles are misleading as well, often using language like ‘Reversing Diabetes’ or ‘Preventing Diabetes’ while meaning Type 2 diabetes and not Type 1. Even medical journals often don’t distinguish between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in their titles. Recently, I saw a friend whom I hadn’t seen for a long time. When I pulled out my daughters’ meters and lancets to check blood sugars, she said “I didn’t think you still had to do that.” This is not the first time I’ve heard someon Continue reading >>

Ada Guide To Raising A Child With Diabetes, 3rd Edition

Ada Guide To Raising A Child With Diabetes, 3rd Edition

ADA Guide to Raising a Child with Diabetes, 3rd Edition Jean Betschart Roemer, MN, MSN, CRNP, CDE In this newly revised third edition, parents will learn how to help their child adjust insulin, have a busy schedule and still feel healthy, negotiate the twists and turns of being "different," accept the many challenges life has to offer, and much more. Raising a child is hard. Add in the day-to-day challenges that come from having a child with diabetes, and it becomes even harder. Luckily, diabetes research and advancements over the past few years have made it easier to manage your childs care, helping you and your family get back to a normal life. Guide to Raising a Child with Diabetes is an invaluable parenting tool, featuring the latest advances in diabetes care, plus parenting advice from diabetes experts. Learn to navigate through the normal activities of childhood and raise your kids to be strong, confident, and capable of managing their own diabetes care. Adjusting insulin so kids can eat their favorite foods Helping your child accept insulin injections Developing a meal plan for your whole family As a diabetes educator, I find this book very down-to-earth with useful advice for parents raising a child with diabetes. Jean has a wealth of information for her readers in an easy to read format! I recommend this book to anyone who has a child with diabetes. It is a great resource! 0 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful for you? Excellent Handbook for Raising a Child with Diabetes This book is an excellent resource for parents who are new to having a child with diabetes, and veteran parents alike. A to Z basics, and the many challenges a parent may face throughout the life stages of their child with diabetes, are thoughtfully covered. I love the wa Continue reading >>

What To Do When Your Child's Diagnosed With Type 1 Diabetes

What To Do When Your Child's Diagnosed With Type 1 Diabetes

Managing type 1 diabetes requires a 24-7 commitment, and that can be overwhelming. But it does get easier, and there is lots of help available. Maybe you're frightened. Or exhausted. Or worried that you won't be able to figure out the equipment or the insulin or how to get your child to sit still for another finger stick. When your kid is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D), the learning curve is steep -- but manageable. Here is the short version of what's going on: Your child's pancreas no longer produces insulin, a hormone your cells use to turn sugar (or glucose) into energy. Now, your child must take insulin, either by injection or through a pump attached to the body, to keep blood sugar levels in range in efforts to avoid serious long-term complications such as kidney failure, heart disease, lower-limb amputations, and blindness. This disease has no cure, but there are great ways to manage it (and amazing technologies on the horizon). For now, you'll be checking your kid's blood sugar several times throughout the day and night. You'll do this by taking a drop of blood from a finger poke, and placing it on a glucose meter. You'll use each sugar result as a guideline for how much insulin your child needs to eat or how to adjust for exercise to simply keep that blood sugar level in the target range. A child with T1D requires insulin through injection or a pump attached to the body. Both the shots and the site changes for the pump, which happen every two to three days to avoid infection and to maximize insulin absorption, can be painful at first, but kids generally get used to it within a few weeks. Until then, you can use numbing cream called EMLA, or an ice cube, plus distractions such as a special TV show or a stuffed animal to hug. There are even special distracti Continue reading >>

Parenting A Child With Type 1 Diabetes

Parenting A Child With Type 1 Diabetes

I can picture him now — his eyes were bloodshot from chronic sleep deprivation, his hands shaky from anxiety; he talked like someone stuck in a losing battle from which there was no escape; he was angry, scared, and unsettled and had no idea what to do next. He was a parent of a young child with Type 1 diabetes. I met with him (and his daughter) years ago because I was a therapist who also happened to have Type 1 diabetes. We weren’t meeting in any official capacity — it was arranged through a family friend who knew this man and his daughter were going through an incredibly tough transition and figured I would be the person to talk to, given my combination of personal and professional experience. I have seen that combination of fear, helplessness, and exhaustion in parents several times since, and every time I see it, my heart goes out to them. Being a parent of a child with Type 1 diabetes is not easy! I say this as someone who hasn’t had the experience of being a parent, but as someone who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for over 23 years. So I don’t presume to know what it must feel like to parent a child with this disease, but I hope that my combination of experiences might mean I have some meaningful advice to give to those of you who are in this most stressful situation. You have diabetes, too A friend of mine raising a five-year-old with Type 1 once said that she and her husband felt like they had “Type 3” diabetes. I thought that was a great description. She explained that in many ways, it really felt like she might as well have diabetes, since the management of the disease fell so squarely on her shoulders. After all, there is only so much a five-year-old can take on! Managing diabetes takes a lot of calculating and analyzing that is simply too muc Continue reading >>

The Cost Of Raising A Child With Type 1 Diabetes

The Cost Of Raising A Child With Type 1 Diabetes

Having your child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes may come as a shock. However, the best thing parents, guardian or family members can do, is protecting the sick children and offering them an excellent medical care. Young children living with diabetes face higher medical bills than those living without the disease. This is due to drug prescriptions and the outpatient care. The young children are mostly treated with insulin which comes with a high cost. Moreover, this is not the only thing they have to keep up with. More of the things required include; • Test strips – These are used to monitor the blood sugar levels. They are vital as they will allow you to know when the child is improving or deteriorating and take the right measures. • Lancets – You will also need to have these instruments to help you draw blood for testing • Alcohol swabs – Used for cleaning the area before insulin injection. Injections are very sensitive, and you need to ensure that the area to be injected is clean otherwise it could lead to more complications. • Needles and syringes – You will need a variety of this to use for injecting insulin. You cannot use one needle for many injections and buying a variety costs a lot. • Glucagon – This is needed for emergencies. In a case where the victim’s blood sugar level gets too low, and they faint, glucagon is administered to help them regain the average sugar level or take it back to non-emergency level. If you do not have this device you can use standard glucose continuously or an insulin pump. Buying these items needs you to have a lot of funds. The test strip alone costs a dollar or more for each depending on the type. The number of the pieces you need will depend on the number of times you test. To add on that are the glucose mon Continue reading >>

Glu : Diabetes, Co-parenting And Your Relationship: 10 Tips For Raising Kids With T1d, Together

Glu : Diabetes, Co-parenting And Your Relationship: 10 Tips For Raising Kids With T1d, Together

In January 2011, I had everything I ever wanted: a loving husband, a beautiful home, two healthy kids with one on the way, and steady work as a freelance writer. At 35, everything had fallen into place, and life was good. But one snowy Wednesday just after noontime, everything changed. This short text from Andrew was probably not the best way to break the news to his pregnant wife that our lives were about to change forever. But then again, communication was never our strong suit. Welcoming our son to the world just two months later, we had no health insurance and virtually no income. As we struggled to navigate the recession, I went back to work in the investment business, commuting 4-5 hours a day, Monday through Friday, from our home in Maine to downtown Boston. Andrew took on primary parenting responsibility while growing the small wine business he had started a few years earlier as a hobby. The role reversal was a means to a financial end, but it was hard on our relationship. I missed my time at home with our children and my connection to our small town community. He was overwhelmed by managing the house, the kids and trying to run a business. We barely saw one another, each of us focused hard on the tasks at hand. We were tired, we were resentful, and before long, we were hardly speaking to one another. So, you can imagine the difficulty we faced in managing our sons type 1 diabetes when he was diagnosed in October 2013. Miles was only six when he began wetting the bed regularly, looking for a bathroom everywhere we went and eating and drinking everything in sight. We were so busy, we brushed it off as a growth spurt and thought the bed wetting must be just exhaustion from his first few weeks of first grade. But his pediatrician was concerned about diabetes, and Continue reading >>

Parenting Kids With Type 1 Diabetes

Parenting Kids With Type 1 Diabetes

If youre a parent to a child with type 1 diabetes, you probably hear this all too often, along with the looks of pity and sympathy. All of which are well meant, and out of the kindness of their hearts. What I want to tell everyone is to NOT pity us, to NOT sympathize for us. Before we continue with this article, I wanted to let you know we have researched and compiled science-backed ways to stick to your diet and reverse your diabetes. Want to check out our insights? Download our free PDF Guide Power Foods to Eat here. Maybe that seems rude to some, but I do not mean it in a rude way, because my kids are just that KIDS. Kids, who happen to live with a chronic illness, but 1st and foremost kids. Just like your kids are kids. Im going to shed a little insight into this life, and what its like. Be sure to read through to the end because while the beginning may seem like a gigantic wall you cannot climb over, the end will shed even more light into the actuality of what its like when youve overcome the initial shock of diagnosis. Whats it like to be told your child has a chronic illness that there is no cure for? Imagine having your heart physically ripped out of your chest, tossed to the ground, kicked around, stomped on, thrown up against the wall, and put back in place. This is pretty much the initial feeling (in the beginning). Whats it like to be told a second child has been diagnosed? The initial heartbreak is there, just not as violent as the first. You already are accustomed to what the life entails. The heartbreak this time is more of a mourning for the death of your childs before life. You realize how strong your children are and know they can handle this so you definitely can, because its their disease and their body going through this, so you must be as equally Continue reading >>

Top 10 Things Never To Say To A T1d Parent

Top 10 Things Never To Say To A T1d Parent

They mean well. They really do. But many people just don’t realize that the seemingly “helpful,” reassuring, or casual, off-hand remarks they make upon learning that your child has type 1 diabetes just…aren’t. And who can blame them? They probably know as much about type 1 as you did before your son or daughter was diagnosed. Still, some of the comments T1D parents hear can be supremely frustrating or even downright hurtful. So here’s your chance to set these well-intentioned friends, family members and acquaintances straight — by sharing this list as a public service announcement or by picking up some ideas for clever, tactful ways to respond when you hear one of these doozies, courtesy of Jeniece Trast, R.N., C.D.E., M.A., clinical research nurse manager and certified diabetes educator at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. 1. “Well, at least it’s not fatal.” This type of statement minimizes all the work parents do to manage their child’s diabetes — and ignores the fact that many parents do worry very much about their child’s long-term health and safety. “Diabetes is a challenging disease to manage because it involves food, insulin, blood sugar monitoring, exercise and so much more,” says Trast. “People who are able to manage their diabetes well are usually healthy individuals who lead long successful lives. However, there is always the risk of low and high blood sugars no matter how well controlled a person’s diabetes is, and both of these things can be life-threatening if not properly treated.” Parents, consider responding: “I am so glad that my child is happy and healthy right now. However, diabetes unfortunately can cause medical emergencies that can be very dangerous, so we work hard every day to try to prevent those. Continue reading >>

7 Tips For Parents Who Are Raising A Child With Diabetes

7 Tips For Parents Who Are Raising A Child With Diabetes

Home Family 7 tips for parents who are raising a child with diabetes 7 tips for parents who are raising a child with diabetes Caring for a child who has diabetes adds a new dimension to parenting. Heres how to cope and help your child manage his diagnosis. While advances have helped lessen the burden of everyday living for children with diabetes and reduced their risk of long-term complications, the condition still has an impact on a childs behaviour, self-esteem, sibling and peer relationships and family dynamics, says Rosemary Flynn, a clinical psychologist at the Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology (CDE). Flynn says that an understanding of the needs and emotions of children at various stages of development can help to better identify and understand a childs specific needs and emotions at each age. How well a childs body copes with diabetes is strongly linked to how the child thinks and feels and relates to others. Each of these dimensions will have an impact on how the child behaves. Flynn says although changing emotions are a normal phenomenon for anyone, in children with diabetes they have the potential to make blood glucose levels unstable. The body reacts to emotional trauma or even emotional excitement by triggering chemical reactions, which make blood glucose levels rise. When working with a child with diabetes, it is important to try to understand the child holistically to achieve and maintain optimum health. Focusing only on the physical aspects of diabetes will never be sufficient to ensure a well-balanced and healthy child who is at peace with managing her diabetes. Flynn offers some crucial insights for parents raising a child with diabetes: Initiative and self-control develop progressively with age and maturity and are often influenced by your parenti Continue reading >>

Raising A Child With Diabetes

Raising A Child With Diabetes

If you want to successfully raise a child with diabetes, you have to learn to share your childs diabetes with your child. Yes, you read the sentence right. You the parent need share your childs diabetes with them. Not an easy concept to grasp, but its important, because by allowing your child to participate in their disease, youre planting the seeds for confidence, acceptance, and independence for living with life with diabetes. As a former child with diabetes who is now a woman of a certain age with diabetes, the best gift my parents ever gave me was allowing me to play an active role in my diabetes. I was the baby of the family, and they could have easily done absolutely every single diabetes related thing for me, but they didnt. Instead, they were generous enough to share my diabetes with me. When I was first diagnosed with The Big D way back in 1977, a time I like to refer to as The Diabetes Dark Ages. A time when we tested urine instead of blood sugars and the diabetes diet was anything but flexible. My parents had six children and two other daughters with type 1 diabetes, it was a given that Id participate, not an option. I have a vivid memory of my father sitting on the corner of my hospital bed and telling me: Kelly it is what it is, do what you have to so you can live a great life. My dad spoke from experience, he had Type 1 diabetes as well. When I arrived home from the hospital, I still couldnt give myself needles. Back in the day, you had to give yourself injections before theyd let you leave the hospital. I was so afraid of needles that the Nurse Educator made a deal with my parents. I could go home, but my mom, dad, & sisters had to promise to work with me regarding shots. The first steps were small. My parents let me gently roll the bottles to warm up th Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Parenting

Diabetes And Parenting

Tweet Being a parent of a child with diabetes can bring an awful lot to consider and the responsibility can be demanding. Remember, you are not alone. What diet should my son or daughter have? How will I manage his or her blood sugar levels? Will they get the right level care at school? How will my son or daughter cope with their own diabetes? We answer these questions and more and if you need more advice we have a specific Diabetes Forum for Parents and Children. Parenting guides Don't forget to take a look at the dedicated Diabetes and Kids section. Coming to terms with your child’s diabetes diagnosis As a parent of a child with diabetes, the diagnosis can often be a much harder blow for the parent than for the child. Your child’s diagnosis will likely come as a great shock and it can be difficult to recognise just how much of an effect it can have on you. Read about coping with diabetes diagnosis. What diet should my child have? A child with diabetes need not be prescribed a particular diabetic diet as such. However, through blood glucose testing you may find that some foods are better for your child’s blood glucose control than others. Testing before and around 2 hours after meals is a good way to see how different meals affect your child’s blood sugar. As with dietary advice for people in general, your child should have a balanced diet to include plenty of vegetables. Managing your child’s blood sugar control Watching out for hypos, being aware of hyperglycemia, monitoring and recording blood glucose levels and making sure they’re taking their doses are all involved as part of managing your child’s blood sugar. It can be a tall order at times but a little extra knowledge can go a long way. Should my diabetic child take part in sports? Sports are a gre Continue reading >>

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