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Revising the Charlie Instruction Manual
Well, we did it. Charlie got through kindergarten pretty much unscathed. Last year at this time we were nervous wrecks about sending Charlie to school. The school had no experience with a child with diabetes as young as Charlie. They were noticeably nervous as well. We put a plan in place and basically just hoped for the best.
We couldn't be happier with how the school year went.
Susanne and I met yesterday with the principal, the new nurse, Charlie's teacher, Charlie's health aide (Mrs. D) and a representative of the school district to review how the year went and to reviseour 504 plan to reflect the fact that EVERYTHING WILL CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!! next year.
This year, he only went to half-day kindergarten. He left the house at 9 am and was home by noon. In the first grade, Charlie will be in school from 9 am to 3:30 pm. Big difference. We're nervous wrecks all over again. We're worried about the scary mid-day hours when he tends to run low.
Mrs. D recapped the year, telling the group that Charlie is a sweet little boy who felt comfortable in her care. Regarding his numbers, she admitted that trends were hard to spot all year.
"I saw lows as low as 48 and highs as high as 520," she said.
She went on to tell us how all of Charlie's little classmates announce aloud how many carbs their snacks have each day.
There is a new nurse starting in the fall. I took it as a good sign that she was able to say the word "bolus" without running out of the room with her hands over her mouth needing to vomit. At last year's meeting, the current nurse was looking a little peaked from all the icky D-speak.
But the big news of the day was that the school has decided that it is in the best interest of all involved to once again provide Charlie with a health aide; Someone who will have his back at all times. We're absolutely thrilled by this. The amount of peace of mind this provides cannot be measured.
That said, we wonder about how and when it could become detrimental socially for Charlie to always have his aide lurking nearby. This was discussed and it was agreed that by second grade, it might be best if we give him some autonomy. The hope is that by then he'll be able to take some control of this wretched disease.
Until then though, I'll ponder the tough questions that remind me that I'm in no rush for Charlie to grow up. Like this one over the weekend.
"Dad, were you ever pregnant?"
Michelle Kowalski, a writer, editor and photography hobbiest living in Phoenix, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in February 2005. In January 2008, as part of her quest to start on an insulin pump, Michelle learned that she actually has type 1 diabetes. (Read More)
Nicole Purcell lists having type 1 diabetes last when she's asked to provide information about herself - because that's where it belongs. (Read More)