A little while ago, I wrote about how having type 1 diabetes helps Kaitlyn be brave at the dentist. It has also made our family become more aware of what we eat, and it has helped us make wise food choices. It has helped us create a bond with many wonderful families who also deal with diabetes. It has been a big part of making Kaitlyn who she is… brave, smart, independent, patient, sensitive and kind. So, I love it when I find yet another reason to love diabetes.
The latest perk is that diabetes has really helped Kaitlyn understand numbers. Math is always something that my kids have struggled with, but I’ve noticed that Kaitlyn’s familiarity with blood sugar numbers, carb counts and insulin doses has given her a good number sense and has helped her in school. When you ask her to count by fives, she gets it! She watches her pump count insulin by fives every time she doses herself for a meal or gives a correction. When you ask her if a number is more or less than another number, she gets it! She knows which blood sugar numbers are in range, too low or too high. When you ask her to add, she gets it! She knows that if she eats two cookies, you add the carb amounts for each one together and have to give twice the amount of insulin as for one cookie. Talk about real-life experience!
When we sit down in the afternoon to let her have her snack and practice counting carbs and dosing herself, she gets to decide what she would like to eat. Today, for example, she wanted a graham cracker and applesauce. I had her write down the carb amounts for each and add them together. Luckily, it created a math problem within her abilities to complete, but I’m betting she’ll be a step ahead of the class when they begin more difficult calculations.
It’s a small thing, I know, but I love finding little perks here and there that go along with having a child with diabetes. If I point out these little benefits on a regular basis, it helps us both feel like we don’t have to dwell so much on the negatives, but find a reason to celebrate!
About the author: My name is Kim. My daughter Kaitlyn (the third of our five children) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just a few years after my nephew James was diagnosed with the same disease. I'm excited to pair up with my sister-in-law, Jen, to share our story with you!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.
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