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What I have learned over the past year August 24, 2009

Posted by aydensmom in diabetes, Uncategorized.
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One year ago today my life changed. I spent the next few days meeting several doctors and nurses and learning about diabetes.

Over the year I have learned a lot aside from how to count carbs, adjust insulin, and calm a baby who didn’t understand why I was hurting him. Below are my top nine learnings from the year. Please comment with your additions if you have any recommendations.

1. Don’t beat yourself up – we can’t be perfect and those of us raising toddlers can’t be mind readers (but we try really hard to be).  So if you make a mistake and something happens think about the positive, and learn from it.

2. Continue to learn from others – I monitor the latest news and information on type 1 diabetes. This has helped teach me about several things including the highs Ayden experiences when he’s active and how activity snacks can help to prevent the spikes.

3. Communicate with your partner – Keep talking. My husband and I have our breakdowns and we each have our own differing opinions, but we have made a commitment to each other to respect those opinions and continue to talk about the issue until we come to a solution for Ayden that we can both understand. This may take minutes or hours but we both realize that we have to trust each other and recognize we are both just wanting our son to be healthy and happy.

4. Do what’s right for your child – The best treatment practices are just that. they are the best based on the general population, but what is right for your child may not be recommended. Your health care team is essential in your child’s treatment process, but so are your instincts and your knowledge of your child. Try not to let best practices over rule what you think is right for your child. I have run into some problems with Ayden because I didn’t trust myself enough, but I do now. And I will fight for what is right for him.

5. Develop a support system – I’m very lucky to have my parent as part of our support system. They understand Ayden’s diabetes almost as well and I do, and they can step in to help if Ayden is sick or I need a second opinion on his treatment plan. All of our family and friends are encouraged to learn how to give Ayden finger pokes and needles. This helps him understand that his whole family supports him and will help him to live with diabetes.

6. Don’t hide it, don’t be embarrassed of it and don’t accept sympathy – One of the most common statements to me when people find out is “Oh, I’m sorry.” My response to is – don’t be. He’s fine, we’re fine, and it doesn’t slow him down. Overall people are curious when we pull our needles and lancets out at a restaurant, but I’m not ashamed of it and I want people to ask me about it. I want to show Ayden that he can feel secure in knowing that this is not something he has to hide in a bathroom. People may think I’m flaunting it, but it’s only to give my son confidence and raise awareness.

7. Give your child some control – during pokes, needles or insertions Ayden is never held down, and it is never forced on him. To this end he has accepted it. He still has times where he will whine about it and it may take five or 10 minutes to convince him, but in the end he accepts it and helps us with it however he can. For instance he will push the plunger of the needle down. that gives him a part in his treatment and some control over the needles. He will also do his own finger poke if he feels like it.

8. Try not to let your fears scare others – When Ayden was first diagnosed has was in a fantastic daycare. Although we were terrified, we tried to convey a sense of security with them. In the long run this has benefited us the most, as our daycare is on board with anything we need. They will do multiple finger pokes a day to check on him and will call us immediately if anything is looking bad. They don’t do insulin, but they track his numbers and his food intake as needed. I think this is because they weren’t scared off at the beginning. I have to say the ladies are absolutely fantastic and love Ayden to pieces.

9. Live in the present – Thinking about the future – the what ifs and the what happens when – drives me crazy. I really try to keep myself from focusing to much on the future and more on what I can do right now to improve his tomorrow.

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