Meet a D-Mom: Valerie of Type 1 With Tyler

by Leighann on March 14, 2011

D-Mom Blog Featured D-Mom

I invite you to read about Valerie, and then visit her blog Type 1 With Tyler.

And if you like really pretty things, pop by her Etsy shop and drool over her camera straps.

Type 1 With Tyler

I’d like to introduce you to Valerie of Type 1 With Tyler.

Tell me something about your child.

Tyler is an amazing, spunky and sweet boy who amazes us every day with is humor and bravery.

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

Cheese and crackers!

How do you manage diabetes?

We are pumping with a Minimed Paradigm 722 pump.

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

I wish I would have known then how far we would come and how diabetes management would become second nature to us. At the time of diagnosis it is all so overwhelming and scary, back then I could have never pictured myself handling it with such confidence.

What has been the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge for me as a Mom is to take it one day, one test, one number at a time. I have worked hard at not worrying about the future and to handle each new challenge as it comes. Nobody knows what the future holds, and nobody can change the past, we can only control what is happening right now. I used to have anxiety about how diabetes may effect Tyler’s life and health in the future, now I strive to take it one day at a time and to love and enjoy our lives just the way they are.

How do you and your husband maintain your relationship?

We don’t really put any big effort into maintaining our relationship on a regular basis. We are lucky to love each other and to have the same attitude towards our life and marriage. We are in it for the long haul and know that marriage is a journey, not a destination. Like many parents of type 1 kids, we don’t get many chances for date nights, and we live 2000 miles away from our extended families, when we do get time alone it’s a treat.

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

Our challenges have mostly been in just getting insulin dosing right to be within range as much as possible so he is safe at school. We are lucky to be in a school district where the staff is extremely accommodating and pretty much let us determine our own protocol. The attitude and knowledge of the staff in this district was a huge factor in our decision to move here from California 5 years ago. When Tyler was in Kindergarten, we lived in a school district that refused to help with even BG checks.

Type 1 With TylerWhat sports/activities does your child do and how does it work with diabetes?

Tyler loves sports, and plays baseball and flag football. It is always a challenge to manage diabetes. So far he is still young so we are with him at each game and practices are minimal since he plays in Rec league sports. With most things relating to type 1, we take each practice, game and activity as it comes. We check BG’s frequently, will disconnect from the pump or adjust basal rates and snacks accordingly.


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

We have traveled a ton, including a 4 day cross country drive when we moved from California to Illinois. We are always prepared with extra everything. I pack more snacks, site changes, and emergency supplies than we could ever use in the time frame that we are gone, and we’ve never run into any problems while traveling so far.

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

Not yet! I have a few friends and parents of Tyler’s friends that have helped out for short periods of time, but we don’t have a traditional sitter. My boys are 10 and 13 years old, it won’t be long before we start leaving them home alone for a few hours at a time.

How do you find time for yourself?

I am lucky to have not had a traditional full time job since my oldest was born 13 years ago. I am able to find time while the boys are at school to decompress and spend time on things I enjoy doing. I am also lucky to have a husband who understands my need to get away from it all and I get away each year in October with friends for a girls long weekend. It is amazing how refreshed and recharged I feel after that weekend away.

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

Diabetes camp! Tyler will be going for the third year this summer and I can not say enough how wonderful it has been. He came home last summer at age 10 doing his own site changes! We take every opportunity we can to teach him about his diabetes care and encourage him to do as much of it he can himself. We supervise and always explain why it’s so important, not just how to do the tasks.

I just love Valerie’s outlook and positive attitude. She literally lives 15 minutes from us and I hope our families meet soon!

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

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Michelle Carlson March 14, 2011 at 7:52 am

Valerie came to our (JDSci’s) bowling fundraiser on the 5th, but sadly I didn’t really get the chance to talk to her. Looking forward to getting to know her as well.


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