I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Angie and I can tell you that she is passionate not only about the care of her own son, but also for providing helpful resources to other families who’s child has been newly diagnosed.
I’d like to introduce you to Angie Crawford.
Tell me something about your child.
Kendrick is three and loves to play baseball and basketball.
What is your child’s favorite 15 gram carb (or less) snack
Chocolate powdered almonds.
How do you manage diabetes?
- Insulin Pump
- Carb Counting
- Daily Log
- Checking 7+ times a day
- Night Checks
- Ketone checks after 2 highs or when sick
What has been the biggest challenge?
Kendrick was diagnosed when he was 15 months old. It was a challenge to give him insulin in such small doses. It was very difficult to determine his BG without constantly checking because he couldn’t tell us when he was feeling bad. The day before he turned three back in July, he told me he was feeling bad and needed checked. He was low! I was so excited I almost cried. He hasn’t done it since, but I definitely have hope that he will recognize them soon.
How do you and your husband maintain your relationship?
When we were in the hospital at diagnosis, the nurse in charge told us that my husband and I make a good team. We talk it out and work on a conclusion. I ask him what he thinks, he asks me. We take turns doing night checks. I trust him, he trusts me. It’s a partnership. That prevents any resentment that could build up if one parent felt they carried most of the burden.
What have been your challenges sending your child to school? Triumphs?
Kendrick just started pre-school on September 6th. I met with his two teachers the evening before for training. I stayed at his school the first day. I stayed part of the second day, until I felt comfortable enough to leave. I am very lucky because I work from home and live a block away from the preschool. Kendrick’s teachers are wonderful and I feel comforted that they will do what they can to keep him in range.
What sports/activities does your child do and how does it work with diabetes?
With Kendrick being a toddler, his exercise isn’t really scheduled. The CGM helps tremendously. We know where he’s at most of the time.
What vacations have you taken and how did you deal with diabetes?
Being prepared!! I get the location of the closest hospital and pharmacy. I figure out the food availability. When packing for vacation, whether it’s a weekend trip or a whole week, we pack everything from more than enough infusion sets, to extra battery caps! My husband and I double check each other. I may forget 5 things of my own, but Kendrick is good to go!
Have you found a babysitter, and if so, how?
When Kendrick was diagnosed, my mother -in-law went to part-time. She keeps him for us two days a week. I’m very lucky!
How has diabetes affected your other children?
Um, there are the obvious things, like having certain food that’s off limits to everyone else. When I’m checking or calculating carbs, the other kids know they have to be patient until I’m done. They know Kendrick gets more attention, but not necessarily the kind anyone would want. But, most of all, it’s made our family closer and stronger.
How do you find time for yourself?
After supper I go on a walk with a friend. We sometimes vent, sometimes laugh, and have even cried. It’s whatever we feel like that day. It is the best release I have found.
What have you done to help your child become independent in their own care?
With Kendrick being so young, we are at the beginning stages. He did his first independent check when he was two. He does it when he wants to, but I don’t force it. He will get there. If we suspect that he’s high or low we ask him first. Then after we check and know where he is, we tell him to say it. “Mommy, I’m low!”
What research organizations do you support and why?
Right after diagnosis, I soon realized that there was little support in this area. A friend of mine also has a child with type 1 diabetes. We started a small group at our local church, Juvenile Diabetes of Central Illinois (JDSci). It has grown since then and we now meet at our local hospital every other month. Our group supports Dr. Denise Faustman as well as local needs. Dr. Faustman has cured diabetes in mice with a generic drug that’s in Phase II of FDA Trials. We support her because she has the best chance of reaching a cure the quickest, at this point in time. Anyone else that comes up with something is going to have to start at the beginning of the approval process. She’s well past that. Also, her drug is generic, so more diabetics will be able to afford it, including those in 3rd world countries who are denied good diabetic care. Our group is currently putting together helpful backpacks for newly diagnosed children at our local hospital. We feel that is an area where we can provide immediate help that is very necessary.
How do you deal with tough diabetes-related questions from your child?
Even though Kendrick is only three, he is sometimes vocal about his diabetes. If he is frustrated, I will agree with him. Then I try to explain why we still have to do the things we do. It’s in real simple terms like, “If mommy doesn’t do a site change, you will get sick. You can’t play baseball if you are sick, buddy.” Just recently a mom asked me if I find myself being softer on him than my other kids because he has to go through so much more. I told her it depends. I let Kendrick keep his pacifier longer than the others because I felt he needed that comfort. He always asked for it when we did a site change or he felt bad. As far as discipline goes, no. I feel the more disciplined Kendrick is, the better equipped he will be to manage diabetes on his own.
How has diabetes affected you financially? Have you been successful in getting the insurance coverage you need?
Our insurance is frustrating. The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. We received a letter from them that we were approved for the pump. We get the pump, start using it, then get another letter from them telling us we were denied and have to pay full price out of pocket. I had to fax them the approval letter I received from them because they didn’t have a copy! I also had a huge challenge getting the CGM. It took over a year. My advice to anyone that is not getting the coverage they deserve: fight, fight, fight! With that being said, I am fortunate to have insurance. It’s a significant part of our budget, but we will sacrifice other things to give Kendrick the best care we can.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I am a part of a huge diabetic community. I’m a member of several online groups. I keep up with several diabetic facebook pages. I also talk with several other parents of type 1 diabetics. I learn so much from them. It’s such a great feeling, knowing there are others that totally get it!
Meet other D-Moms and D-Dads on Mondays.