The other day I was asked to look through a package for children with diabetes to take to school. It detailed the roles and responsibilities of both caregivers as well as school staff. There was a section for parents to fill out regarding the care of their child. I was less than impressed with this section but one thing that really stuck out was when the parent was asked to inform the school when their child would be low.
Excuse me?? When will my son go low? Are you serious? If I knew that one I could prevent it. If I knew that one, I would not be looking at CGM technology or worry about him when he was away from me. Who comes up with this stuff?
Okay, there are some cases where lows can be anticipated…kind of. Yes there is a chance he will go low after gym…unless he had pancakes for breakfast and he was probably high before he started so he will most likely be in range. He might also be okay if we knew it was gym and he had lunch just before or if he was coming down with a bug or if he was going through a growth spurt, or….well you know the drill.
In all fairness, there was a time when we fought highs right after breakfast. No matter what I did, it seemed that he was high so I could almost anticipate that but once I did, well Diabetes changed its mind and all was okay at that time.
I wish it was that easy to predict when he will go low. For example, last night we went up to the cabin for a drive. He ran around in the snow. He did some shoveling. All in all he was much more active than he usual night of playing xBox and studying. I had a sense that he would be low during the night. He had been in range for the past two nights so a small bit of activity could throw things off. Had I have known “when” exactly he would have been low, I would have set a temporary basal and been able to happily sleep through the night instead of being up for 4 til 5 in the morning with a low that kept dropping after glucose tablets instead of rising.
In the past two days, I have read of a young man and a young girl who both were found dead in their beds. I am guessing that if it were as simple as knowing when they would go low, both of these young people with diabetes would be alive and their families much happier today.
The scariest thing about the question of “when will your child go low” is not the question itself. We have gotten used to the ignorance of the general public about the intricacies of diabetes care. The scary part for me was that this is part of a package for children with diabetes going to school. In many cases, these policies and information packages are created with the help of parents of children with diabetes. How did they manage to overlook that one? Did someone in the bureaucracy just think it was okay to slip it in? So much more educating to do but jeez, wouldn’t it be nice if we really could plan those hypos to occur–oh yes at 6pm according to my son!