Saturday, March 1, 2014

Tips that made our adjustment to type 1 diabetes a little easier:

  • Have a set of measuring cups (including a liquid measuring cup) and measuring spoons.  Maybe let your diabetic help pick out the color!
  • Buy some fun but smaller dishes (from the baby/toddler section).  This may seem silly, but a child will be much happier with a FULL glass of a drink whether it is 4 oz or 10 oz.
  • Buy a needle clipper if you are on injections. They are $5-$10 online, but can also be found at drugstores. 
  • The Perfect Portions kitchen scale (totally worth the price!).  We bought ours from Bed Bath & Beyond for $39.99.  Your little diabetic will enjoy entering the food codes.  We have been using it for four years and still love it.  It also fits in my purse when we eat out.
  • Keep a calculator in your kitchen!  
  • Write all the carbs of the ingredients on your recipes.(Yes, I even write in my books)  It can be intimidating to make things at home again because carb counting is critical to good diabetes management.  If you label all the ingredients the first time you make it, you won't ever have to do it again! 
  • Have blood glucose testing supplies in the room where your child sleeps. (I use a flashlight too)
  • Ask your doctor (or pharmacist) for half unit syringes.  I found it challenging to get these from the pharmacy, but after I called BD and goth the information for the pharmacist, I never had any trouble.
  • Stock up on zero carb foods. A high blood glucose can make for a grumpy and hungry child...knowing that they can still have something to eat is important. 
  • Let your child help pick out a "diabetes bag."  All of our diabetes supplies are in their own bag.  That way, whoever she is out with has EVERYTHING that she may need.  Our bag is always on a hook by the garage door...ready to go at any time. 
  • Don't wait too long for your child to resume regular activities!  It is important for both your child and your family to know that diabetes doesn't mean that your child can't do things.  Always keep the appropriate supplies on hand so that you will be prepared.  I know that it can be scary to even leave the house, but it will get better and easier each time you do. 
  • Save the nutrition labels of your child's favorite foods.  We keep them in a drawer near our scale for easy access.  When storing foods in a new container, I cut out the nutrition label and throw it into the container too!
  • Diabetes can be a scary and intimidating disease.  We found it very helpful to set up a reward system for our daughter.  After diagnosis, she would earn small things after her injections if she didn't scream (we are pretty she became  a wild animal in the hospital when it was injection time).  She could cry, but she couldn't run away and scream.  
  • Breathe.  I know that you are probably overwhelmed with fear and information, and your child is going to need to adjust to having shots, waiting to eat, being limited on amounts, so don't forget to breathe.  It will not always be this difficult...I promise.
  • Reach out to JDRF, your friends and family.  You are not alone on this journey.