Sunday, February 2, 2020

Morning Routines

I have always been the kind of person that could be ready to head out the door in about five minutes.  I don't wear make-up, I own only a few pairs of shoes, I wear jeans and t-shirts, I put my keys in the same place when I get home each day.  In the morning to get ready for work I need time to shower and throw on clothes then out the door I go.  Since I live only five minutes from my job I need to wak up about 20 minutes before I have to be at work.  Uhm, until now.

There is no "grab your keys and let's go" with type one diabetes (probably not with a lot chronic health conditions).  My morning routine since my son't diagnosis has changed.  Now I wake up and drink my coffee at home (saving myself lots of money since we don't do the coffee stand anymore).  I set the oven to preheat, start the coffee to brew, then hop in the shower.  After I'm dressed I put bacon into the oven and sip my coffee while I pack N's lunch for school.  I write down his formula and carb counts in his notebook and make sure his kit has all the necessary supplies.  The timer lets me know the bacon is ready and I go wake N up for school.  I do a glucose check then head back to the kitchen to calculate his insulin for breakfast while he gets dressed.  He usually eats the bacon while I finish getting his breakfast set up.  We get on our shoes and coats, he gets his insulin injection, then we hop in the car.

We arrive to school and get settled in my classroom then my timer lets me know he can eat his breakfast.  N likes to listen to stories read aloud (storyline online or books on tape/cd) while he eats breakfast.  I'm on the clock at this point so I'm doing my morning planning or I head off to meetings in the conference room.  About thirty minutes later N gets on a bus to go from my school to his.

Not a bad routine but it definitely took us a couple weeks to figure out what works best for us.  Thankfully my job was very forgiving.  The first couple days I was late.  N would have a morning low or he would want something for breakfast that took too long.  I was also trying to give him the insulin and have him eat at home before leaving but in order to arrive to work on time he would be eating too early leaving well over three hours between his breakfast and when he has lunch at school.  If he eats too early he is low before lunch.  If he tries to have a snack between breakfast and lunch then he isn't hungry at lunch and would be low at afternoon snack from not eating all his lunch.  We've tried this and tweaked that and finally gotten into our groove.  This routine is working for us as long as N wants cereal and fruit for breakfast.  Sometimes he wants waffles or scrambled eggs though.  Right now that doesn't work on a weekday so we save it for the weekend.

Maybe the morning routine doesn't change much for some families but for us, most of this was a change.  N used to go to a before school program where they would serve him breakfast and he would have time to play/visit with his friends.  I did speak with them about his diabetes and what the mornings would be like for him if he continued to go to their program but ultimately we decided it wouldn't work out.  The program has been great for both my kids but the daily supervision is from people in their early twenties.  There are a lot of kids from 1st - 5th grade and not a lot of staff.  There are rules that everyone must sit down and be served the breakfast.  Ugh it just wasn't going to be reasonable to expect them to adjust things for him and I would've been worried.  I figured out our new plan and was fortunate that my job allowed me to make the needed adjustments.

Thankfully, school is a whole different scenario.  N has a chronic health condition and is provided a health plan &/or a 504 or IEP to ensure that his needs are being met at school.  I met with the school nurse and his teacher before sending him back to school and we developed a health plan for him.  He is able to manage his diabetes with no repercussions.  He can have a snack, get drinks, keep his phone on him/with him, can have breaks from testing, and may see the nurse whenever he needs.  His teacher keeps no carb snacks in her mini-fridge that I send for him to have when he needs/wants.  If he asks to go to the nurse she always has a friend of his go with him to make sure he gets all the way there (sometimes when blood sugar is low a person can get confused or disoriented or even pass out).  I still worry about him at school.  If there is a substitute or if they are doing a lot of extra activity in PE or what might happen on the playground but those scenarios should be covered by the health plan.

I'm lucky I work for our school district and I have the flexibility of being a teacher who works the same hours that my son is in school.  I'm fortunate that N's elementary school has a full time nurse on staff and that his teacher was very open to learning about diabetes and making sure that his needs are part of her daily plan (especially when there are parties or special activities).

I get up one hour before I have to be at work now and I always make it on time.  I don't have to worry or feel anxious in the mornings because we have our routine figured out and it stays pretty consistent.  I do wish we could sleep in on the weekends but for now we keep to a pretty tight schedule in order to keep N's diabetes well managed.  He gets to sleep in about 30 minutes later on weekends but I get up at the same time.  My physician says I'll probably live longer because I keep the same hours all the time but he also says stress can take years off your life so maybe it's a wash:)

Still, I feel lucky that I'm in the job I am and that it is so close to my home and to N's school.

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