Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Diabetes (because I can't come up with an interesting title for this post)

I have a friend whose daughter was just diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Her daughter is 5. What a shock for the family, I feel so bad for them. But I know they are strong and can pull through this and make their daughter's life as good as it can be.

But this post is not about that and me poo-poo'ing the sorrows of life and how it can befall the good people. Its about something which I feel is an injustice.

First, some background on Type 1 diabetes. In Type 1 diabetics, their body cannot produce insulin so they require artificial insulin to live. Insulin shots everday. How many shots varies on how much insulin they need and is based on their blood sugar levels. Currently in my friend's case, they need to check their daughter's sugar levels three times a day. This occurs with a skin prick at the end of her finger. Not fun for anybody, whether you're 5 or 35. Since she's only 5, she's not quite able to check her sugar levels on her own and since she doesn't stay at school all day, she doesn't need to check her levels at school, *however*, if she shows symptoms of low sugar levels (lethargic, already asleep, etc) , they must be checked. If not, she could pass out and slip into a coma. Very scary indeed!

So, okay what's my point? Her school's teacher's seem reticient to check her sugar levels if needed. No medicine is given, no exchange of bodily fluids so what's the big deal? If a teacher was required to give a student an epi pen, you can bet your booties they would plunge that pin in (they get trained every year) so where's the difference here? Both situations are life and death. In my friend's case, their one option was to send her to the office to have it checked. Okay, but if her sugar is too low, she could pass out, collapse and smash her face on the way to the office in which case, its too late.

As my friend was telling me this, I guess I was sort of shocked as to me, its a no brainer. A child in your class has a disease which could be potentially fatal, wouldn't you want to do anything you could to be educated? She's the same as any kid, only she needs to eat more frequently and whilst normally you may avoid offering your classroom kids candy, in her case, that's just what you might have to give her. Some fast acting sugars to bring her levels up. Sometimes I'm just shocked at that which is so simple and makes such sense and the level of stupidity that humanity shows. You can bet your bottom dollar that if I'm at their house, I will ask to be shown how to check her levels *just in case* so that I know how if I ever need to do it. Probably never will but a little knowledge goes a long way and can save a life or a bad situation.

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