Thursday, April 9, 2020

Spring Break & Trying the Omnipod Sticker

Spring Break!

We are still home but this week is technically spring break!  I wish I could say I"m finally taking a break from online meetings and staring at a computer all day but our state just announced school closures will continue through the end of this school year.  I knew that was coming but it was heartbreaking to realize this school year will be distance all the way.

I am also working on my renewal for my National Boards.  This is a pretty in-depth profile of my professional growth from the past nine years and includes video taped lessons and reflections on my teaching practice.  The original timeline for completion was May so my plan was to video tape throughout March, then watch the video lessons, pick the best, and work on the reflection writing over spring break.  Fortunately I did begin video taping the second week in March but unfortunately I had at total of 3 days of video taping lessons before Covid-19 closed our campus.  Many of these lessons couldn't be used because I did not receive back permission slips to include all of my students in the submission and in a classroom students are often walking around in the background while you teach. After deleting all of those I had exactly three lessons left that met the time requirement.  Hmmm, wish me luck.

Omnipod Dash

So my T1D son is wearing an omnipod dash "sticker".  It gives us an idea of the adhesive, the weight and size of the pump, and how well he tolerates it's presence on his body for 3 days.  It isn't an active pump though so we get none of the benefits and we didn't get the whole experience.  This pump is tubeless and waterproof which are both strong pros for my son.  He is worried that his cat will chew on a tube in the middle of the night because Alfie currently chews up any earbuds he can find.  I like that they are in clinical trials for a new system that would work with his dexcom on a loop system but we can't put our faith in that  happening soon.  We have to choose from what we have in front of us. Sounds like this system would require him to carry his phone for the dexcom and the separate PDM.  We'd be able to suspend his basal insulin if needed to prevent hypoglycemia. He would be spared the 5 daily injections he gets currently.  That is a lot of positive.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Strong & Insulin Pump Therapy

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Strong, Stay "Sane"

So we are almost to spring break here!  Just two more days.  Of course neither I nor my kids and hubby have set foot on our respective school campus' for the past two and a half weeks.  We are staying home and staying safe.

My older son is a junior in HS and he is taking several AP classes that are meeting via zoom and continuing with their syllabus.  He also tried to update a bunch of his programs on his computer, crashed the whole system, and had to borrow my computer to do one of his online classes while I had to keep working from my phone.

My younger son is a fifth grader and his teacher is sending renew, refresh, review activities but they don't seem very essential so we aren't doing most of them in favor of working on Khan Academy and exploring science, cooking, gardening, and hobbies (things we don't usually have much time for during the school year). He is also getting used to all the extra information we have with his CGM and all the "let's try..." that I keep saying to him trying to reduce his post meal spike.

As teachers of children with low incidence disabilities, hubby and I have been working with our school administrators to review learning platforms, conducting zoom IEP & evaluation meetings, and using shared working sites to collaborate with other special education teachers and staff to create specially designed instruction models that will serve our students from a distance without expecting parents to suddenly become learning partners or teachers assistants.  This has been no small feat when we are looking at a range of skills from within 2 years of grade level and working on academic content to catch up all the way to just learning to respond to yes/no questions using eye gaze.  I'm actually putting in more hours and working harder than when we are on campus and truthfully I just wish we could go back.  I miss my students and colleagues.  I miss the routine.  I miss being in my element.  But I am happy that I am able to stay home with my family and am fortunate that I am keeping busy and not spending time worrying.

Insulin Pumps on the Brain

We had our visit with our endocrinologist this week via phone call.  It was convenient to have dexcom clarity so we could share his last two week's data with them and we all got to look at the same information.  I'm anxious to start the process of insulin pump therapy but we will have to wait until 6 months post diagnosis for insurance and that won't happen until June.  If getting the dexcom approved taught me anything it is that I should start working on things now.

We've actually done a lot of research already on the main pump options available to us and have it narrowed down to just two.  We've spoken to reps from each company, we have handouts and user guides, and we are even getting a sample of one.  We've talked with all our new friends that have diabetes or are caring for a child with diabetes to see what they do and don't like about the pump they are on.  We've watched videos of the site change for each device.  We definitely see pros and cons for each option and it feels like a HUGE decision.  It will be his pump for at least 4 years before we'll be able to change to something else if we don't like it.   I know someone who has an insulin pump but chose to go back to multiple daily injections because she finds the pump too frustrating.  I do not want to end up in that same situation.

It does seem that insulin pump preference has a lot to do with how you live and what you need but when you are first starting out with this diagnosis it is difficult to have any real idea what is and is not a match for your/your child's lifestyle.  Adding to the difficulty is that we've been home for three weeks so as we think about things our vision of life and what we need is skewed.

Things to keep pondering, goodness knows we have the time right now.

Stay Safe