What's the worst thing about having type 1 diabetes? Well, the answer to that question is different for everyone, and it probably changes from day to day. For Kaitlyn though, the answer is definitely having to adjust meals according to blood sugar readings.
Lately she's starting to get frustrated about the cards that have been dealt to her. She stomps her foot, puts her fists on her hips and says "I don't like having diabetes!" Perhaps she's going through a phase like many 5-and-a-half-year-olds do, in which she's just upset about life in general and learning to vent her frustrations. Oftentimes, she blames not being able to eat something on the fact that she has diabetes. I often have to remind her that her siblings don't always get every little snack or treat that they want either. Frequently, they're actually jealous of Kaitlyn when she has a low and needs juice or another sugar source to bring her back into range.
Regardless of the reasons why she can or cannot have the snacks and treats she wants, she knows that having diabetes is her lot in life, and some days she just doesn't want to be cheerful about it. The look on her face when she tests herself and gets a "high" reading is enough to make anyone feel sorry for her.
That was really bothering me the other day, and I put my mind to work on what I could do for Kaitlyn to change her perspective a little bit. I was wandering through the toy section at one of my favorite stores, and it hit me! In front of me was a box of something called Sticky Mosaics®. I had never seen them before, but it looked like something that my girls would love to work on. I put it in my cart and wandered through the rest of the store trying to think of some occasion to spoil the girls a little bit. Christmas had recently passed, and it was several more months before Kaitlyn's birthday. Unable to come up with any other excuse, I thought, "Wouldn't this be the perfect thing for Kaitlyn to work on while she waits for her blood sugar to come down?" It was the perfect idea!
A couple days later, I helped her test herself and she was high. The frustrated look came over her face, but when I pulled out the fun craft activity, her face lit up! I explained to her that she could only work on this when she has high blood sugar and we're waiting a little while for her to come back into range.
I got the results I wanted for sure. In fact, Kaitlyn had a complete attitude reversal. She's now excited every time she gets to work on her special project!
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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