OK, I’ll admit it. I’ve got the back-to-school jitters.
V. heads back to school tomorrow. And back-to-school time is hard enough on families as it is. There’s adjusting to the school routine. Shifting bedtimes and wake-up times. Packing lunches. Incorporating after-school activities.
But Diabetes and school? Add type 1 diabetes into the mix and things get even more complicated.
Here’s what’s giving me the back-to-school jitters this time around:
- There’s a new principal at the school this year. I haven’t met her yet and have no idea if she’ll be as empathetic and accommodating as our former principal was about V.’s care at school.
- I haven’t had a chance to meet and talk to V.’s new Grade 3 teacher yet. A call I left last week went unreturned (which makes me even more nervous). And a frank discussion about V.’s condition and treatment isn’t something that can wait until a day or two into the school year, since her health is on the line.
- V. won’t be in my care 24 hours a day like she was all summer. It was easier to make insulin or other adjustments when she was with me, since I knew her schedule and her activity level inside out. But once she’s at school that’s out of my control. An unplanned extended recess with extra physical activity or a school assembly that delays her snack time could send her glucose plummeting with dangerous consequences.
- Later in September we’ll be making the transition from two insulin shots a day to four, which will require my going to the school every day at V.’s lunch hour to give her an insulin injection. This is uncharted territory for V., for me and for the school in terms of how this will affect V.’s blood sugars and how this new routine will fall into place for everyone involved.
Back-to-school jitters are a normal part of the year for kids. But I’m just now beginning to realize how overwhelming they can be for a parent too.
Thankfully there are a number of excellent resources out there to help parents of kids with diabetes in their dealings with schools and others who look after their children.
Diabetes and school:
The BC Children’s Hospital has an info sheet on Diabetes Information for the School.
Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net