Watching your child grow and mature can be an exciting time. They’re learning how to do things on their own, exploring new territory, and gaining self-confidence. But as a type 1 diabetes parent, this can also be a confusing time. Should you still monitor your child’s blood sugar levels? Should you ask if they’ve tested recently? Should you pack their school lunches? If any of these questions have crossed your mind, you’re not alone.
Here’s just a sampling of do’s and don’ts that other type 1 diabetes parents have discovered along the way.
Do get involved
Don't get mad over high numbers. Correct the high and figure out the problem. Address everything as positive as you can. If you don't, they'll learn not to care.
Tim Brand, Bleedingfinger Blog; father of three daughters, two of whom have type 1 diabetes
Don’t forget to celebrate
Anniversaries of the diagnosis date don’t have to be somber occasions. Rather, I like to think that we are marking yet another year of living … and living well, despite diabetes.
Leighann Calentine, D-Mom Blog; mother of one daughter with type 1 diabetes, and one son
Do get involved
Getting involved with a group of people who have been where you have been is a good thing. They can give you suggestions on devices and means of diabetes management. If you choose to do, or not do, anything based on sound scientific judgment, you owe no one [an] explanation. Do your homework, ask a million questions, decide what is best, and GO.
Don’t give up
We all made type 1 mistakes. Making them was a big step in our growth as type 1 parents. Remember that first missed shot? It was a good thing. Didn't feel like it at the time but it was. It meant we were getting past the shock of diagnosis and getting back to some part of life. A little. We kicked ourselves for it too. We saw progress as failure. Don't do the same thing with letting go, don't make the mistake of seeing progress as failure.
Bennet Dunlap, YDMV; father of two, both of whom have type 1 diabetes
Do move on
Like every single D parent on the planet, we would happily take over this disease for our kids. Any amount of rising blood sugar would be fine with us, if our kids didn't ever have to live with it again … I decide, while I watch them play in the snow (enjoying the dropping blood sugar with every running step he takes) tomorrow is another day. I will do better tomorrow.
Shari Navetta, Everyday Highs and Lows; mother of twin boys, one of whom has type 1 diabetes