This summer I was not going to let my kids just sit around and do NOTHING all summer soooo I got them a tutor. I knew that all my kids could use a head start with the upcoming school year, especially Connor and Cara.
Connor has a very significant learning disability and Cara, well... she has diabetes.
You might say "Diabetes? Diabetes has to do with blood sugar NOT learning" However diabetes and blood sugar DOES AFFECT HER LEARNING at school.
I really never truly understood just HOW much blood sugar affects learning, brain function and the ability to concentrate until NOW. I mean, yes I heard all the facts and read a few papers, yes I heard the DOC blogging and facebooking and talking about it, yes I did see it in other facets of Cara's life but nothing like I saw it during her summer tutoring at home. All throughout school, Cara's teacher continuously gave me a heads up with her grades, they just weren't up to par with the rest of her class and the teacher very blatantly blamed a lot of it on diabetes. I was thinking it had to do with the loss of class time however now I have a better understanding of how diabetes and why diabetes is affecting Cara in school.
Reason #1: Cara is out of the classroom A LOT, with blood sugar testing, treating lows, going to the bathroom, getting drinks, calling home to get carb counts...it really all adds up. Cara is missing a huge amount of class time.
Reason #2. When Cara is high she definitely struggles to concentrate and learn.
Recently, I have witnessed this struggle first hand.
The non-stop shifting and re-adjusting, the itching of the nose, the whining, the scribbles, the numerous eraser flakes.
My poor girl is struggling to learn when her blood sugar is high and this has had a huge impact on her schooling. To watch this internal struggle for a parent is upsetting, frustrating, maddening and guilt-filled.
It all seems to start with the constant rubbing of the tip of her nose, using her flat open palm to try and itch the problem away all while continuously shifting from a sitting position in her chair to kneeling on her legs and then back again to sitting. Then the whining begins. It starts quiet enough, with a little ughhhhh here and a grrrrr there until she is in full blown ahhhhhh and if she is really having a tough time tears will be shed. The frustration becomes even more apparent with one glance at the lined sheet of paper with slight holes beginning to break the page from the pressure and stress of the pencil and eraser. Pink eraser flakes fill the page and surround the scribbled answers crossed out due to the inability to come up with the correct answer. Her work is messy and wrong. Once she finally gives up on the paper she seems to glance around the room looking at the others, all doing what she should be. Maybe she is looking for possible help, or someone or something to re-focus on, lost in a overwhelming moment of a high blood sugar with a brain that just CAN NOT follow along and focus on what she is suppose to be learning.
This is a huge problem and something that is causing me a tremendous amount of stress. Without a nurse in the school full time I have not felt comfortable running her extremely tight but after seeing what a high blood sugar actually does to Cara and her ability to focus, concentrate and learn I have a NEED to get her as close as I can to a "normal" or "target" blood sugar.
With Cara getting older I am becoming a little more comfortable with her ability to get the help that she needs at school in the case of a low but I'm still very hesitant.
I have to work this out and make a plan and keep my daughter safe AND LEARNING while in school.
I will get this done!! I have too!