Blog Entries With Tag: hyper

Posted: Dec 19, 2011
I belong to a few forums - actually I belong to ALOT - that deal with children with diabetes.  I try to help out parents with their own kids - and give them abit of insight as to what perhaps their child is going through with dealing with diabetes. 

A group of parents in Ottawa in a Facebook group were recently talking about the fact that the school system there does not treat their diabetic children when they are perhaps having to use a glucagon kit for when their child is having a low blood sugar (hypo).  They do not understand why the kit cannot be administered like an Epi-pen.  Having worked in the school system - we are always trained how to use an Epi-pen - but never in my years in school - was a glucagon kit every brought up in any of the refresher courses we took yearly.  In the 12 years I worked in a school - I only came across one diabetic child - in Grade 1 - and sadly - never got to work with them (I was in the Daycare portion of the school system).

I told my Mum about this concern of parents - and she admitted that they only kept the glucagon kit at home - it was never left with the school nurse (in my days - in the 60's - 70's we actually had a full time nurse).  She'd always pack a roll of Lifesavers or jelly beans to be used when I was low.  I actually had one friend tell me many years later, that she was jealous that I could keep snacks at my desk.   How funny is that?  A non-diabetic being jealous of a classmate having sweets to eat!

One thing my Mum told me is that she was working in a high school and was called down to the office to help out with a teenager that was having a hypo.  The Principal figured with my being diabetic, my Mum would know what to do.  Mum went and got bags of sugar from the cafeteria (the only sweet stuff she could find) and managed to get it into the girls mouth.  Apparently this did the job, but as we all know, sometimes when we are having a hypo, we are like a bank safe, where we refuse to open up to stuff that will make us better. 

She was saying, giving the same scenario today. She wouldn't have done that.  She maybe would have advised the staff what to do, but not actually done the deed of administering.  Remember, we had no blood meters in those days, so who knows if that girl was maybe hyper?  There are so many scenarios that can go thru' a persons head - basically - " Could I do more harm then good? ".  It's kind of sad when you think about it - that some people would hesitate to help - but I don't blame my Mum in thinking this way.  I mean, what happens if she had killed the girl when she thought she was doing the right thing.

I know that in my mind - and let's pretend I don't have diabetes -  with no tools around to figure like we do today what the blood sugar is, I would have probably given the sugar, called up the parent(s), and gone from there.  Having a high blood sugar even for a short time I would be hoping that it wouldn't do any serious harm.  Is that the right attitude to take you think?

I will always remember one snowy day, when I was perhaps 8 or 9 years old, trudging home in what I thought was the longest trek home from school in my layers of clothing (think of the scene from The Christmas Story - and you'll understand).  I was sweating like bullets in all the layers of clothing, and remember flopping down in a fluffy white snow bank, just wishing I could go to sleep.  I don't recall having any friends with me at the time walking home.  I was pretty much a loaner.  So I just kept on truding along, in a daze.  All I really remember of that day is ending up at my home, sitting on the backdoor step, probably in tears, and that's it.  Either my Mum came home from work at that time.  I'm not sure, but I lived through probably what Mum's today would consider a very bad hypo, but we human beings have this amazing ability to fight for our lives. 

One thing I asked my Mum today - did the schools I attended know I was diabetic?  Her answer was - only in the primary school system - but never at high school.  I think today's generation of children with diabetes - probably that is something that the school would want to know.  If I had a bad hypo during gym, would anyone have known what to
do with me?  Would my friends know?

I say friends, because on the w/e - I was out with a friend I've known since Grade 3.  She was saying that if I went low - she knew what to do - she could give me some insulin.  After over 40 years of knowing each other, it sort of shocked me abit (and no - we hadn't started drinking yet).   I told her that I had my Dex-4 with me, and if I did go low (badly) - I could Suspend my insulin pump from delivering insulin.  I'm hoping I never have to be in the situation where I need someone's help - as I'm sure you are all thinking too!  

Again, as I've written in the past.  Diabetes for me was in the foreground.  I didn't think of it much (not like I do today - with all the info that is available - the D-OC (diabetic online community).  It didn't affect how I grew up as I got older.  I actually sometimes think it made me a better person having diabetes and being able to understand others that have health issues.  Maybe all we diabetic kids should go into the medical field (do you think we'd get a group discount? <lol>).

Glucagon Emergency KitNB:  I haven't had a Glucagon Kit since I left home.  Perhaps if I had hypo-unawareness I would - is that a bad thing not to keep a kit on hand do you think?


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Posted: May 4, 2011

I’ve been joining up to more Facebook pages that are aimed at parents with diabetic children and I have had to hold my true comments back due to not wanting to upset the parents.  Well, I’ve decided to roll the dice and bare it all.  I have written about this subject in the past as well as in various forums within the D-OC (diabetic online community) as I was diagnosed just as I entered Grade 1 – so bear with me if I repeat myself (remember – I’m now ½ a century old ).

What has lead me today to write this post is seeing a parent say they are battling a horrible disease.  It hit me like a brick in the face reading that.  I wrote on my Facebook page that parents with that children are likes sponges and to be careful with what they said or thought.  I was once one young like your own son/daughter – and could sometimes hear the whispers (I have Super Power hearing – remember I wear a cape ) of my parents behind closed doors as they tried to fathom what they were up against –if they were bad things – luckily I had shoved those words into the deep recesses of my brain.  Back in the 60’s when I was diagnosed, we had much less knowledge about diabetes in young children (sometimes I think it was hit or miss), we were only 1% of the population compared to the now almost 10%.  I was a cute novelty in the hospital I went to in Ottawa, where mainly Type 2’s were being taken care of.  I darn well took advantage of that as well – I knew where the bread was buttered.

Other than that diabetes was just something that was part of my life and I didn’t really think much about it.  Injections then were just once a day.  Testing of urine a few times a day (I can’t really recall – it just was something I did – just like tying up your shoe laces – wait – now kids use Velcro).  I was a kid just like any other kid.  I wanted to explore, play with my friends!  Luckily my parents pretty well let me do anything I wanted to do.  I was I guess what you would call a wanderer – a parent’s worst nightmare.  I was always off exploring in the woods, going on organized bicycle trips in the summer time with the youth camp that was at the park across my street.  I was just plain active.  Do I remember much about having hypos, etc.?  Nope, all I knew I was a kid having fun, playing with my friends.

I think my parents giving me this independence probably is what made me stronger with coping with life with diabetes.  They did not make a big thing out of it.  Perhaps now-a-days due to all the medical advancements – parents perhaps know too much – and it worries them with trying to keep their child’s A1C at that “perfect” number along with blood sugar readings.  I don’t really recall too many hypo episodes – when they did – it was jelly bean time – yippee!!!  I really don't remember many bad episodes (well - one of my Mum chasing around the house when I had a hypo and my vivid imagination thought she was a giant chasing after me and she's only 5' 2" (1.6 metres).

Of course, in my teen years, life became abit more difficult with peer pressure, etc.  I mean, what parent doesn’t experience problems with their teenager, diabetic or not?  Our hormones are way out of control – we want to be adults NOW – we don’t want to do what our parents tell us to do.  With diabetes, it’s abit more complicated, but I managed alright and was holding down 2 part time jobs along with school.  Again, maybe due to my parents letting me take control of my diabetes much earlier than many parents do today helped?  Was it a good thing?  I don’t know.  I’m to blame I know for going into DKA and coma at the age of 14.  Again, this memory is vague, probably not a pleasant experience for me to remember (or for my parents as well plus as my Mum says - it's too long ago to remember for her).  I survived though; it was a learning lesson, and luckily no devastating results except for what they say a few brain cells lost for earlier memories and my knotted hair got cut short (I was always ahead of time with fashion ).

So, the point of my writing this to all you parents out there.  Please be careful with what you think/say around your children.  After almost ½ a century of being a diabetic – I can attest that I think having diabetes for most of my life has made me a much better person and hopefully the same will apply to your children with having a positive attitude to the ups/downs of what diabetes can bring.  There are also so many great discoveries being made in the 21st century that astound me sometimes, that it makes me excited to keep on living/mentoring/educating about diabetes and I want to be able to try new products and make my life which I already consider is really good, even better!!!   

Picture taken in 1968 when my Nan came for a visit us in Canada
(she thought I was a terribly spoiled child and bought my Mum
a paddle to keep me in place)

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Related posts:

In a slump and scared  |  Surviving the Holocaust with Type 1 diabetes  |  Eating from the ground - Yuca Fries  |  My first month with Bowie my Dexcom G4 CGMS  |  My 13 year old self describing her DKA in the 70's  |  Miss Idaho is Defeating Diabetes  |  Sugar and Your Health  |  Jenna and The Hypo Fairy  |  When You're Hot, You're Hot  |  My First Night with Dexcom G4 CGMS
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