Guest Blog: 8.5 or Bust!
Today's guest post comes from blogger Jeff Kuhns. His daughter Olivia had type 1 diabetes and his blog, Team Olivia, was among the first that I found after I started SUM. I'm honored to have him posting here, sharing the perspective of the parent of a child with diabetes.
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10.2! 10 point freakin’ 2! I was aghast, shocked, astounded, and flabbergasted. At least I felt the need to be. Play the part for the dietitian and the CDE. But I guess I knew. Being father of the year was going to take a little more work. I’m taking this hard because I had the unfortunate duty of being the one to take the day off and hit the doctor’s appointments.
As a father of a 10-year old Type 1 daughter. I always struggle between the need for my daughter to gain independence with her diabetes and the need to make sure that she remains healthy. This time I apparently erred in the wrong direction. (I say I because I am writing this but really it is we – my wife takes a tremendous amount of responsibility.) Never have either of us been “helicopter” parents. We were raised to be independent and have lived away from our families for almost 20 years.
So, 10 point freakin’ 2. Let that settle in and wrap your head around it. That’s an average blood sugar of around 300 – AVERAGE! And, Olivia, my daughter, is on a pump. “Horrible,” as the CDE reiterated to me. What is going on? (This is where I think it is pertinent to mention that Olivia was also recently diagnosed with ADHD.) Forgotten boluses! Incorrect basals! Not putting insulin in before she eats!
I had to reconcile it with myself. All of these things could have been better reinforced by my wife and me. We are ultimately responsible for our daughter’s well being. It was time to take back the responsibility for now. Independence will come – but in small steps. Now we have a goal, 8.5 or bust. This means an average blood sugar around 200. How? Phone calls when we are not eating together. My wife and I manipulating the pump at meal times. Consequences for forgotten boluses.
Okay, so “Father of the Year” may have to wait a while but, there are more important things!
(Olivia pretending to eat a giant cupcake.)
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Jeff, we'll be pulling for you. I know Olivia (and you guys) can hit that 8.5! Thanks for posting, and let us know what happens!