I would like to thank all of you for allowing me the time to speak tonight.
As a mother whose child has type 1 diabetes it is very exciting and encouraging to have a motion for consistent policy/procedures for dealing with students who have diabetes being addressed.
My name is Nicole ***** and my daughter Cara was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on February 13th 2009 at the age 3. Type 1 diabetes is a very serious and life threatening, autoimmune disease with no cure as of yet. Cara receives 4 shots of insulin a day at breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime. Each and every one of Cara’s meals and snacks has a required and restricted amount of carbohydrates which must be strictly followed.
This is a very involved and complicated disease. What works for you one day may not work for you another; there is no rhyme or reason to this disease. This is what makes type 1 so dangerous. We can send our children to school with the correct amount of insulin and with the perfect amount of carbohydrates and for some reason, a growth spurt, hormones, increased amount of exercise, even something so little like excitability can derail what should have been an uneventful day and steer that child down a path of dangerous lows which can and has lead to deaths.
Unfortunately for children especially in our area, type1 diabetes diagnoses are on the rise. With that comes the increase of children in our school systems suffering from this very dangerous and misunderstood disease. There is a huge NEED and demand for education and support for our child in your schools.
Upon diagnosis we as parents undergo an intensive learning and education program surrounding the basic tools, techniques and information on how to care for and maintain a thriving child with type 1 diabetes. So WE have the tools, the techniques and information that WE need as parent to do our job. BUT then, you soon realize that you can’t lock up your child in your diabetes friendly home forever, though you may like too, they are 4 and it is time for them to experience what every 4 year old looks forward to in September…a new pack back and some colour pencils and it’s time for school!
Labour day weekend is the worst time of the year for any parent who has a child with type 1 diabetes. Near the end of July the dreaded countdown beings to the day we hand over our children to people who may have little to no experience or knowledge of this disease. While other parents are elated with the thoughts of an empty house and their children learning, our minds are consumed with the what if’s, trying to plan for emergency scenario that can occur during school and of course our worst fear is having a new principal or new teacher that may have a hard time understanding our children’s everyday needs.
As every parent knows giving up our control and care of our children is a nerve racking experience but when you throw type 1 diabetes into that mix it’s an almost impossible feet.
I will leave you tonight with a very real and true scenario that can and may happen in your schools. I hope that this highlights the need for a consistent policies and procedures that focuses around type 1 diabetes education and training for all school staff.
You are a teacher in a full day JK class, your students are 3-4 years of age and they all have had a very full and fun morning. The children have eaten lunch and now it's quiet time.
The children are all sitting in anticipation of listen to you read a book. As you begin to read you scan the room, some children are seating, some giggling, some are resting their heads on their desks, Suzie is one of them she is also type 1.
You continue to read and you begging to notice that little Suzie is oddly very still, and her head had not moved from off her desk.
You finish the story, all heads are up and now waiting for their next instructions, all accept little Suzie’s. You call her name, still no moment
You walk over and tap her tiny little shoulder, her head turns to you, white as a ghost with great big eyes looking up at you, she is unable to lift her head or sit up, she mumbles something in her sweet soft voice but it is very hard to understand something about her belly hurts….
WHAT DO YOU DO??
Suzie is experiencing a very dangerous low, what you don’t know is that Suzie was unhappy with what her mother packed for lunch so instead of eating it she threw it away. Insulin was administered by the nurse who has since left the school and with no carbohydrates Suzie’s blood sugar is dropping and it is dropping fast.
Every second that you waste trying to figure out what your next step is brings Suzie one step closer to a seizure, losing consciousness and even death.
WHAT DO YOU DO??
Thank you for your time
and I'm sad to say they completely missed the boat but we will keep fighting because these are our children's lives at stake.
I will be posting more about this very soon!!