The Necessary Process Changes When My Son Was Diagnosed With Type 1 Diabetes

Written by Liz Bell

When Matthew was diagnosed with T1D it wasn’t only a change for him, it changed the lives of our family.  I realized that I needed to structure more and bend less when it came to managing him.  Saying those words makes me feel harsh but it was necessary in the beginning.   

When Matt left the hospital his insulin was administered by using  an insulin pen. The guidelines for administering short acting insulin was every three hours, this will ensure no insulin overlap and decrease the possibility of low blood sugar.  It made sense, but when I got back into the real world it wasn’t easy.  So these are the steps I implemented when arriving home to help streamline the needed processes.

1.  “Daily Sheet”

Why? - the sheet was created to ensure constant communication about Matt without having to recount his day through memory.  It also allowed me to communicate to the doctor effectively, on a summary level.

 

2.  “Cheat Sheet”

Why? – to have carb counts readily available.   This was to avoid stress when preparing his “Sheet” and trying to figure everything out.

A listing of  Matt’s favorite foods along with portion size and carb count.

 

3.“Go Bag”

Why? - The bag is placed in the same spot in the kitchen every time he comes home.   The bag is checked at the end of every day to ensure it is fully stocked and ready.   What’s included in Matt’s bag:

 

4.  Long Acting insulin sheet

Why? – The sheet outlines Matt’s  morning dose and nighttime dose along with the time it was administered.  This alleviates having to remember when it was issued.

 

5.  Scheduling Meals

Why? – I would outline what I planned on serving for dinner along with the time.  It helped in keeping dinners at home, and the planning made it easier. 

When Matt was diagnosed I felt a tremendous amount of pressure to “get it right.”  I probably did that to myself but I was so afraid I was going to hurt him.  I didn’t sleep the entire first year, I was always up making sure he was breathing.  The good news, he was, so why was I like that, because of the unknown.  I can honestly say after 4 ½ years, I sleep better.  However, I still pop out of bed just to make sure he’s okay.  Whatever stresses you are feeling it’s okay, we’re all different.

I highly recommend joining a support group.  Check with your local hospital to see if they offer any gatherings.  Also, check with friends and family to see if they know of any parents that have T1D children.  That’s how I met my good friend and now I belong to a support group of Mom’s that continues to grow. 

I would love feedback on processes that you may have put in place to help with the change.  There are many parents out there that would love to know, so please share.

Until the next pencil meets the paper, have a fantastic day!