It’s a weekday, which means SCHOOL. Everyday starts the same: wash hands, check blood sugar level, get ready for a shot. I prick my finger with a lancet and squeeze until I get a bubble of blood. The glucose monitor tells me my sugar level. If I am in the 100’s, my mom is happy.
It’s time for breakfast, but first my mom has to count the carbohydrates in my meal . She uses the total number of carb grams and my blood sugar reading to calculate how much insulin I need . I prep my leg, arm or tummy with an alcohol swab and wait for the injection. Sometimes if the needle moves a bit, it hurts, but after already having 120 shots since I was diagnosed just a month ago, I’m getting use to the pain.
Now, I’m off to school. My mom packs my lunch with a note for the nurse that lets her know the number of carbs I’m going to eat. She also packs a snack that has no more than 5 grams of carbs, plus a protein. In two hours I need to go to the health clerk so I can check my blood sugar levels again. If my number is too high I need to drink water. If it’s too low, I need a carb to bring it back up. The nurse at school has all my medicines, supplies, juices, waters and snacks.
During the day I need to remind myself to let my teacher know if I have a headache or feel dizzy (my sugar level is too low), or if I am having trouble reading because of blurry vision (my blood sugar level is too high). If I have any problems, I need to go visit the nurse and get out the lancet.
Lunchtime means another visit to the school nurse for a blood sugar check and a shot of insulin. I don’t use a syringe anymore. Now I use an insulin pen . All of my readings are recorded and sent home with me every day. My mom is always anxious to see “my numbers”.
Two hours after lunch and its back to the nurse’s office again to check my sugar level. If I have PE that day I need to remind myself to let my teacher know if I feel tired or sluggish. Strenuous exercise can affect your blood sugar levels.
When I get home I can have a snack, but it can’t be just anything I want. The snack has to include a small carb and a protein . Gone are the days that I can reach into an M&M’s jar anytime I want. All my snacks and meals have to be balanced and all the carbs must be counted.
My dinner routine is the same as my other two meals. I check my blood sugar level, my mom counts my carbs, and I am given a shot of insulin before I can eat a bite. I can have sweets once in a while but it has to be eaten with a meal and the grams of sugar need to be no more than 1/3rd of the total grams of carbs.
I can’t take a shower until an hour after I have an insulin injection. The heat from the shower can affect the insulin and make my blood sugar levels dip drastically. After my shower I have another snack of a carb and a protein. My favorite snack is a low-calorie rice cake with peanut butter.
Before I go to bed I check my blood sugar level again. This is the sixth time I have pricked my finger today. My dad gives me my 24-hour slow acting insulin shot. He tries hard to be careful with the needle and not hurt me, but he needs more practice. If my number is low my parents check my sugar level again at 2:00am. Sometimes I sleep right through it.
In the morning, yeah, you guessed it, I start all over again. My parents have told me that someday everything will be much easier. I won’t have to check my levels as much, and they hope I will be able to wear a pump that will eliminate my four daily shots. My doctors have told me that they WILL find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes in the future. That is why mom and I have started this blog…we hope we have opened your minds to my daily “normal” routine and you will help the Juvenile Diabetes Reseach Foundation find a cure by sponsorinmg my JDRF Walk. Please see the JDRF page on this blog. Thank you!