Day 5 for Karen Graffeo’s (who blogs and hosts at Bittersweet Diabetes) Diabetes Blog Week. The fifth annual Diabetes Blog Week started Monday and will take place through May 18th. Today is about the tricks of the trade; and we have a few. Things that we have done that, perhaps, others may not have thought of which helps a little.
WAKE US UP (CGM Needed): I guess the biggest item is to help us wake up. The old marbles in the metal bowl have been around for a while. You know, you place your CGM sensor in the bowl and when you reach that threshold where it vibrates….the marbles rattle around and you wake up. But here is something many are trying AND liking. I was told about iSeismometer, which is an App that warns you when an earthquake is coming. Download the App on your phone (yes it is free), place the phone on the proper nightstand (you probably want to make sure the phone is plugged in), and place your CGM on the cell phone. When one hits that threshold of going low, it vibrates, and the phone thinks it is an earthquake, and an alarm will ring that can be made loud enough to wake up the house. Try it; many have.
TESTS: It never made sense to me to be behind in dealing with blood tests. Have your blood tests about a month before your next doctor’s visit so you are discussing current trends and results when you see him/her. It is better to discuss what is happening now, and not what was 2 1/2 months ago; don’t you think?
BEDWETTING: Many times, after diagnosis, bedwetting begins again. Of course from those unpredictable highs, not much can be done but if it is a matter of ‘retraining’ your child try this: Buy products that turn your toilet water blue when flushed. (In most cases) show your child that peeing (with its yellow color) can turn the potty water green. You will be surprised how much ‘fun’ they think it is….anything that works, right?
THOSE PARTIES AT SCHOOL: This has changed over the years with the use of insulin pumps etc., but the stress over these ‘parties’ is still alive today. Years ago Jill crafted a letter that she sent to each parent about Kaitlyn having diabetes. She not only used it every year but a following has occurred with the letter and it has been included in books and thousands of people have utilized it over the years. It is a simple letter that tells a little about what diabetes is, that a child cannot ‘catch it’, and some ideas to do for birthday parties at school or otherwise. If anyone wants a copy (and it surely needs to be updated), shoot me an email and I will send it to you.
I DON’T HAVE THE RESOURCES TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Hogwash. Anyone can do something to make a difference and you will feel much better about all of this ‘diabetes stuff’ if you get involved. In as much as donations help many organizations do great things, if you do not have it leads to feeling like one cannot be involved. WRONG-WRONG-WRONG. All organizations need volunteers–call up anyone and they will put you to work. Here is another idea you can do; go to Get Diabetes Right (hit like so you can be updated as things are added–already over 4000 people like it) on Facebook. There you will find an assortment of important information that you can print out and hang around your neighborhood; or even email them to school nurses, pediatricians, and family physicians and ASK THEM to print out and hang in their office. Very simple but you will have an impact.
I ‘GOTTA’ GET OUT OF HERE: I have never understood the comment from parents that they have not left their child’s side since they were diagnosed with diabetes. They will tell you that they have not gone out anywhere, have not been out with their spouse, and they just cannot leave their child alone. My question is always the same; “Why not?” There have been an entire list of people who have lived incredible lives EVEN AFTER diabetes became the new normal. It’s YOUR choice. Now, it comes down to how you get there and it is here that I want to suggest a few things. Do not plan on being away for 3 hours the first time, that will come. Go around the block. Take a ten minute ride. Just get out to begin with, and slowly increase the time until you feel comfortable. It is not healthy for you and/or your family if you are the 100% care taker for your child (99% will do). This goes for single parents also. Get some time out of the house——so many before you have done it, now you figure a way to do it also. Find a teenager who has diabetes to help out (ask your local diabetes foundation chapter if they know of anyone). Paying a few bucks to keep your sanity is worth every nickel.
SLEEPOVERS: The best way to get this started—-be the one who has the sleepover first. See what happens. Do not have anxiety about your child going to one—-when the time comes; be first to have one and build on it. You will be more comfortable with diabetes at someone else’s house when you see how diabetes reacts at your own…..make sense?
HALLOWEEN: Collect the candy, leaving a little bit of course, and leave outside for the GREAT PUMPKIN to take the candy and leave a real special toy or toys.
Many people have great tips that they have utilized over the years. Sometimes the best things, are the ones you work through on your own. The best experts share their experience, there is no better teacher. Learn from others.
I am a diabetes dad.
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