Welcome to Middle-cle* School

Shes’s making a list. She’s checking it seventeen times.

What we have so far:

What we have so far: insulin pen, pen needles, syringes (for tenacious highs or in case of pump failure. Boy injects self with pen but not syringe/syringes in case pen breaks); 2. test strips and lancets; 3. meter charger and manual (to get rid of manual); 4. infusion sets and cartridges (so I don’t have to stop at home to get them if I’m swooping in to fix a site); 5. meter with lancing device, lancets, test strips; 6. glucose tabs; 7. glucagon (expires 9/2015); 8. juice boxes (15g CHO/box) (because he could maybe drink this even if he’s too zonked to chew); 9. Mini-Larabars : the last box, no longer found in stores, buy them all if you see them again (10 – 13g CHO/bar)(mixed snack for before gym/dismissal & BG

I need to add:

  • Ketone pee strips (call CVS for refill)
  • The school district’s required form for kids with T1d (probably the nurse has a blank one)
  • Some kind of supplemental, B-specific instructions (I need to write this)
  • Xeroxed pages from pump manual (for showing the nurse how to change the infusion set—or is that asking too much?)
  • Print this brilliant Dexcom flow chart to help explain how/when Bubs might want to veer from the written treatment plan
  • Spare AA lithium battery

Things I need to understand:

I added in new information in hot pink. It’s mostly notes to self.

  • Does the nurse remain in the building during after school activities? No. Parent should be in town & accessible by phone.
  • During cross-country practice/racing, does the T1d athlete carry everything along in a small back pack  (bounce, bounce) or what? (Is any sport worse than cross-country in this way, since the participant must run quite far away from the place where he would ordinarily drop a supply bag?) Depends on the coach and the kid.
  • What about the bus. The bus driver. What do I do. The bus driver is nice and won’t mess w. juice/candy.
  • What does the nurse communicate to B’s teachers about diabetes and what should I do? The nurse makes sure they know everything they need to know.
  • If B is low, does B walk to the nurse or does the nurse walk to B?An adult accompanies B to the nurse’s office or the nurse comes to B.
  • Can he just test himself in the classroom, since he’ll have testing stuff/Glucolift in his backpack anyway? Yes.
  • Do I need to think be thinking about anything for celiac, like keeping cupcakes in a school freezer? I hate cupcakes in school. I mentioned celiac but forgot to ask about standard cupcake procedure. My idea was: each gluten food/cupcake in class (uneaten) = bonus 30 minutes of video game time. (?)

What else is there?

  • Everything else
  • B is one of FIVE (!) students with T1d this year
  • The nurse is suuuuuper nice without being slick or annoying

*I’m trying. Middle-cal looks like middle-KAL, while Middle-cle looks more like MID-dle-kuhl, which is what I want it to be, but it looks wrong.



  1. Jacquie Paul Wojcik · August 21, 2014

    Oh, this makes my head hurt. But probably not as much as yours.

    Back in the day, when I would walk 17 miles barefoot to middle school, I just kept all of my stuff in my science teacher’s office. He was super cool and would always give us kids his Freedent to chew.


    • Katy · August 21, 2014

      The one with the goo inside or the one for dentures?


  2. Karen Joseph · August 21, 2014

    What a list! Good luck getting those questions answered. My son has celiac too — and a peanut allergy. We have kept store bought cupcakes (French Meadows) with carb labeling in the freezer at school in the past.

    I wish they’d do away with in-school treats, too! Our school nurse put out a request for parents to join a “food in the classroom committee” last winter. Sadly, I wasn’t selected. Perhaps my slant as a mom of a child with T1, celiac and FA was known?

    Good luck with the school year. BTW, I came across your post this summer about losing the Dexcom and laughed hysterically. My son’s Dexcom went swimming in the ocean and I was frantically trying to figure out how many thousands of dollars it would cost to replace it –L!

    Best wishes for a uneventful school year!


  3. Scott E · August 21, 2014

    Are you sure you really want to know what I think? Well…

    – if you’re keeping a vial of insulin there (not on your list, but you should) you don’t need the pens and the crap that goes with it. Replace it every month or two and put the hopefully-unused school vial in the home rotation
    – If you’ve got glucose tabs, you don’t need the juice (I don’t know what Larabars are, but it seems you can sell them on the black market for a hefty profit)
    – If you’ve got a secondary meter, you don’t need a charger for the primary one.
    -Just one spare cartridge/infusion set…singular…should be fine. Replenish it on the day after its used. There are plenty of other contingencies.
    -Bring alcohol, for the overwhelmed nurse to drink….I mean….to clean infusion/injection sites. (maybe the nurse already has this)
    -Skip the pump manual. Nobody reads those things, and if he can’t handle it himself, the nurse sure as heck won’t. You’ve got ample backup stuff.
    -Send notes to the teachers, explaining that if he loses his “zest for life” (my favorite quote ever on this blog), here’s why and what to do.
    -Let B take care of himself on the bus, and take care of lows/highs at school unless he’s not able/comfortable to do so. He can test in the classroom/bathroom/locker…wherever he’s comfortable. Give him the confidence for HIM to own it, not the nurse…and don’t make him feel like an enormous burden on the school administration.

    I’m sorry I can’t help with the celiac.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Katy · August 21, 2014

      Wow. I’ve got too much stuff. I even added more. Glucose “bits” for those 70-ish and feeling fine lows.


  4. Jackie · August 21, 2014

    For xcountry I’d do a SPI belt type thing with dex and some sugar and then drop the bag where ever the rest of the kids drop their stuff. Not anything out of the ordinary. Other question is why any manuals? Meters especially probably don’t need instructions to operate, plus Bubs knows what’s going on with that, and if you’ve got the extra there then really no need for the charger. Tbh I’d probably just chuck one in my backpack for use whenever, same with extra infusion sets and IV prep wipes.

    Re: bus driver and teachers, tell bus driver, especially if there’s a rule about eating on buses, so they know/don’t yell at him but otherwise let him handle it. Probably an email to all of his teachers kind of just a form thing so they know and know kind of what to expect and all that jazz. Same deal with cross coach and anyone else involved in that.

    In middle school I kept a box of low stuff in the office, along with glucagon and extra strips I think. I had my meter in my locker/backpack and a box of low stuff in there as well. Theoretically there were extra infusion sets and whatnot in my backpack as well, but if really necessary I could call my mom who worked across the street and get my insulin from home (like a 10 minute drive). Basically I got chewed out if I ran out of insulin at school because I was dumb or ate a bunch of junk.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Need A Nap2 · August 21, 2014

    So glad we homeschool! 🙂 Cross-country: compression shorts with pockets for fast acting sugar?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Robin Jingjit · August 21, 2014

    I would have all those supplies too. Too much is better than not enough. You have other years to become old hat… It’s ok to be new and over-prepared.
    I think you may have lucked out in the cupcake department, though. I don’t think they do that kind of stuff anymore in middle school.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Anne · August 21, 2014

    Easiest approach to all of this is just to live and work within 1.25 miles of any school your child attends. That’s what we did. Also there is no busing in our district, so no school bus ride to worry about.

    We supplied the nurse’s office with meter, strips, extra batteries for meter or pump, glucagon, juice boxes, and disgustingly orange crackers with peanut butter. In sixth grade, he was on shots and didn’t use insulin while in school. After he went on the pump, we just decided we would come to the school if he needed a shot or a new infusion set. I think the entire 6 years, grade 7-12 he needed an infusion set at school once. I think he did keep syringes at the nurses office in high school, but I don’t think he ever used them. It is hard enough to get him to test for ketones at home, let alone at school.

    When he joined the cross-country team, I discovered that the school supplied an additional coach to run with the kid who had seizures. My kid did not want a coach to run with him, so I just asked that my kid never run alone. He carried in his pockets, pump, glucose tablets, asthma inhaler and phone during cross-country practice. He didn’t carry a meter. Of course when he traveled anywhere for sports he had a ton of stuff.

    During sports season(s) it’s useful to have 3 glucagon kits, one for the coach, one for the nurse’s office and one for home.

    I could go on and on about how great the nurses were in middle school and high school. Ours really did a great job in encouraging independence and reinforcing good habits.


  8. Laddie · August 21, 2014

    Whatever you do, be sure that your son always has glucose tabs or whatever when he runs. As someone else suggested, Spibelts are good and I’m sure some runners can give you other ideas if needed. Never ever let the kid be separated from sugar. As long as I have my Dex and a tube of glucose tabs, I can conquer the world! And so can your son!


  9. type1dmom · August 22, 2014

    So fun this Middle School business is. I am liking the automatic independece they are giving her so far this year, especially after the nanny state we lived in last year where every single diabetes task required a trip to the office clear across the school from where her classroom was.

    This year we keep a variety of low treatments on hand in the office because I have one of those kids who, for whatever reason, gets really finicky about what she wants to eat or drink when she is low. And if you try to give her glucose tabs and she wants juice she will refuse to take ANYTHING. Our supplies this year are insane, but it’s so she can be independent and have choices because there is NO reasoning with her if blood sugar is low. Our supplies looked almost identical to yours except I buy those plastic shoe boxes from the dollar store. One contains fast-acting carbs and has at least 3-5 different options for her. She also keeps a tube of glucose tabs with her in her supply bag and more low things in her backpack. One contains long-acting 10-15g pre-measured snacks, also a variety of items. This also doubles as pre-PE or under 100 snacks… or “I only packed a lunchable in my lunch because I was being super difficult this morning and now I’m STARVING and I need something else to eat” snacks. A third box has all her “other” stuff… extra meter, extra strips and lancets, glucagon, etc. Also 2 back up batteries for pump in a baggie with a coin to open the stupid battery compartment.

    We also keep 2 site changes at school in case of “I’m at the grocery store and don’t’ want to run home first, yes I’ll come change a site.” And then I forget to send an extra the next day. Did I mention that we live 1/2 block from her school this year? I did not send any device instruction manuals this year because last year I supplied the entire pump manual and meter manual and the got shoved in the back of the cabinet and never used.

    The other difference is we use a blood ketone meter because my kid will NEVER pee on demand, which means I get a phone call saying she has locked herself in restroom and is not coming out and they can’t check ketones and she is being a brat. Grizzly bear mode hits at about 250 which is just before the number where she is supposed to be forced to pee in a cup against her will. Yeah… not happening.


  10. type1dmom · August 22, 2014

    Also, I feel like a rockstar that you linked to the Dexcom document I made, lol. I seriously think by the end of this year half the kids on Dexcoms whose parents participate in the DOC on facebook are going to have that document at their school.


  11. Sharon Chrisman · August 22, 2014

    Hey Rockstar! I love the Dexcom chart and will for sure take it into our high school! Woohoo! My girl might be the only one who actually wears a Dex. I think we have 5 or so CWDs in the high school. She called me on the first day, “I thought you told me she was running high! She’s 66!”
    Well, DUH. She does have diabetes you know! And it’s hot there, and she’s bouncing from corner to corner of the building.” You expected her to stay the same? Silly little pickle.

    Love Scott Es advice. And, holy CRAP batman. Cross Country? How terrific for him. How terrifying for you. We’ve been there, but not with diabetes. Thinking about what I would have done, I would go for a run with him and see what he’s comfortable treating with. Eating and breathing without puking. How about Gu Energy Gel? My runner friends use them because they can run hard and suck it in without worrying about chewing. They’re 6 or 7 CHOs depending on which you choose. Have no idea if they’ve got gluten hidden inside somewhere.


  12. Sara · August 22, 2014

    Talk to Wendy Rose (Candy Hearts) about cross country. Her daughter (T1 and celiac – TWINS!!) runs.


  13. Pingback: Total Prep | Bigfoot Child Have Diabetes

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