{Meet a D-Mom} Mandy of And Another Thing

by Leighann on August 29, 2011

D-Mom Blog Featured D-Mom

Mandy recently wrote the guest post {Diabetes at School} Private Schooling & Packed Lunches: The Happier, Happy Meal in which she shared a bit about sending her child to a private school and packing lunches. Mandy shares her story of single parenting a child with diabetes at And another thing…some of my rantings and experiences with my sons Dyslexia and Type 1 Diabetes.

I’d like to introduce you to Mandy of And Another Thing…

Tell me something about your child.

Trevor is a spunky, curious, hilarious and outgoing 9-year-old. He is a master Lego builder, with an imagination for creating that amazes me to no end. He is generous, loves animals and wears his heart on his sleeve.

Diabetes Clown

What is your child’s favorite 15 gram carb (or less) snack

Meat and cheese roll up with two crackers.

How do you manage diabetes?

We carb count for every meal. And then use the total to figure his insulin on the sliding scale. Trev receives 4 shots a day: one Novolog shot for every meal, and Lantus at night before bed.

What do you know now that you wish you had known at diagnosis

Even though we caught what was happening fairly early, I wish that I had seen the major signs sooner. Trev lost a lot of weight. In the pictures before diagnosis he looks sickly and it just turns my stomach when I think about the fact I didn’t see his decline.

The interesting thing though, is that a year prior to his diagnosis I’d asked his pediatrician to run a thyroid and a glucose blood test. I was concerned he was always sleepy and seemed to have a high intolerance for extreme temps. They refused my request based on not wanting to “cause unnecessary stress to the child.” I wish I had pushed a little harder at that time instead of allowing the pediatrician to mask my mother’s intuition.

What has been the biggest challenge?

We struggle a great deal with diabetes protocol being followed when Trev is with his Dad. His Dad has a definite difference in opinion in regards to how type 1 diabetes is controlled.

How do you maintain relationships?

Trev’s Dad and I divorced in 2004 (Trev’s diagnosis was in 2008). I haven’t had a relationship since his diagnosis. Not too many men in my age group are thrilled with the possibility of responsibility…add special needs to that and they automatically assume I’m looking for someone to take care of us. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

What have been your challenges sending your child to school? Triumphs?

Trev attends a private school. We have been very pleased with how the school has handled Trev’s diabetes. Due to insurance liabilities staff is not able to give insulin doses for lunch. The challenge in this is that my Dad or myself has to go to the school and supervise the lunch half hour to give the insulin dose every day.

What vacations have you taken and how did you deal with diabetes?

Last year Trev and I traveled to Phoenix, Arizona. It was his first airplane ride and was the first time I dealt with airplane security with diabetes supplies. It was pretty hard to stay on schedule because at the time Arizona was three hours behind Indiana time. In regards to his diabetes management, we stayed on Indiana time so there wouldn’t be an issue with lows.

Have you found a babysitter, and if so, how?

Trev has been able to stay with the babysitter he has had since he was 5 months old. His sitter has type 2 diabetes, I have trained her and she is excellent in managing his care. My Dad or I still go and take care of his lunches, by supervising and giving insulin daily though.

Mandy

How do you find time for yourself?

Mostly I find quiet time in the evenings after Trev has gone to bed and between blood sugar checks. We live with my parents and so that frees me up to be able to visit a friend and watch a movie in time to be home for a sugar check. I read a lot when he is at his Dad’s and I also enjoy going to antique shops to browse (a little buying doesn’t hurt either).

What have you done to help your child become independent in his own care?

I talk about everything that I am doing while caring for Trev and his diabetes. I have shown him simple things to do and let him do them as often as I can. He can calibrate his own meter, he checks his own sugar, and he is beginning to be able to recite to me what he needs during high sugars and low sugars.

What research organizations do you support and why?

JDRF I attended the Diabetes Gala for the Indiana State chapter in April. It was amazing. Over $690,000 was raised for research for the cure. I was moved to tears several times during the evening. I met so many people who are affected by diabetes. Hope was present and accounted for that evening!

How do you deal with tough diabetes-related questions from your child?

Truthfully, pointedly, factually, openly and in words that he can understand. I never dismiss a question he has, and if I’m not sure how to answer him on the spot, I ask him for a little time to let me think of how I want to reply.

How has diabetes affected you financially? Have you been successful in getting the insurance coverage you need?

It has definitely been a struggle being a single mom. I carry insurance on Trev, and his Dad carries a secondary. However, it still is very expensive. I can’t even imagine doing this with no insurance coverage. In the beginning I did a lot of arguing with the insurance company. They were trying to push their own idea of what was appropriate supply- and medicine-wise for Trevor. I do not believe that insurance companies should ever be allowed to be in the position to dictate how a person’s medical care is established and put into motion. I told them as much.

Meet other D-Moms and D-Dads on Mondays.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 karla October 12, 2015 at 11:01 am

hi am a diabete mom. its nice to know am not the only one

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