It’s the final day of #Dblog week. It’s so much fun to read all of the entries! Some are funny, some are serious, regardless we all something in common which is we love someone with type 1 diabetes!
Today’s topic is Tricks and Tips! One tip that I have is to be as open with friends and family as possible. When Joey was diagnosed he was in the last month of school, in 2nd grade. We diagnosed him on Sunday so he missed school on Monday as we were in the doctors office. Tuesday and Wednesday mornings we were in the diabetes classroom at CHW. Enjoys classroom they were getting ready for the spring concert which was going to be on Wednesday afternoon. This is something that he was really looking forward to. So we decided that we would allow him to attend the concert that afternoon and that evening. I have to be honest when I say that I was scared to death that he would fall off of the bleachers because of a low blood sugar. Of course he was fine and I eventually got over the fears. (Not completely!)
When he returned to school on Thursday we decided to share his diagnosis with the class. Most of them already knew, you know how things travel quickly in a small town! When we were in the diabetes classroom they gave Joey a teddy bear named Rufus, along with a book about Rufus -the bear with type 1 diabetes. Joey wanted to take Rufus and the book to his classroom as a tool to help educate his friends. We read it to his classmates and asked them if they had questions. It was funny because a lot of the questions were fueled from the kids parents. For instance one of the questions was “did eating to much sugar cause this?” And “can I get diabetes from you?” It was so beneficial for everyone from the teacher to Joey’s classmates!
After that day, no one really thought anymore about it! It did create some little arguments about who was going to be Joey’s “buddy” to walk with him to the health room each day for lunch!
By Joey sharing his diagnosis with his classmates, it empowered him to feel in charge. This carried over into his teen years when he was asked to take the role as WI Youth Ambassador for the ADA! His message to young kids with type 1 was to be yourself. Embrace it, it’s with you until there is a cure! If someone doesn’t like you because you have to check your blood sugar and give yourself insulin, then they aren’t friends you want!
Another tip that my son taught me was to respect him as I respect my friends and listen to him! For instance, over a period of time there were a few deaths of children related to type one diabetes. I would share the stories with my husband not considering that Joey was listening. One day we were talking and I asked him if anything was bothering him, and he told me that he didn’t like hearing about kids or people that die from type 1 diabetes, it made him sad and scared him! Point taken!
I’ve learned so many things from Joey related to type 1! He knows that I am his biggest fan, and advocate! The biggest tip that I can give is to do what is right for your family!