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Back to School

I have always loved back to school time.  Love new school supplies, fall clothes, the excitement of a new year….maybe that’s one reason why I went into teaching (once upon a time, that is).

I love that KC is so excited to be going back.  She’s had her backpack filled, everything labeled, for more than two weeks.  #1 son doesn’t seem quite as eager, but  he will be heading to high school.  We haven’t even purchased his school supplies yet, but then again, high schools don’t give out supply lists.  I remember that I didn’t expect my high school students to have more than a pen and paper (and many didn’t even come with those rudimentary supplies) on the first day.  Some high school teachers can be very specific about what they want their students to use, while others have no preference.  So #1 son’s supplies will wait….

Sending children with diabetes or food allergies to school can be a daunting task.  We are so fortunate that KC will be entering her middle school years at the same school she has been attending for the past three.  She is also following her big brother, so there is a comfort factor in knowing the teachers and their expectations.  We also take comfort in the fact that one of the teachers on KC’s T1DM School management team last year, is her home room and history teacher this year.  But, we will have lost our sweet librarian, who had the added benefit of being an RN.  We wish her the best of luck, but will miss her more than she could know!

KC’s class is already familiar with her T1 but I wish I had known about this episode of ARTHUR when KC was diagnosed!

Our school will have not one, but two T1DM’s this fall.  Deeply saddened to see another family going through this, but glad that our hard work and planning last year will help another child.  “Firefly” (nicknamed because of the song “Fireflies” which she performed to at the school talent show two years ago) is two years younger than KC.  Such a sweet girl!  Our families are working together on mini emergency boxes for each classroom:  art, music, PE, computer lab, library, and Spanish.  The kits will contain juice boxes and glucose tabs/packets of sugar.  We will have treatment plans for dealing with highs and lows laminated and placed in each room.  In addition, we will have a carb chart on the wall of the cafeteria that will include the most common lunch menu items with serving size and carb count listed.

In her backpack, KC will carry a zippered pencil-case containing a smaller glucose meter, lancets, strips, sugar packets, and a mini sharps container.  We recycle strip containers and plastic gum containers (the ones that fit in cup holders) for on-the-go sharps containers.  So all in all, I’m feeling pretty good about sending KC back!

It turns out my bigger battle is the same one I’ve been dealing with for almost 14 years….#1 son’s milk allergy.  I really thought that high school would be easier.  Having taught high school,  I didn’t expect class parties.  Lo and behold, we learn that on the first day there will be a pizza party for the freshman.  Great….not!  The party is sponsored by the parents group.  I’m tired of being the parent who has to teach other parents and school administrations about being sensitive to food allergies (and now I get to teach them about T1…yay!)  For the past three years, #1 son was at a school that did everything they could to accommodate his allergy.  I couldn’t have asked for more from them. Our previous schools were not so helpful.  I’ve tried explaining that a reward party for  a class isn’t a reward for #1 son if he has to bring his own reward.  It isn’t rocket science, is it?

What am I going to do about this one?  Let it pass…..for now…..send #1 son with his own lunch (and Duncan Hines brownies to share with his friends) and then….wait…..

There will come a time when I’ve got the strength to fight that battle again.


About kcandcompany

Mother of with food allergy and one with Type 1 diabetes.

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