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[IPp] school - testing & lunch

<<From: email @ redacted - Shanna, Jacob's mom
Those of you that have children in school all day and test in the nurse's 
office, how often do your children test?  The people that have their children 
in school all day and have pumps, who monitors what your child eats and who 
gives boluses for it?  Next week we have another meeting with the school and 
we have to sort some of these things out.  I am so happy that Jacob will be 
pumping then.  Now I don't have to worry about trying to get to school to 
give Jacob a shot every day and won't have to worry about hypoglycemia as 
much.  Just things like that will make everything a lot easier on me.>>

Good questions.  My son Luke is in first grade, and started pumping
in kindergarten.  We do not have a written 504 plan at this time but the
school's paperwork for dealing w/ diabetes sets out everything that
we ask for at this time.  I'm going to tell you how we deal with diabetes
& school.  Luke is one of 4 children at his elementary school with Type 1,
and 1 of the 3 of those kids on a pump - he was the first pumper.

-  Testing - because Luke is only in 1st grade, we go along w/ the
school's preference to have the meter in the office & have him go up
there (with a buddy) to test.  He tests 2 hrs. after breakfast which
also happens to be after PE, before lunch & whenever he "feels bad" -
he gets headaches when he goes low & asks to test.  He still needs help
with interpreting the #'s.  We prefer that the office staff &/or 
part-time nurse who deal with all of the kids every day to help Luke
on this rather than the teacher who gets a kid w/ DM every few years.
Could we get the teacher to do it?  Yes.  We choose not to because
everyone is more comfortable w/ this situation.  For any # that is low
they treat & then let us know; for any # that is high (we define) then
they page my husband or me & get a correction # from us.  Again, could
we give them a chart & tell them to look it up?  Yes.  We choose not
to because others are uncomfortable w/ deciding insulin doses, and
it helps us to prevent issues if his blood sugar is in an alarming
range (our experience is if Luke is at 500, then his site is definitely
not working & one of us goes to get him right away).

-  Food.  A great joy on the pump is that Luke doesn't have to eat
for his insulin - only for his appetite.  However, he's an extremely
picky eater, and our experience in judging foods in restaurants is a
lot of trial & error on the carb counting & whether or not he needs
a square waver for this or that.....more than we feel like the school
should handle.  So, we agree w/ Luke each morning on what he will eat
for lunch, we pack that & send a bolus # on a card in his lunch box.
Since he eats the same thing almost every day, it's quick to do.
He then shows the office staff or nurse his card, & boluses on the
pump to match that #, and they confirm it for him.  Again, it was
obvious in pump training w/ them that they are very fearful of giving
Luke too much insulin.  So we make the insulin decisions & Luke
is the only person who ever touches his pump - they just look at it.

The adults see the pump as a $5000 machine - Luke sees it as something
he wears all the time & he doesn't worry about touching it.  

-  Field trips - for long ones, my husband or I go.  Again, we could
ask but we're able to manage it, so we just juggle our schedules and
go.  He's gone on short ones w/ the teacher, his meter & a juice box
and been fine.  Plus she has a cell phone & our #'s.

Again, this is what works for us.  We're happy w/ our school support.
As Luke gets older & learns more on what to do on his own, we will
ask for him to be able to handle more & more of that (carrying meter,
etc.).  But for now, this approach works great for us.
Good luck - the first few days of school are scary & then it all
settles into a routine.
Shelly V, mom to Luke, 7, dx'd 10/99 & to Trevor 11 & Kate 9

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