Its Not Time To Blog

I was gonna write. But then this happened.

Photo on 6-29-13 at 9.14 AM #2And then this…

Photo on 6-29-13 at 9.14 AM #3Apparently my 17 year old best friend wants some attention. She took the above picture BTW as she laid down on my keyboard.

(The mess in the background is my family room and guest bedroom piled into my dining room while new flooring happens.)

Gonna get kitty a treat because even though I moved her off the laptop – she is only an inch away and looking at me with big (nearly blind) needy eyes.

Hope y’all have a fantastic day.



Friendly Fire

My Middles is 11. He plays video games. In fact if left to himself he would play video games for 12-14 hours – emerging from his room only occasionally to get sustenance. He would do that very stealthy so I wouldn’t see him and remind him to put away clothes, pick up a room, or go outside to play. I’m ashamed to admit there have been days that is a true story. My day gets hectic and I “forgot” him. He is an easy kid. Never demanding and always considerate of others. But he knows that if I see him I’m going to “suggest” he turn off the games, do some chores, and play outside. It’s hard for me to make him turn off the games. He plays Xbox Live with his friends back in TX. I hate pulling him away from the friends he misses so terribly. – ok this post is not really about my sons video game addiction. I only mentioned that he plays video games so you would understand why I explained diabetes to him the way I did. Clearly I have some parenting issues regarding video games I need to work on. (I ramble for the next little bit – feel free to skip my rambling and move on to the conversation I share at the end.)


I’m gonna try to avoid discussing my parenting issues again when I tell you that one of his favorite games to play live is ‘Call of Duty – Black Ops’. I’m sure gamers out there would agree that it is one of the best video games ever made. I personally think Mario Bros games are the best games ever made – those and Mr. Do – I loved Mr. Do. Digressing. Sorry.

My son understands military/war type stuff because of his games and some movies including ‘Saving Private Ryan’. He understands (much to my embarrassment) snipers, strike first missions, invasions, whatever. Basically he gets that there are soldiers protecting people and areas and other soldiers trying to invade, capture, kill in that area.

My Middles has lived with diabetes for over 6 years. He ‘doesn’t’ have diabetes his siblings do. He knows all of what is required to care for oneself with diabetes. What he didn’t know or understand was what having diabetes really meant in regards to his own body. I wrote a post a few days ago regarding a really ticked off cat. In it I shared that my Middles failed his last Glucose Tolerance Test. He will be retested soon. Still I couldn’t ignore the results and pretend that we may not yet again be hit with the diabetes stick.

When I got the news about his test failure I was upset. He saw me upset. I tried to play it down. Say that I was tired. Told him not to worry. He still worried. Later that day at the hotel he wouldn’t stop asking for food and since we were staying at a hotel with friends he was asking for their food too. He wasn’t asking for dinner. He wanted snacks and sweets. I kept telling him no. All week Tuesday night – Friday morning, I just kept telling him no sweets. Nothing that I would use to treat a low blood sugar. Friday I was driving him to his friend’s house where he would stay for 24 hours without me. I told him no candy, juice, or anything that says “fruit” but has to be unwrapped (fruit roll-ups, fruit snacks, fruit by the foot – what is all this crap – it certainly isn’t fruit).

Now let me just say – a person with type 1 diabetes can eat anything a person without diabetes can eat. It doesn’t mean they should – in fact the people without diabetes shouldn’t be eating it anyway. IMHO (This does not include Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – those everyone should eat and if you don’t like them you should send them to  me).

Also let me say – eating things with sugar will not, does not, and never has – caused Type 1 diabetes. However – eating those things does make a persons pancreas work harder in both those with diabetes and those without. For a person whose pancreas is acting wonky eating things with lots of processed sugars is just like daring the pancreas to say ‘screw you’. IMHO

Getting back to shooting people.

So on our way to his friend’s house my son asked why he couldn’t have a V8 Splash or fruit snacks anymore (not that he had those things regularly but he did enjoy them while at this friends house in the past). Of course this promptly triggered the tear ducks in my eyes to begin operation ‘can’t hide anything from him’.

I explained about the test results and what it might mean. I explained he might be developing diabetes. (BTW – this is not the first time he heard news that he could develop diabetes – he knows perfectly why he has been participating in the TrialNet studies and getting the GTT tests) I told him he may have to start taking an insulin shot each day to give his pancreas a break. I was sure to use “might” and “may” often. I mean I MAY not be right. I explained how juice, candy and fruit type snacks that aren’t actually fruit at all – could stress out his pancreas.

This is our conversation – I’m sure a number of you are saying “I should have just gone to the conversation”.

Middles: I know we need insulin to stay alive. I know that when you have diabetes your pancreas doesn’t make insulin, but why?

Me: The immune system destroys all the insulin producing cells in the pancreas.

Middles: Blank Stare

Me: You have an immune system that works to keep you healthy. It attacks things that can make you sick.

Middles: How?

Me: Think of your immune system as a first line of defense. Little soldiers patrolling your body looking for enemy invaders.

Middles: Ok  (his ok was said with great enthusiasm – clearly too much video game time)

Me: So when you get a virus, like the flu, the immune system soldiers seek out the virus and destroy it.

Middles: So why do they destroy the cells that make insulin?

Me: Well I think its like friendly fire. I think a virus or something that shouldn’t be hanging out with the cells that make insulin are, so the immune system thinks the insulin cells are also the enemy. This is just an idea. A possible reason. If scientists knew exactly why then they could stop it. Lots of people are working hard to stop it.

Middles: Oh, that makes sense.

Me: Are you ok?

Middles: Yea, I’m good. Can I still have strawberry shortcake if ****’s mom makes it again? I’m sorry but it was better than yours.

Me: Yes baby. You can have it.

Middles: Awesome. I hope she makes it. We almost there?

My Middles is gonna be fine. Regardless of results of his re-test or what the future might hold. Our family will be fine. Scientists, researchers, doctors, people in the DOC – they are all working to figure it all out. Maybe a cure wont be here in 5 years, 10 years, but it will come. My Middles told me it would. He said he would be part of it. I love my kid.

A New Base

We are updating our home. We bought it nearly a year ago (man does time fly – hasn’t felt like a year here in Cali). At the time we were looking to buy a home here in this area, there were 12 on the market. Yes only 12 that somewhat fit our desires. We bought the one that best fit our needs (and was within our budget) and was in an ideal location. After all, it’s all about location. The house was well cared for but never updated since it was built in the early 80’s.

Fresh paint, some new flooring and a few small remodeling projects (added a bedroom using the game room space and removed two wet bars so far). Still lots more to do but it takes time and money so the process is slow.

One of the updates is new baseboard. The existing baseboard was small, cracking and had seen a lot of abuse. The new baseboard is larger and stronger.

Its amazing what a new base can do. The new baseboard makes the rooms seem stronger.

I’m working on a new base. Sometimes I think our lives can get a little outdated. Our routines start to feel safe and we get used to them so we leave them alone and after a while we just get comfortable so we don’t update.

Removing the old baseboard and flooring created a huge mess, not to mention a lot of debris. It had to be done because the previous owners had a dog – that’s all I’ll say about that. It was stressful but after it was gone it was freeing. It’s the same when we start dismantling our routines. Its uncomfortable and can lead to discovering problems that were hidden beneath. There is debris.

Last week I made some very poor choices with my words and actions. I hurt friends. Basically I pissed on things and people I love. (see comment about the previous owners and their dog). I didn’t do it intentionally – honestly I just had too much pile up and couldn’t hold it anymore. But the result is me pulling up the old base and laying a new one. There is a lot of debris. Still updating my base will make me stronger.

The new base will affect how I interact with people and friends. It will allow me to let my kids have more freedom with their diabetes to develop additional independence. It will mean less helicoptering in general. (see Helicopter parent here if you don’t get the reference) It will mean truly starting to make ME a priority – finding time to exercise, changing some eating habits, drinking more water and asking others if they want help rather than simply assuming they do ( < this one is really huge for me and might be the hardest one for me to update).

Not sure if this makes any sense but its my blog and I can be confusing and ambiguous if I want to. When I started my blog I started it to clear my head and hold myself accountable. Sharing this helps me hold me accountable.


New baseboard on the lower step. Existing baseboard on the upper step. That along with outdated tile will be replaced eventually – I’m sure it was great tile and baseboard at the time the home was built. It’s just time for a fresh start.

What Diabetes?


My view from where I relaxed against the huge drift wood.

We arrived at the beach, Venice Beach in Half Moon Bay, CA, around 6pm.

We carried our sand toys and large sheet down to the soft sand.

We moved a huge (like 12 foot long, 12 inch in diameter) piece of drift wood away from the washed up sea weeds and spread the sheet out in front of it.

We took off our sandals and started hopping waves.

We breathed in salty sea air.

We drew words and pictures in the sand.

We built sand castles.

We took pictures.

We buried our feet in mounds of sand.

We played with Lego mini figures.

We searched for sand crabs.

We relaxed to watch the sun set.

We shook sand off clothes and bodies.

We packed up sand toys and found buried Lego mini figures.

We were on the beach for about 3 hours.

It wasn’t until we got back in the van and I saw Sugarboy’s diabetes bag on the seat that I remembered that diabetes was even in our lives.

We had a great wonderful Amazing time playing on the beach.


Diabetes ain’t got no strings on me.

Yes it is still Wednesday for me here in Cali. No this post isn’t wordless but our evening was.

Screw Schrodinger

I am not a scientist. I vaguely remembered the lessons of Schrödinger’s Cat in regards to thought process and even less in regards to Quantum Mechanics when I was briefly introduced to it in some philosophy class in college. I was only reminded of it while watching an episode of “The Big Bang Theory” (funny ass show btw if you haven’t watched. The bit about the cat is at 2:44 min)

Ok so here is where this is going – I’m sure the suspense is killing you.

Feb 2007 – Sugarboy was diagnosed with Type 1 – this was completely unexpected – the kind ‘of shit’ that blindsides you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday (from Baz Luhrmann’s Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen)only it was a Wednesday morning – and everyone should most certainly wear sunscreen. Oh here is a link to Baz’s song because its awesome.

July 2007 – Sweetstuff was tested for antibodies at FFL via TrialNet – two months later we got results that said she was positive for 3 out of 4 antibodies. We didn’t pursue further testing because – well because we were scared as shit and didn’t want to put the fear on her and surely lightning wouldn’t strike twice – right? WRONG – keep reading. (I should also note that my Middles was only 5 at the time and chose not to get a huge needle stuck in his arm to be tested. We respected that. Chad and I were both tested and are negative for antibodies.)

April 2009 – Sweetstuff was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Screw you diabetes.

October 2011 – While participating in a JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes, Middles agreed to be tested for the antibodies. (I can’t recall what his daddy promised him but I can assure you he was bribed.) Up until this point the cat was both alive and dead (and this line makes no sense to you if you don’t know about Schrödinger’s cat – go back and click the Wiki link or Big Bang link). We hadn’t opened the box. Although in truth the cat was either dead or alive before the box was ever opened and not really both alive and dead. I can tell this is gonna get convoluted – stay with me.

Feb 2012 – While at a routine endo visit with Sweetstuff and Sugarboy I was told that Middles test results from TrialNet had come in. He was positive for all antibodies. Frick Frack Fruck.

Basically – we opened the box by having Middles tested. The tests showed my Middles was at high risk for developing Type 1 diabetes. That risk was there whether we knew about it or not.

What did knowing do for us? Well it allowed us to continue having Middles observed. He agreed to a blood draws and Glucose Tolerance Tests every 6 months while we considered additional studies. It also meant putting another cat in a box each time. It also meant (just realized I started two sentences with that phrase – should probably fix that but – whatever) I was in a constant state of worry. I don’t know if I’ve ever told y’all but I do have some anxiety issues. Not the kind that lead me to believe aliens will abduct me (although now I’m thinking about that) but that shit that can go wrong will go wrong. It is an illness that I should probably talk about more because I know I’m not alone. Moving on….

On Tuesday June 22nd, a week after his last GTT and blood work I got THE call. The call that told me he failed the GTT.

fasting blood sugar: 110

1 hour mark of GTT: 239

1.5 hour mark of GTT: 212

2 hour mark of GTT: 207

A1C (don’t let this fool you): 4%

Anything greater than 199 at the two-hour mark is diabetes.

How does he have an A1C of 4% you ask? Because his pancreas is in such disregulation that it doesn’t know what the fuck it’s doing. At times I would randomly check his sugars he would be in the 60s. Other times in the upper 100’s. An A1C is an average blood sugar over about a 3 month period. Enough numbers in the 60s averaged with numbers in the upper 100’s or lower 200s will give a very pretty 4% (roughly over 6% is diabetes). A1C doesn’t mean much other than the pancreas is wonky. (can I use wonky and fuck at the same time to describe his pancreas? – its like Elmo meets Andrew Dice Clay)

So Im a little messed up right now. Im not at my best – in fact I am at my very worst.

Middles will go in for another GTT to confirm – just in case something went screwy with the test. Since we were away in TX I haven’t contacted the other kids Endo yet. I was planing on switching before we left (she – their Endo – isn’t playing nicely regarding getting back on Novalog). I will call her office tomorrow and get her thoughts. Chad is in denial and man or man do I hope he is right. It’s all some big goof up in the lab. I do not want to be 3 for 3 in this game. It isn’t like baseball with 3 up 3 down with my team on top. It’s the opposite.



this is not my picture. I don’t know whose it is. It is a Meme. Im not sure of the rules regarding memes. If this is your picture please don’t sue me – Im already having a bad day.

PS. My friend over at thePerfectD has been writing a post that may or may not include a reference to Schrodinger and his feline friend that may or may not be dead. I haven’t seen her post it yet. We knew we were both writing or not writing a post regarding dead and alive cats. I started a similar post to this one only I didn’t have any results. I was gonna wait for my friend to post first. But since my kid might be number 3 for me I got dibs. Still you should look daily for her post because it will likely be much better than mine and far less convoluted.

Don’t Panic

Today is Wednesday and according to blog code this post should be “Wordless” but lets face it – blog code is like the Pirates Code – really more like guidelines.

mantra3photoSo tomorrow my kids have their last day of school. I will soon have a 8th grader, 6th grader and 4th grader. My kids will only attend an hour of school tomorrow because they and I will be leaving on a jet plane by noon for Texas.

I am taking them back to TX to attend our favorite day camp for kids with diabetes and their siblings. This will be our 5th year at Camp Bluebonnet. It has always been the highlight of our summer vacations.

I am thankful that we have this opportunity to go back and be with our friends.

Why the “Don’t Panic”?

Because I haven’t packed a thing!

I do have a list.

Nothing is checked off.

I did start collecting all the diabetes paraphernalia. Infusion sets – two kinds because my daughter is participating in a trial for a pump (not named because it’s a trial).Insulin cartridges – again two kinds. CGM supplies for the CGM my daughter is using for the trial. Test strips, Glucagon, ketone strips, lancets, extra meters, and batteries. Of course all of this is just piled up on the kitchen table.

The dogs need vaccinations before being dropped at the kennel. Their vaccinations expire the day we leave – really how did that happen?

I can’t find the chargers for the cameras and it seems I lost my memory card. Really?

Do I pack a carry-on bag for each child or a big suitcase – does United charge for checked bags??

I will need my laptop to upload camp pictures and put them on the camp website each night. Also – needed to Wednesday night tweet chat with DSMA – I sure hope a new chat room was put together – silly twitter wasn’t playing nice last week.

Ipads, DSs, phones, and all the chargers that go with them. Man my carry-on will be heavy.

Worst part – I’m getting on a plane and I have NO Xanax. Thus – the most important part of the “Don’t Panic” is me getting on a plane without the help of pharmaceuticals. Please let it be a smooth uneventful flight!

Wish us luck – send calming thoughts.


Don’t Tell Them You Miss Them

Sadly my kids will not be attending any sleep away camps for kids with diabetes this year. but here are some things I’ve done in the past to ensure happy campers – perhaps you can use them.

  • put together a care package before you go and leave it at camp before you depart so it is delivered in a timely fashion rather than mailing it. (I did this secretly so my kids were surprised when they got it) I included various things, such as: Uno cards, decks of playing cards, 3-4 dice with notes on games to play with them, punch balls, small water toys for pool play, water balls for water play, set of jacks, small sketch book and colored pencils, note cards and stamps, business size cards with my kids contact info to give to new friends, nail polish and remover, temporary tattoos to share with friends, a white pillow case and colorful permanent markers so their new friends could sign it and draw pictures on it as a keep sake, disposable cameras (if you aren’t sending an inexpensive digital camera), water balloons, sidewalk chalk, face paint, small stuffed animal. 
  • Write letters ahead of time and leave them at camp to be delivered (I would put a sticky note on the front indicating what day the notes should be delivered) In my notes I would NEVER say I miss them. Sometimes reading that we miss them can make them feel sad. Instead I would tell them: I know you are in good hands, I know you are having fun, I love that you are there, I’m so proud of who you are, You can accomplish anything, remember to try new things, do 1 thing everyday that scares you, remember to wear sunscreen, remember to eat veggies, remember to be kind to everyone, smile for cameras (I might get to see the pictures on the camp website), laugh often, be goofy, tell ghost stories, brush your teeth, spend the day skipping instead of walking, take lots of pictures, tell your counselors ‘thank you’. I would also add some silly story of something that happened at home (even though it likely wouldn’t) for example: lizard got it the house, tried to catch it, it outsmarted me,  now I thinks it will stalk me. Or unrealistic stories with things like fairies or dinosaurs. I’ve also sent notes that were from the pets (especially one to my daughter from her cat – slept today but only for 18 hours, played with a loose string on your comforter, saw another cat in window over the sink but it didn’t say much – just stared at me, dogs are stupid, let mom pet my tummy but then bit her, the bird in the tree outside the window is mocking me, etc)
  • When packing clothes put each outfit in a gallon size ziplock bag including underwear and socks. They can put their previous days clothes in the bag when they change so dirty and clean clothes don’t get mixed up.
  • Send a headlight flashlight if possible – keeps their hands free to catch themselves if they trip walking at night.
  • Send a camel-back backpack instead of a water bottle – gives them a place to put camera and keeps their hands free from holding a water bottle while hiking – also less likely they will lose it.
  • Label everything with a permanent marker.

That’s all I can think of right now. I asked Sweetstuff if there was anything that was more useful than anything else and she said defiantly the camel back. Also she and her friends loved drawing on themselves with permanent markers and would use sunscreen to clean it off – oh and two-in-one shampoo because shower time is limited.

I hope your kids can get to camp this year. I believe with all my heart that sending our kids to camp with other kids just like them is one of the best things we can do for them. My kids still say that their weeks at camp were the best weeks of their lives.


Stand and Be Counted

Hi there.

I’ve been a little laxidasical in my posting. Ces’t La Vie. No one pays me (if someone out there would like to pay me,  Ill be more than happy to tap my creative brain more frequently – honestly you can pay me in Starbucks Sumatra and we can kill two birds with one stone. Attn PITA: no birds will actually be killed)

So today I was procrastinating doing anything early in the day, so I meandered around Facebook/Twitter/Blogs – the usual suspects. On Facebook WEGO shared a blog post, and although I didn’t know the blogger or what Dystonia was, I took a gander. I read the post – it was about Dystonia awareness – wear blue. Read that post here – HERE

Blue?? Blue is for diabetes awareness and autism awareness – of course we don’t have a trademark on blue (not like that other organization who actually did trademark the color pink – No I will not shut up – they did – also they are the reason no other organization can “Walk FOR A cure” – not that I want to bad mouth the organization – they do an awful lot for an awful lot of people and they sure do put on a great walk – BUT they sue any other organization that steps on their trademarked toes – not sure I want my donation money paying for legal fees) HOLY COW did I digress.

Anyway back to Dystonia – I didn’t know what it was so I googled it. Then I felt stupid because if I had just delved a little deeper into this awesome blog I would have read a much better description of dystonia than what Wiki provided.

I wont try to explain it myself because the author of the blog does a superb job of it. I mean of course she does – she lives with it and when we live with something it becomes easier to explain – trust me I can describe the hell out-a diabetes. Click here to learn about dystonia.

So back to “Blue” – blue is a wonderful awareness color. I shared my thoughts about Blue=Hope with the Pamela, author of Chronicles of Dystonia Muse, “Blue is a color often associated with sadness (depression in people with chronic decease is so common) but also the color of HOPE – like the pacific ocean ( I always hear Morgan Freeman’s voice in regards to Hope from the movie the Shawshank redemption – “hope is a good thing. maybe the best of good things. and no good thing ever dies” – he goes on to say that he hopes the pacific is as blue as he imagined. Blue=Hope.”

I like that a number of “groups” use the color blue. We are all fighting a battle and sharing a color units us all just a little bit.

OK – so the real reason for this post was not to discuss colors or poor business practices of huge organizations.

This post is brought to you because of another post that Pamela shared – Showing Up For The Party.

Pamela says it all and says it loudly with these words – “If you plan to change the world – or even one small corner – start by showing up for the party!”

Her post is about Dystonia Advocacy Day which was May 1, 2013 in D.C.

See the point is to show up. Stand up and be counted. Don’t let congress or the nation brush – us – them – anyone – under the rug.

Letters and phone calls to senators and congressmen – Awesome.

In person meetings with those in legislature – as in the promise campaign via JDRF – Fantastic!

Becoming a delegate for Children’s Congress via JDRF – Outstanding

Sharing personal stories in social media to raise awareness – Terrific

It’s all about showing up – in person is best (hard to ignore real bodies standing front and center) but all communication lets those in power know they only have the power because we gave it to them – it can be taken away.

Multiple points in this post –

Colors and walks shouldn’t be trademarked. For Shame.

Blue is a color of Hope for everyone.

Everyone is fighting a battle – and I don’t believe any are less important than others. (well maybe if there is an organization out there demanding research to enlarge male genitalia – that would be like the bottom of the list – but then again some might disagree – although I’m fairly certain a good deal of money is already spent on that area of study)

Its late – I’m rambling and I’m out.




This post is completely off topic – has zero to do with diabetes. Just thought Id say that upfront so y’all aren’t waiting for some diabetes punch line.

I admit it – I’m not much of a money manager. I leave that hard lifting to my husband. It isn’t fair but on the flip side I don’t ask him to attend PTA meetings, do the laundry, or clean bathrooms. Perhaps when I start working again (if my husband actually read my blog he would be laughing at that since I technically haven’t been employed full-time in a paying position since 1999 and he isn’t holding his breath that I will be gainfully employed anytime soon) I will invite him to help with household chores. Until then – he makes the money and manage the house.

When we moved to CA from TX there were very few homes available for purchase in the area we wanted to live. Slim pickings indeed and what was available was costly – like make your jaw drop expensive. Still we needed a home so we bit the bullet and bought one (my kids are smart – they can figure how to pay for college on their own). Anyway – the home we bought is in a great location on a fabulous lot (in CA standards). Sadly its very outdated and in need of some TLC. More sadly – my hubby and I are not handy in the home repair/remodel department. Thus we have to call on others to do the work we need done. First up – removing the carpet from the lower levels. The previous owners had a dog – need I go on. Estimates from flooring companies to remove existing flooring and replace with tile flooring were between 4K and 8K not including the actual tile. HOLY COW! The area I am talking about is only 1300 sq ft.

Luckily Chad met a guy that used a another guy to do his tile. This guy is installing our tile for under $1000 again not including the tile. While explaining to my husband that we will be saving 3-7 thousand dollars he said – “we call that cost avoidance not savings”. See saving is when you put something (in this case money) aside. Spending less than what was initially expected is cost avoidance because money is still being spent. So apparently Target and all chain stores have all their advertising wrong – they aren’t having “sales” they are having “cost avoidance events”.

Where could I be going with this random topic? Well – if there can be ‘cost avoidance’ then surely there can be ‘anger avoidance’.

For example:

A husband can participate in anger avoidance by:

  • not leaving coffee cups and dishes in every room of the house
  • not using the phrase “whats wrong now”
  • not allowing the kids to neglect their chores because  “they just started watching that” or “we just sat down”
  • not telling the kid he can have the cookie after I said no by saying “well then don’t buy it”
  • not lecturing his wife about the difference between savings and cost avoidance when she really just wants to hear “good job”

Let Them Take Insulin.

It’s a good thing only kids who have one or more parents with medical licenses get diabetes.

Wait – what?

News flash – most kids diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes do not have parents in the medical profession. Yet somehow we (parents of children diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes) learn (very quickly I might add) to keep our kids alive and thriving.

More breaking news – friends of both the child diagnosed and friends of the parents often learn quickly how to manage diabetes. Us Rents (parents of cwd) have a knack for talking often about diabetes care with nearly anyone willing to listen and many of our kids do to.

HOWEVER – here in CA, some (mainly nurses unions backed by teachers unions) would like us, schools, state officials, and courts to believe that diabetes is so complicated and life threatening that only licensed medical professionals should be allowed to administer or assist in the administering of – insulin in school. (Of course they recognize that diabetes is a self-managed chronic decease so it is acceptable for a 5-year-old to self-manage if he/she is so inclined or the unlicensed parent of the child is welcome to avoid having a job so that they can attend school with their child to manage diabetes)

A tidbit of history regarding diabetes care in schools in CA:

Back in 2007 a case against the CA dept of Education was settled to allow non-licensed staff in schools to administer insulin and aid students in managing diabetes. BUT HOLD THE PHONE  – the nurses union (supported by the teachers unions) brought a counter suit to block the new policy that would allow non-medical staff to assist in diabetes management at school.

What did this mean for children with diabetes in school in CA?

It meant that if no nurse was on campus they wouldn’t get insulin regardless of the dangers of sustained high blood sugars. It meant if a cwd ate lunch and needed insulin with no nurse on campus that the child did not get their insulin until a nurse arrived – sometimes hours after the child ate.

Of course if the child could self-administer – problem solved. I mean why shouldn’t a 5-year-old be encouraged to count carbohydrates, calculate insulin needs based on a sliding scale, fill a syringe with insulin and inject themselves. I mean its only math and it isn’t like insulin could kill them. Ok actually YES insulin can easily kill a person. The same medicine that keeps my kids alive can kill them in less time than an episode of SpongeBob.

Or the alternative – a parent could come to school everyday to administer the insulin for their child. I mean it isn’t as if there are ever single parent homes or homes where both parents have jobs or anything. Clearly those of us that want our kids cared for while attending school are just a bunch of whiney crybabies who don’t want to interrupt our lazy days of Oprah and Bonbons to go to the school to keep our kids alive.

Why do the nurses unions fight against allowing non-medical school staff to assist in managing diabetes?

I want to start by saying there are nurses here in CA that do support non-medical staff assisting – those that recognize that the state can’t possibly fund a full-time nurse in every school. Those nurses recognize that the kids need to come first. I thank those nurses.

As for the unions – you’re jerk-faces. I get that you want job security but don’t wrap that up with words of concern for my kids. If you cared about my kids you wouldn’t fight against allowing others to help manage diabetes. The damage caused by sustained high blood sugars is far worse than the time and energy needed to train the school receptionist, my sons teacher or the music teacher to count carbs, calculate insulin and fill a syringe. Most kids can do this on their own by the time they are 9 – some much earlier (with supervision).

Yesterday (ok – I started this post on Thursday so when I say yesterday I mean Wednesday May 29th) The California Supreme Court heard arguments from both sides (those for allowing non-medical staff to assist in the dosing of insulin supported by the American Diabetes Association and those against it – the CA nurses union).

I’ve read rumors that suggest the Supreme Court is leaning toward the ADA and against the unions. I hope this is the case. The court has 90 days to render the decision.

Look I would love to see a licensed nurse in every school. But reality says that will not happen – not here in CA and not in other states either. California is broke – the schools are broke. There just isn’t any money – despite the fact that some of the richest companies and people live in this state.

Quick interjection – some may suggest that districts cluster students with diabetes in specified schools that would have a nurse full-time. I want it understood that this would be discrimination. Clustering students is illegal. While I would prefer a nurse be on staff at the school my child attended – I would not be willing to send my child to a school further away from my home to make that happen. First – students are diagnosed throughout a school year – not always before beginning school. So lets ponder the idea of clustering for a moment.

Lets say a child is diagnosed in the middle of 3rd grade. They had been attending their school since kindergarten and have a huge support system of friends established. They know the school staff, they know the school schedule, and the staff know the child. Those that suggest clustering are also suggesting that the student, newly diagnosed with a life-long chronic illness that requires constant shots and finger pricks, be removed from their support system and friends to attend a new school with no friends and no familiarity. Would the additional stress of changing schools help the child adjust better to the new diagnosis – no. It would likely cause additional stress, anger, fear and sadness.

Most of you are in the know and will follow the case but for those not in the know I will post an update within 90 days of the supreme court decision. Let’s hope the decision is in the best interest of our children.