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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

Filtering by Tag: Flu Shot

Flu Season Tips

Scott Benner

Flu season has arrived and the sad fact is that no matter how hard you try, sometimes you just can't avoid getting the flu. Dr. Adam Naddelman, MD, FAAP, President, Princeton Nassau Pediatrics, P.A. has a few tips on how to elude the flu, spot the virus in it's early stages, and what to do when you think that you've been bitten by the bug.

Preventative measures

  • Flu vaccination
  • Hand washing
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Avoid sick people

Early signs

  • Fever, usually 102º - 104º
  • Cough
  • Body aches that can be severe

Once symptoms begin
People who are high risk (chronic illness like diabetes and asthma, elderly or kids under 2) should seek medical care quickly. If the flu is diagnosed within the first 48 hours, antiviral drugs can be prescribed in hopes of shortening and/or lessening the effects of the flu. A full list of who is considered to be high risk can be found at

For those considered low risk, Dr. Naddelman believes the best treatment is supportive care, including plenty of fluids, antipyretics to reduce fever and body aches, and lots of rest. 

Dr. Adam Naddelman, MD, FAAP

Dr. Adam Naddelman, MD, FAAP

Dr. Naddelman stresses the importance of being on the look out for secondary infections with the flu, particularly pneumonia. Signs of influenza leading to a secondary bacterial infection like pneumonia include a high spiking fever several days into the illness, increasing cough and lethargy, and decreased appetite and oral intake. These signs require immediate medical attention.  

Once you've kicked the flu waiting twenty-four hours to reintroduce yourself to the public after your symptoms and fever have resolved is considered best practice.

Dr. Naddelman practices pediatrics, but his advice is transferrable to patients of all ages.

I've gathered some links from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) that you may find helpful if your child with type 1 diabetes falls prey to the flu.

Ketone/Sick Day Rules - Insulin Pump - pdf

Ketone/Sick Day Rules - NPH - pdf

Sick Day Log Sheet - pdf 

Beyond Type 1 article about DKA

Beyond Type 1 article about DKA

This is a very good time for me to remind you that I am not a doctor and that nothing I write on Arden's Day or anywhere else should be taken as medical advice. My disclaimer says it all but you should really contact your own physician whenever you have questions about your or a loved ones health. Especially when the flu is involved. 

Kung Flu Fighting

Scott Benner

So, what did you do this weekend?

Last Thursday evening Arden said, "I don't feel good" and just like that, we embarked on our second battle with the flu since Arden was diagnosed back in 2006. Two out of eight, that's... not bad, right?!

The timing of her illness (End of week, holiday) allowed Kelly to be the Super Mom that she is, while I got to take a more traditional Dad role - run to pharmacy, clean up, bring blankets and sleep in another room so Kelly and Arden could do their 'sick day lady communing'. I was happy to see Kel get this time with Arden but sad for it to come like this - they were both amazing and incredibly tough over the last few days. Being tired, sick and feverish sucks on a normal day but when you add type I diabetes and a holiday, well, it sucks a lot more. Moms always surprise me with their willingness to lay face-to-face with their kids when they are contagious. #MommyLove

Arden's BGs were more than manageable for the first twenty-four hours, actually they were fantastic - probably because she wasn't eating much. Since Saturday, they have progressively gone back to the normal level of challenging that we've come to expect.

All of this of course reopens the discussion about getting a flu shot - something we don't normally do. No one else in the house has the flu right now or had the flu this past winter, and even though Arden contracted the less aggressive strain (B), it is still difficult not to second-guess our decision. We are not an anti-innoculation family, but we do try to limit unnecessary medications. Actually, some years, the strain contained in the 'flu shot' never materializes in the population, but there is no denying that right now, it is tough not to wonder if we made the right choice. 

Arden is doing much better today and may make it back to school as early as tomorrow, she is already begging to play in her softball game tonight. We opted to use Tamiflu to shorten the life of her flu. The Tamiflu doesn't effect BGs and was strongly recommended by the pediatrician because Arden has type I. In all, it was a weird and wacky Easter weekend as Arden fought with this second wave of the flu season, prepared Easter eggs with a fever, and used up most of her adrenaline on Sunday morning trying to outrace Cole to the eggs hidden around our house. I'm not sure if we'll get a flu shot next year but this entire experience has led me to rename Easter to 'Fluster' - (Kelly nominated 'Fleaster' - but was outvoted last evening by our governing board).

Be well, wash your hands and let's hope that this all goes away as soon as possible.

C'mon Spring, get here!