As I was shoveling out my desk this morning, I came across some things that I had gone through before I went to Toronto. One of the sessions that I facilitated at Friends for Life Canada, dealt with going back to school. I had references to the latest provinces to enact a policy as well as high and low handouts. I also came across my son's school supply list. This made me think that it might be time to start addressing back to school here as well.
I hate back to school. I used to love it. When I was a bit younger, I loved the new school clothes, fresh notebooks and clean new binders. I enjoyed fresh text books and the thought that "this year I would be more organized." Now I am a mom and I look at things a bit differently. Back to school means early mornings, school lunches, and new clothes that he will grow out of before Christmas. Being a mom of a son with diabetes means having all of his supplies for school, having his diabetes supplies for school and arranging to train his teachers in diabetes basics. Did I mention that I hate back to school?
No matter how much I don't want it to happen, we will be back to a regimented life...and diabetes in school. Over the years I have been given some great presentations for both staff and students. People have sent me wonderful information packages to send with their children to school. Each year, I dutifully head over to the NovoNordisk website and print off multiple copies of the highs and lows symptoms for the school.
I also pull out the "little red box". This box has been used since preschool. It is a box that has emergency instructions taped to the top. It also has spare glucose tablets, batteries, infusion sets, tape, crackers, test strips, and a bit more inside. These supplies are to be kept in a safe place in his homeroom. They are only to be used when the supplies he carries on him have diminished and he has failed to tell me that he is out.
My son has reached an age where he has become very private about his diabetes. Actually he has always been very private about diabetes,but he used to be young enough that Mom would win out and bring diabetes education into the classroom. When he was younger, we would read about Rufus going to school. As he got older, it was the sponge demonstration of your brain absorbing glucose. Now he will only talk about diabetes with his peers on a "need to know" basis.
This year I won't have to worry about educating the teachers. I will double check with the principal to see if they would like a refresher course, especially since there are now two children with diabetes in the school. My son should have the same teachers as the year before and I have met with them a number of times. I think they have the drill down pat.
In the fall I will instead focus my efforts on ensuring that the Deputy Minister of Education really does keep me in the loop on their policy review. I will also renew my chatter to our school board and suggest with another diagnosis in their school system, that diabetes is not going away and a policy should be in place to clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of parents, staff and students. Until the fall arrives however, I think I will just search for summer!