We have a short half hour education session next Monday with the Grade 3 & 4 teachers. I’ve made a list of things I want to mention; Some of the things are testing times, documentation, testing kit, hypo treatments, lock down kits and glucagon.
Last years’ teacher and aide came up with such a fabulous idea for recording Isaac’s BGs, food and activity, which we will continue to use. It has columns for - times he needs to test, blood glucose level, action taken and sighted by (occasionally Isaac signed this off himself; he’s a cheeky bugger sometimes!). It is a day to a page, so plenty of room for little fingers to write notes.
His kit is all carried in a small briefcase; this has his testing kit, hypo treatment, long acting carbs and his diary. He takes this everywhere with him! His library teacher refers to him as Mr Lenehan, as he looks like he should be heading to his office job. I love the sense of humour! Spread around the school, in his specialty rooms, he has what I call ‘Lock down kits’. These kits consist of juice boxes, jelly lollies and long acting carbs ie muesli bars. These are kept there to be used in the unlikely (but becoming more frequent) event of a lock down situation. This came to my attention almost two years ago where there were three schools in the area that were locked down. It put the fright in me! Imagine him being locked in a room for, say, six hours without enough long or short acting carbs, that’s a scary thought.
As mentioned, as of halfway through last year, when he started carrying his briefcase he now has double of everything with him in those specialty rooms. On the lock down topic, I will need to write up a plan as to what to do if this situation was to arise. It’s a hard ask, as we all know we fly by the seat of our pants the majority of the time when it comes to Type 1 Diabetes. Thankfully, Isaac is clued on with things and is able to discuss and make educated decisions with adult assistance if it was to happen, and if they were unable to contact me.
Glucagon has been something that only Aaron and I have been trained to administer but this year we have been given the opportunity for his teachers to be trained. I am hopeful they are willing to do so. It’s a big ask and I know many schools wouldn’t want the responsibility but I believe our school will jump at the chance to learn more about how to care for him.
There are many more aspects of Type 1 Diabetes which we could go over with the teachers but, for me, as long as they know how to take his readings, what the numbers mean and what to do in the case of a high or low blood sugar, along with having my phone number on hand and open to communication, I feel he is in capable hands. He has been on this Type 1 ride for almost seven years now so I feel he, although only 8, is quite skilled and in tune with it all.
I have such great rapport with the school and they are always open to new ideas and come up with new ideas themselves. We have more than four teachers up to date with what his day entails and I am sure Isaac will keep them in check, and on their toes! He does like to try to get away with things in the first couple of weeks with a new teacher as he knows he could probably get away with telling them this is how it’s done. They’ll be onto him this year and so will I!
Below is a list of topics you may like to discuss with your school/teachers. I will endeavour to write about these in future blogs.
Please note: if you are new to Type 1 Diabetes and school or not confident in your knowledge I would suggest approaching your diabetes team to discuss your options for a professional to go to your school and educate the staff. We had our diabetes educator go in for Isaac’s first year of school and ran a session with the entire school staff.
Teacher training sessions run by diabetes groups: www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/ and www.jdrf.org.au/
Blood glucose and ketone testing
Blood Glucose numbers and what they mean
Where the testing kit and treatment will be kept (in classroom and easily accessible)
Long/short acting carbs
Where the spares kit will be kept
Explaining to fellow students what Type 1 Diabetes is – my book will help :) http://www.peekingintotype1diabetes.com.au/shop/15-x-15-peeking-into-type-1-diabetes-soft-cover-book
School Plan – signed by your diabetes team
Sports day plan
Emergency contingency plan
Will a teacher’s aide be available? Will you be applying for funding for this
Lock down plan
Parent/guardian contact details
How to use the pump/pens
Who will be administering insulin is pens are being used
Continuous Glucose Meter
Food details –are the carbohydrate amounts going to be written on food, noted in diary, where?
My most important point is – test anywhere, at any time and he is not to be left alone if he is having a hypoglycaemic event.