Friday’s subject – what life hacks do you have for coping with T1?
This will be predominantly my input today. Pumplette is very adept at improvisation & I’m sure in another few years this would be the best post to read of hers!
However, for now, her best life hacks usually involve getting her own way. Be it a “defiant bolus” to get that packet of sweets or extra slice of pudding she wanted, to the “convenient hypo” especially useful for dodging pesky piano practise & history homework.
So what life hacks could I possibly offer? Well, there’s the, now latent, talent I had for checking a baby’s bgs from her heel whilst breast feeding her. You never know the meaning of dexterity until you’ve mastered that particular skill!
I have continued, to this day, to still use Pumplette’s heel for bg checks at night. It’s the least intrusive way I’ve found & ensures she sleeps through the whole process. Especially as very early on, she learned to sleep on her hands, hiding her fingers from nocturnal lancets.
The best waterproof pump bag we found was a croc-o-dial. The makers of those infamous crocs produce a mobile phone pouch, perfect in size for an Animas pump. This means she can swim to her hearts content without the pump being clipped to her swimmers or shoved inside!
You may wonder how a bag of crisps could possibly be considered a life hack, but please, bear with me!
As Pumplette has explained in previous posts, the editor can be a bit stingy on the treat front. Consequently crisps & chocolate aren’t part of her & her sisters’ everyday diet but do make an odd cameo appearance from time to time. This is particularly handy when it comes to treats. At every annual review clinic when she sees the phlebotomists, Pumplette marches into the room armed with a bag of crisps & a rolled up sleeve. I started this tradition when she was 5 & had to have her first “big” blood test. There was no way I was going to let her dread these, so instead I resorted to that tried & tested parental technique – bribery. The small 5yo had never before been allowed an entire packet of crisps to herself, and so the full on novelty of the event made the blood test fade into the background as she beamed with delight & munched her way through her very first bag of crisps! To this day she is still the only child I know of who looks forward to this particular aspect of annual review! She’s also been used as an example to encourage the less enthusiastic visitor to the phlebotomist, happily chatting the reluctant participant through the process whilst the nurses wait for their cue!!
This leads nicely onto our last life hack & by far the most important which has already been mentioned in another parent’s blog today.
Clinic day. Instinctively to me I felt these should be days she looked forward to. Taking a whole day off school, ensuring we choose a fabulous place to lunch, indulging in some retail therapy & over elevenses discuss what matters, if any, she’d like to pick through with her team. I see this as the single most important thing I can do for her & her future with T1. It’s my responsibility to ensure she realises she’s in charge of these matters. This consultation is for her benefit. Not the hcps. I will not allow them to become consults where she’s berated for perceived misdemeanours. She must take the lead & set her agenda. And know that that is utterly the right thing to do, as even at 10, she knows far more about HER T1 than any of her hcps do.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a knock at her fabulous team. They are superb at responding in kind to her agenda setting. Merely I’m trying to future proof the Pumplette so she’ll never accept anything other than support & understanding from any team caring for her.
But it starts at home. As her parents we must ensure she’s confident to do this. And so far, it seems to be working. In fact, next clinic, her annual review, she’ll be supporting a younger friend who’s also got her first annual review that day. We’ve already asked her to join us for lunch. And I think we may already have another convert to our regime!!