If you have found this blog, saying Welcome does not really seem appropriate. I know you wish you weren't surfing the internet for diabetes. I felt the same.

A big part of me wishes I were not writing about diabetes, nor did I anticipate to become so opinionated or informed on the subject, but it happened. In 2010, my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

It wasn't really part of the plan… Correction - it was not part of the plan, but it happened. It is not always easy, but I think we are all doing okay, and I hope we continue to do so.

Why the Middle East? I happen to live in Dubai. I don't think that living in the Middle East makes mine or my son's diabetic experience any more unique or challenging than it does elsewhere in the developed world.

I hope you stick around, or read something you like. Feel free to comment and join the conversation, subscribe or follow this blog by liking the Facebook page Diapoint.

Please note: This blog does not give medical advice. I am opinionated, and I share my experiences, but the first rule of diabetes is to follow up with your doctor and/or nurse educator about your care, diagnosis or medication. If you do not have a medical practitioner that is helping you find your way through this crazy world, then do not give up until you find the right one.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

School Lock Downs and Such

I saw a map on Facebook this morning that shows the location of every school shooting in the US  since the awful tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary.  A total of 74 school shootings!  And now this afternoon I read of a 75th!

What is going on?  I cannot believe the headlines.  It is so random.  It is so heartbreaking.

Before the Sandy Hook incident, there were other school shootings in the US.  None should be taken lightly. Even one is too many! These are tragedies that once you read about them, you can't unread it.

I am in another country with a very low crime rate, and no school shootings that I am aware of. The fact that schools can go on "lock down" made me weary as the mom of a Type 1 diabetic.  That means my son needs a snack box in every location he could be in throughout the day.

Last year my son had a homeroom, and he would go to PE, Library and Music in other rooms.  This year he had a few other activities to rotate through, which meant even more locations he could be in at any given time of hypoglycemia.  If there were a long lock down, that would be inevitable.

I felt kind of funny proposing "lock down boxes".  Was I over reacting?  Being too American?  The former risk manager side of me coming out?  Where to begin.  How could I say, "You know, in case there is a school shooting".  In Dubai, this is unheard of.

I gave myself the internal mom talk.  Who cares what other people think.  This is your child, and you are responsible for his well being.  They will think you are crazy for a million other reasons, so just add this one to this list.

I first approached this through the school health office by asking if there was a lock down policy.  I was honestly relieved to learn there was.  One, because well, that is just good, and two, I did not look like such an idiot asking about it. I did not need to mention any school shooting or any other unthinkable catastrophe that will not likely happen.  I then told them I wanted to meet with each teacher and place snack boxes in every room where he has classes and they were fine with that.

This ended up working out well because sometimes if the nurse comes down to the class to check him, instead of him going to the health office when he is low, they can treat it immediately without going all the way back to the health office.  I tell myself that this also has some psychological benefit because he hates to miss out on what his class is doing.  Even though he really doesn't miss anything, it helps him feel not so different.  The class supplies are replenished, and all is good.

Each of my snack boxes holds about 2-3 juice boxes and a few snack bars.  If your child can self manage and you have extra glucometers, then maybe you want to include those also.  As his teachers are not trained to use his pump, I am okay that boluses be dealt with by the nurses or myself after they are released.

About a week before school, I met with my son's new teacher and new principal with a nurse from the health office.  I provided them with general information about diabetes, as well as specifics to my son.  I will do the same next year, perhaps minus the principal.

This worked out really well.  I have a good relationship with the nurses and they also did additional education for all his teachers, and others who have diabetic children in their class.  I trust they were thorough. Everyone then knows what to expect, you have peace of mind, and you know that your child will be looked after if a situation were to occur.

So as we approach the last few days of school, why do I write about this now?  Well, its on my mind.  When is diabetes not on our minds?  When I read about something that effects children, the mom in me has to calculate how that would effect my son - both as a boy and a diabetic.

If you did not have supplies for a lock down at school this year, plan to have them ready to go on your child's first day of school for the fall.  We can't predict everything, but we can try to prepare them or in this case, their environment.

Maybe someday there will be a cure, and parents of diabetic kids will not have to worry about these extra boxes. Just as much, I wish for no school shootings.  Then no parent will have to think of these tragedies.  Ever.

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