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[IP] pump at school mistaken for beeper
Sara had a very similar experience. At the beginning of every school year I
send a typed letter to every school administrator, teacher, secretary and
nurses concerning Sara's health and the pump. It includes details they do not
need to know, but I include these for those few teachers you will run into who
wish to really know their students.
The principal at her middle school stopped her in the hallway one day and told
her that her phone was not allowed at school and to give it to him.
Sara told him it was her insulin pump and not a phone. She even had to showed
him her insertion site.
This person had letters from both the nurse and me concerning the pump. These
letters even included statements that it looks like a phone or beeper. He did
not bother to read the letters.
I then wondered how many other students are in his school with potentially
life threatening health problems that he has not read the appropriate memos.
Even this year as Sara became a high school student we had one teacher who was
just too rigid in every manner to deal with. We finally pulled Sara from her
class last week.
At the first parent conference in the fall her first words to me were "I was
going to call you earlier this year and ask you to get up each morning and
feed Sara at home before she came to school. Then I was told she was on the
swim team and had practice at 5:30AM and was eating after that. I then was
going to ask you to tell her to eat what she could in the hallway between the
end of practice and getting to my class. Then I was told she is Diabetic and
has to eat. I will allow her to eat her breakfast because she is Diabetic, but
she needs to do it within the first 5 minutes of class." Our mouths dropped
open and as parents we both thought, "This is a teacher?"
The swim team is allowed by the school administration to eat during the first
class since they swim until 7AM and class starts at 7:25AM. Sara was not
breaking any rules by eating. She was not even doing her BG tests in class but
at the pool before she got her breakfast. Second, I was getting up every
morning at 4:45AM to go to practice with Sara because she was having so many
problems this year with BG and the early morning practice. Her control was out
the window. I had even written a letter to all the teachers explaining that
her BG's were not going well and she could be having difficulty in classes
while we worked this out. This teacher did not care one bit about Sara, only
that she had food in her room. That was the high point for the year.
We finally gave up, but had a talk with the principal after we pulled her from
We try very hard to educate individuals in contact with Sara with the hope
they will appreciate the extra miles a Diabetic must go through to manage an
average day let alone every time they add any activity or change of routine.
Some people just refuse to see or learn. They must exist in a very small and
Instead of encouraging Sara and being able to feel a sense of accomplishment
by helping a student reach goals, she just shut a student out.
School can be tough for teen Diabetics. Thank God for the other students. We
have found that Sara's peers are more accepting and encouraging of this
illness and the lifestyle disruptions than the adults at the school. Maybe the
kids of today are better people than the adults we have become.
Pam, mom to Sara, 15
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