We're super used to and unphased by diabetes paraphernalia around the house. I remember the first time I left an insulin syringe on James' nightstand. Craig came in frantically with the needle in his hand and said with an accusatory tone, "You left this out where he can get it!" I felt all smug and sassy when I replied, "Oh yeah, what's he going to do, poke himself?" The reality is that we live with all kinds of diabetes stuff around us. The most notorious being, of course, test strips.
We love test strips. We use lots, every single day. James tests himself; Craig and I test him too. Most used test strips end up in the trash can. Although it's only a small percentage that does not, the fact that we use so many strips means that many still make it into unusual places.
We've found used test strips in the car, in the laundry, in my purse (actually a lot there). Once, I found one on the ground in the school parking lot upon exiting the car, meaning of course that it was probably our strip (James is the only kid with type 1 diabetes at school) but clearly from a previous visit. I even found one in my hair the other day. We always get a good laugh at the places we find diabetes supplies and test strips in particular.
But having Baby Ben has changed that a little bit. He is at that crazy crawling phase. To be honest, it is one of my least favorite stages. Ben is still so little that he has baby mentality, but his body is so fast and quick that I feel like I never get to sit down. To their credit, James and Luke do a great job of putting their toys away. Since they are nearly 9 and almost 5 years old, they only seem to like toys with tiny parts. They keep them up off the floor, knowing that if I find them there, they get confiscated for a week. It sounds mean, but keeping up with three kids is hard, and I really do worry about choking hazards.
So while toys are rarely a concern around here, we still have a little bit of a test strip issue. In addition to crumbs, paper bits, and clumps of dog hair (ick!), Baby Ben has been known to find the odd test strip and put it in his mouth. While we don't usually get bent out of shape about finding supplies around the house, I have to say, the mouth of my 8-month-old is definitely my least favorite place to find a used strip. The only good news is that following Ben around and keeping him safe from test strips has helped me finally get back into my skinny jeans!
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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