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Starting preschool, scared to death

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by eloquine, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. eloquine

    eloquine Approved members

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    Hello all,

    So my son is starting preschool Thursday now that he has a pump. The childcare provider didn't want to check his blood sugar, so we needed to find a new place.
    This is our only option, and they accept kids only for full days. Which means he will be eating there, 2 snacks and a lunch (I am having an anxiety attack as I am typing this...).
    We did a 504, DMMP, simple flow chart. Am I missing anything ?

    Am I always going to be scared to death like this ? It took us a year to be comfortable with this whole process, am I crazy to trust someone who is watching 10 other kids ?
    I am ranting, but anybody in the same boat or who has been in the same boat ? My son can't even speak English (main reason why he is going to preschool)...
    I am scared...
     
  2. susanlindstrom16

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    How long is the day? My daughter started full day preschool 4 months after dx in and I was definitely anxious. Luckily I was close enough that for a while I was able to drop in at lunch time and talk things through with the nurse. After building a good rapport with her caretakers I felt more at ease. My advice would be to make it clear to them that you are always available by phone anytime they want to talk things through. I always want them to feel that they can contact me about anything, and I think that that helped the process.
     
  3. quiltinmom

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    Does he have to go? Meaning, do you work so he has to go, or are you sending him because you feel he's supposed to go to preschool?

    On the one hand, my son is almost 12 and it still scares me to send him into other peoples care for the first time, so in that regard you're completely normal. He was dx'ed at age seven so I never had to deal with leaving a preschooler, but I imagine I would have been even more apprehensive about it.

    On the other hand, if sending him to preschool is giving you major anxiety and he doesn't have to go , I would just keep him home for now. It seems you speak English (maybe I am assuming too much?) and could teach him yourself (or find other ways to expose him to the language ). I personally think preschool is overrated, for kids whose parents are home during the day. (For those who work, that's a different story, although I still think daycare and preschool are basically the same thing.)

    So if you have to send him, I would imagine that your fear and anxiety will lessen over time. Itis. Always scary at first but you begin to trust his other caregivers, they learn more about how to care for him, and you will probably feel way less scared after a while. It is hard to trust someone else with your baby, diabetes or not.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Snowflake

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    I think the big question is, do you have a good vibe about the new preschool, and have they been receptive to the information you've offered? On balance, we've had good experiences with our daughter's preschools. In the end it all comes down to how conscientious and engaged the teachers are. Imo, at this age, that is probably important than the child's communication skills.

    Our daughter returned to preschool 5 days after her DX, when she was 26 months. She was fairly verbal for a 2 year old, but she couldn't really express how she felt, and her lows were totally asymptomatic. The teachers at that school were very willing to be trained, and we texted quite a bit during the day. Honestly, I was so overwhelmed at the time that I wasn't sure I could have done any better with her at home than they were at school.

    When that school was on spring and summer breaks, she went to a place that I'd rather not think about, where the teachers refused to learn one thing about diabetes. They wouldn't even look at the CGM once we started using it, which I think is appalling. We had to visit at least twice a day to do her pokes and shots, and even when I was back at work, I couldn't think about anything else.

    We've since moved to year-round preschool, and couldn't be happier with it. The director arranged for the entire teaching staff to do a 2-hour training on our daughter's care, and on carb counting, before our daughter started. The teachers had a definite learning curve the first several weeks as they learned how to use the pump and got comfortable with carb counts. For the first several weeks, they texted us every bg, and they still text or call us for lows and for unresponsive highs. I am totally comfortable that they're taking good care of her. She's almost 4, and still only seems to feel about half her mild lows, so the CGM has been an indispensable tool for the school staff.

    One piece of advice: be prepared to be called or summoned a lot the first few weeks. Even as well as the staff at the current school is trained, we're still over at the school quite a bit -- for example, troubleshooting issues with the pump (Omnipod). We spend a lot more time thinking about and conferring about our daughter during her preschool day than we do her non-d brother. But I think what's important is that I know she is in good hands and that we can trust the teachers to catch problems early and to call us for instructions anytime they are uncertain.
     
  5. eloquine

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    Yes, I am working, that is why we need childcare/preschool.
    The childcare is 8-5:30, and is 16 miles from my job, 1 mile from my husband's (we are a good team, he is very involved in our son's care).
    We visited last week, and had a full day today. 6 teachers were trained, but no nurse in the school. Our endo sent a counselor/nutritionist to explain everything for 2 hours yesterday. They were overwhelmed, they thought this was gonna be easy. He is starting tomorrow, but I will be on site for the first two days (or at the next door coffee shop at least). What worried me a little bit (a lot) was the main teacher asking me when to give insulin "when he is low and high, right ?"
    We don't really have a choice, we live in rural Vermont, they are the only place with room for a preschooler. No private home wants to take him in, and no nanny available. We also don't have any family around.
    They are great though, I am just afraid of not offering the best for my son (but staying with me is not the best either, he would not be stimulated, and is tired of spending time with me :) )

    Thanks for all your reassurance and advices.
     
  6. Snowflake

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    Hi Eloquine:
    Just additional reassurance. I know that kind of question from a teacher can be terrifying. We had a few questions like that from teachers at our kid's current preschool when we were training them on diabetes care. But I had to remind myself that it took me 48 hours in the hospital at DD's diagnosis to really understand even the most basic information that the nurses were throwing at me. It becomes second nature quickly.

    Also, I don't know what kind of pump your son is on, but our pump's screen guides caregivers through bg checks and boluses. So at least for the really obvious decisions, like meal boluses, the teachers can't really screw up. For anything more complicated, like temporary basals, a teacher calls us and we walk them through it, even though I'm sure they could figure it out on their own at this point.

    For now, it seems like a great idea for you to be on hand for the first few days. My husband and I have similar commute distances to you and your husband's. My husband has missed a LOT more work than I have going to the school on various diabetes missions, and he has to be that guy who takes cell phone calls during meetings, which I feel kind of bad about. But it also gives me peace of mind to know that one of us is five minutes away from our daughter if anything should come up.
     
  7. momMD

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    I understand your fears! My son was 13 months when he was diagnosed and we started pumping 9/1/14. He also goes to daycare 4 days a week. Our teachers were really scared but have stepped up and done great. I made simple flowsheets for High and Low. I made instructions on testing blood sugar with pictures of everything (even things like how to insert strip into meter). For the pump I took screen shots of every menu screen so they could see what each screen looks like and follow my stepwise instructions. Also make sure they have a glucagon with instructions just in case. I premeasure out all of my son's food (we pack lunch) with a daily sheet telling them how much each food has for carbs so they know how much to bolus. They have instructions on what to feed him if he doesn't eat all of his lunch. We only have him eat school snacks if it is something easy for them to count out (3 ritz crackers, 5 animal crackers etc). My daycare gave me pictures of all the food labels so I could tell them how many carbs in a serving size for him. The most important advice is to let them know they can call you ANYTIME! If they even hesitate about a blood sugar or food or insulin dose, they should call before doing something.

    Good Luck!!

    PS. What type of pump do you have? Beware if it is Animas and you use meter to bolus remotely that if you get a COMMUNICATION ERROR, they need to exit out of the bolus menu and start over. Otherwise, it can "forget" your settings - this resulted in my son getting 7x his normal insulin dose at school once. Thankfully he was okay (scary low but came up well and did not require glucagon).
     
  8. eloquine

    eloquine Approved members

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    First day of school, WE SURVIVED ! I am starving because I was so worried I forgot to eat all day. My husband has almost no nails left after spending his day biting them... But he is fine, and we are fine.
    I went over for lunch with them. We did flowchart, but your ideas about taking pictures is a great idea. We have a general meeting with all the staff again on Monday.
    We are pumping with Omnipod, we love it. We provide snacks and lunch, and he doesn't drink any milk (they serve milk with all the snacks and lunch...).
    Of course, the first day they had a birthday... and they have one tomorrow too. I made some muffins so we wouldn't feel left out of the fun, but of course, they bolused him and he was low at lunchtime... Which means we needed to run into special cases (don't bolus him for milk)
    We are so careful about everything (we measure everything in grams, we have scales in every room of the house, and every friends' house :) ), the teacher didn't know what a gram was... My husband was ready to take our son home when she asked what a gram was.
    Anyway, everything went fine in the end.
    Thanks for the support!
     
  9. momMD

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    Glad to hear it went well!!
     
  10. ninja

    ninja New Member

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    My daughter's old nursery would not treat her so we had to find another nursery and they have been brilliant, they new nothing about diabetes but they can't do any more if they tried if they can't get hold of me the diabetes team is on the end of the phone. It is so frightening but there are brilliant preschools out there. Call them and ask them to give you a book and note down everything for you and if you have any problems you can raise it with them. Good luck and it does get easier.
     
  11. Turtle1605

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    I was very anxious, as well. I sent my son to school with all of the food he was to eat that day. I labeled his morning snack with a red label that said morning snack and his afternoon snack with a green label that said afternoon snack. He had just started kindergarten and I wasn't sure he would get the help he needed or could read the labels so I thought color coding would help. I also wrote down the carbs for everything along with meal totals and tucked the list in his test kit. Every day (for the last two years), he looks in his test kit, looks at the number of carbs for everything and doses accordingly (he is now on a pump). I still get anxious when a special occasion comes up at school, but usually I make a point to visit or "underdose" him a little just to make sure he goes a bit high instead of a bit low.
     

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