We have the best neighbors. It isn’t just that they have the same family makeup (three boys!) that we have, but our kids just get along so well. My neighbor’s youngest son practically lived at my house this summer. And he’s so easy to have over that he’s always welcome. The kids love to play outside together, riding bikes and scooters, catching bugs, acting out extensive make-believe “schemes,” you name it.
One huge plus has been being able to send my kids over to my neighbors’ on those pesky afternoons when the baby just REALLY needs a nap. A guarantee of a couple of big-kid free hours has been so welcome.
My neighbor has also been amazing at being interested in caring for James and learning how to do it. She was absolutely undaunted by the testing kit and the rigor that is involved in watching James, testing him, and monitoring the food he puts into his mouth. We devised a great strategy for making sure that James is properly dosed for what she serves over at her house.
First, James is getting much better at taking care of some diabetes-related tasks on his own. He tests himself now. He can enter the number of carbs into his pump and give himself insulin. He is also good at keeping track of how much he eats. The first time my neighbor had the boys over during lunchtime, she had him test himself. Then, together she and James kept track of what he ate on a white board. James thought that was really fun.
Now here’s where technology comes in: She then texted me a photo of the white board at the end of the meal. It had the food item, the amount of carbs per serving and tally marks to indicate how much he ate. From the picture, I could calculate exactly how many carbs James had eaten. I texted her the total carb count, and James input the number into his pump and gave himself the insulin. It was totally awesome!
So now we’ve got this system going. She can send me pictures of his meter, his pump or the food he’s eating, and I can text her to let her know the best next step. She’s gotten so good at the whole thing that she doesn’t need to depend on my instructions quite so much, but it is nice knowing that she can ask me anything and I can respond at the touch of a button.
My neighbors are awesome. So is our system!
About the author: My name is Jennifer, and I live in Southern California with my husband, Craig, and our three boys. Our oldest son James has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I’m thankful for this opportunity -- along with my sister-in-law Kim and her daughter Kaitlyn, who also has type 1 diabetes -- to share our struggles and triumphs with our friends in the diabetes community.
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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