This list is a light look at parenting a child with type 1 diabetes and all it's "Hazards".
#1. The Crime Scene...Blood squirt or a gusher, it all depends on the crime. Whether your poking a finger or changing a site, be on the ready for it. Blood is the name of the game when caring for someone with type 1 diabetes and on a few occasions/situations it can get messy. Bedsheets, pillow cases, a few white t-shirts and a blood spray in the diabetic clinic that could keep any CSI guessing have all experienced the wrath of Cara's blood sugar pokes.
#2. The Judgmental Audience (visual)...As you are out and about with your T1 child you may encounter a Judgmental Audience. This group of individuals may not fully understand why you are force feeding your child pure sugar in a panic as your child is refusing what other children deem as gold. This audience may be at a loss of who is more "crazy" the parent trying to shove sugar down their child's throat or the child who is refusing it.
#3. The Judgmental Audience (audio)...Many times when you are out in public with your T1 you many need to communicate to your D team partner the "condition" of that child, usually across a room full of people. The statement "OMGosh she is HIGH again" may cause this audience to stop dead in their tacks and really second guess what you just yelled out. The fact that your 5 year old is experimenting with drugs is one thing that may cause this audience to be in disbelief however the knowledge that it is not the first time...you must be ready, child services MAY be called.
#4. Urine On The Tips...As I just experienced this unpleasant hazard last night I thought I would share. Honestly, I'm shock that this has not happened more. As parents of a child who has type 1 diabetes ketones and dealing with ketones is just down right nasty and so can be detecting said ketones. Warning this hazard may be discriminatory as parents with daughters who have T1 may be more at risk. When checking for ketones one (usually the parent) places a flimsy what looks like a thin piece of paper in the stream of urine in hopes that the stream hits a very small square at the tip of the strip. There is a very short window to complete this very important task and if the aim or the stream is not just right you may find your fingers become a little too close for comfort to the urine. Pee on the fingers or Urine On The Tips...YUCK! Washing vigorously with soap will contain this hazard.
#5. The Nocturnal Awakening ...Nocturnal Awakening is a hazard for any parent, diabetic or not. But daily Nocturnal Awakening continuously by a set alarm numerous times throughout the night, defiantly a hazard for a parent whose child has T1D. There are countless causes for this hazard but only one result, a very tired, overworked, unfocused, little bitchy...oh, OK who are we kidding A LOT bitchy mom/dad (YES, men can be bitches too). The aftermath of a person suffering from Nocturnal Awakening may been seen in the zombie like behavior and massive dark bags under the eyes...it's not a pretty picture! Seek R&R immediately and if this is not availability during onset of hazard alcohol may help until R&R can be obtained.
#6. The D Clock...The D clock is a hazard that every parent of a child who has type 1 must learn to concur. Living your life in 2 hour increments can cause time to slow to a turtles pace, many times15 minutes can seem like 45 minutes. The D clock can also have an effect on the way you see time, the way you use your time or what you spend your time thinking about. As your friends and outside family's world clocks have not been altered do to this hazard you may experience incongruousness in this aspect of your life. Maybe one of the hardest hazards to learn to adapted to...for me anyways!
#7. The Sibling Confusion...This hazard may or may not be associated with the above mentioned hazard Nocturnal Awakening. This hazard affects the siblings of T1's rather then the parents (although some guilt and fault may be experienced by the parents). This hazard is usually seen while trying to secure a blood sugar sample from your T1 however some parents have experienced Sibling Confusion while counting carbs or administering insulin (most cases have been stopped prior to injection). When you are a parent with a child who has type 1 diabetes blood sugar checks become the norm. It's something you can do without much thought or attention and many times auto-pilot is initiated. However when flying on auto-pilot facial recognition software may be impaired and unfortunately for the siblings, finger tips become identical and therefore causes Sibling Confusion and your non T1D is getting their blood sugar check. The good news is that many siblings learn to run the other way, hide or scream when they see that lancet coming.
#8. The Bitchy Over Protective or Crazy Mom/Dad Syndrome...Although this hazard has many different names it is a result of standing up for your child with type 1 diabetes, advocating and or educating the general population that just do not "GET IT". Most times this hazard is bestowed on the mother of the child with type 1 diabetes but is not limited to. Unfortunately one very hard truth that parents/and people with a T1 will realize is that the world has a very skewed idea of what type 1 diabetes is and how it affects the family and person with type 1. This hazard although unfortunate is NOT something that if NECESSARY should be avoided. A parent must always have their child's safety, health and betterment on the top of their to-do list no matter the threat of this hazard.