So whilst we were in the hospital we were taught the basics of caring for a child with type 1 diabetes. This post is going to focus on the early days. Before Matthew went onto an insulin pump, and before we started more intensive monitoring.
I started typing out in way too much detail and then realized that, no one was going to read all that ! So here is the simplified version of our hospital training.
1 How to give insulin to our child
2 How much insulin to give to our child
3 How to use a blood glucose meter & lancing device (believe me I struggled to do this initially and that’s probably one of the easiest things to do !)
4 How to count carbohydrates (I’ll talk about carbs in a separate post later)
5 How often we needed to check his blood glucose levels
6 What hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia is (well talk about that in another post too)
7 What to do in an emergency situation
8 How to use a Glucagon emergency pen (for severe low blood glucose level)
9 General information on what T1D is.
We were given a lesson with a nutritionist who recommended how many carbs for Matthew to eat with his meals, when he should eat extra snacks through the day and before bedtime. Matthew was also very happy to hear that a small tub of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream was only 18g of carbs ! We have a basic course of caring for a child with T1D. Plus we were shown how to draw up the insulin, mix the two types of insulin, and actually inject the insulin (that was so scary to do the first time)
To be honest, Matthew could not wait to go home. I was actually terrified of him coming home. Suddenly you find yourself responsible for taking your child home from hospital and dealing with a chronic life threatening disease for which you are only just starting to get your head around. Remember how you felt taking a newborn baby home from hospital? Well multiply that by 1000 in terms of knowing nothing and that everything you do now, means your child’s life is in your hands. Scary !