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Arden's Day Blog

Arden's Day is a type I diabetes care giver blog written by author Scott Benner. Scott has been a stay-at-home dad since 2000, he is the author of the award winning parenting memoir, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal'. Arden's Day is an honest and transparent look at life with diabetes - since 2007.

type I diabetes, parent of type I child, diabetes Blog, OmniPod, DexCom, insulin pump, CGM, continuous glucose monitor, Arden, Arden's Day, Scott Benner, JDRF, diabetes, juvenile diabetes, daddy blog, blog, stay at home parent, DOC, twitter, Facebook, @ardensday, 504 plan, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal, Dexcom SHARE, 生命是短暂的,洗衣是永恒的, Shēngmìng shì duǎnzàn de, xǐyī shì yǒnghéng de

Sick, Virus, Flu, Strep

Scott Benner

Sick, a virus, the flu, strep, runny nose, fever. Odds are that your home has been visited this year by one of these illnesses. However, if you haven't been visited it’s possible that your illness came to our house instead (must not have GPS) because we’ve had more then our fair share.


Arden has been sick so many times this year that I’ve lost count. She has missed way too much school and we’ve missed way too much sleep. So today I took the first step to making sure this doesn’t happen anymore. Did I up her multivitamins? No. Are we all wearing paper surgical masks 24/7? No. Did Kelly quit her job so she can sit up all night watching low BGs? No.


Today I visited Arden’s Assistant Principle. I got Arden off to school and then I walked into her office in the following condition...  So that you can form a mental image, I look like I died from a zombie bite and came back to “life” three weeks ago. Since then I appear as though I’ve been walking the streets of my town feeding on cats while birds pick at my eye sockets. 


No shower, hat over my hair that needed to be cut six weeks ago, unshaved, hell I think I slept (slept... as if) in this shirt. I didn’t put any effort into shining myself up because I don’t have the energy and I wanted her to see what having a diabetic child that has been sick for months does to a person... and so I sat down in all of my glory and explained.


I explained that in the course of a “normal” day I don’t usually get to sleep until two in the morning and that’s when everything is going great!  I told her that, I’m so tired now that Kelly has had to stay up nights with Arden because I just can’t stay awake anymore. That the bouts of getting Arden to eat or drink when she is sick and/or sleeping is painful to the soul and difficult on my family.  I told her that, I still have to grocery shop, vacuum, do homework, take my son to baseball, go to eye doctor appointments, I told her that my regular life doesn’t stop just because Arden is sick.


I asked her to imagine taking care of a sick child for extended periods of time and then I explained what being sick does to Arden’s BGs, I said, “combine those things, don’t sleep, still worry about all of the other stuff that life brings, then do all of that while you force a six year old to drink juice at 3:40 in the morning”. - She did, she was a great listener and seemed 100% concerned with my plight. Then I explained, “you can help make this all go away by not making Arden go to the nurse’s office for her type I maintenance, the nurse’s office is where the sick people are and Arden is not sick - she has a chronic illness that requires constant overseeing but she doesn’t have a cold, the flu, strep non of that, she’s actually a really healthy little girl”.


I asked her to, “please find a new place for her to see the nurse until she is old enough to manage her diabetes in the classroom, please”.


I told her that I don’t want fight about this, that in fact I may not have enough energy to but that I would if need be. I asked her to find a system that works for the school, I don’t need or want to be part of deciding what that is but that if it couldn’t be handled that I would add the request to Arden’s 504 plan immediately. She said that she’ll be getting back to me soon... I believe her. 


She thanked me for being so honest and I thanked her for her concern. We never spoke about the long term issues that this will have on Arden’s education but that is a big concern of ours.


If you have thoughts on this please leave a comment and I’ll forward this post to the school. We’ll all benefit one day if these practices become the norm.



The following are archived comments from this post. You can post new comments below.

This is an interesting point. Makes me think. Caleb typically checks his sugar in the classroom. When he is in the nurse's office, he washes his hands, has his own desk and isn't really "near" other kids.

But we have had the sickness year from hell. Could it be related?  Could there just be more illness overall but yet he's exposed to it more even if he's in the nurses office just at dismissal when no one else is there?  Maybe. He had this same plan last year and he wasn't nearly as sick. His sister has been crazy sick too, and oddly it's been different sick - different schedule than Caleb. 


I don't know the answer, but I don't think finding another place to check can hurt.

What an image you portray there Scott! It sounds like you will get a reasonable response - you always do.

I hope you get some sleep soon! And conrgats on the snack stand!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - 01:00 PM
I was in school soooo many years ago that things like this weren't an issue. But I wouldn't think it should be an issue to let her get her care someone else. Having diabetes and being sick is awful. I was out of work for almost a week earlier this month dealing with sickness. I still think had I not had disbetes, I'd have been back to work days sooner.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - 02:58 PM