As a mother of two young children with type 1 diabetes, I always have juice with me. Of course, what I really wish I had in my purse is a cure for my daughters (ages 4 and 7) and for all others with diabetes. Until then, there are twelve things I would like to have, aside from an artificial pancreas, to make life with diabetes a little easier.
12. Sugar-free ice cream that’s not vanilla flavored.
Why do companies think people with diabetes only like to eat vanilla ice cream? Wouldn’t it be great to find sugar-free chocolate ice cream sandwiches at the supermarket?
11. Since we’re on the topic of sugar-free food, is it too much to ask for sugar-free food that doesn’t cause bellyaches? Sugar alcohols can wreck havoc on a toddler’s tummy.
10. No more pat downs at the airport. We’re not criminals.
Why are you inspecting the bottom of my little girls’ bare feet? Are you a TSA agent or an endocrinologist? It’s good that you’re thorough, but you are wasting your time with us.
9. I would like the lancet devices to come in different colors. That would help me to keep track of whose is whose. It’s hard reading the name labels in the middle of the night in the dark.
8. Why can’t I do a temporary basal rate from the insulin pump remote device? It’s nearly impossible to find the pump under the bed covers during the night without waking up a little one.
7. Why can’t the amount of insulin to bolus, based on the number of carbs entered, automatically show up in the remote pump device so I can just press go? Now I have to start at zero and hit the up button over and over to get to the right dose. My girls need very small doses of insulin. If I hold the button down continuously, it jumps to a much higher number, which means then I have to hit the down arrow button over and over again. The previous pump we used pre-populated its remote device with the insulin dose, so I know the technology exists.
Keep in mind that with two young children who have type 1 diabetes, I must do everything twice. When I bolus, I often have one daughter’s remote device in one hand and the other daughter’s remote device in the other and then I bolus them simultaneously. Still, my kids can consume their carbs right in front of me while I am still pressing the buttons to bolus them! I’m sure the school nurse would appreciate faster bolusing, too. With the increasing incidence of diabetes, the nurse’s office gets crowded at lunch time.
6. I would like the glucagon kit to be smaller (and of course I would like it to be prefilled, too). It is the largest item in my daughters’ medical supply bags, which means it determines the size of the bags they carry with them everywhere.
If only the syringe were side by side with the vial, then they could carry smaller and much less obtrusive bags with them, even ones that could clip onto their waistband, for example. And then they wouldn’t forget their bags at school, as sometimes happens.
5. The needle that the glucagon kit comes with looks like a tranquilizer dart for an elephant. Shrink that, too.
4. I would like the grown-ups at my kids’ schools to stop giving out junk food.
Why do you have to give candy canes in exchange for food drive donations? Why do the principal, the bus driver, the librarian, and even the Spanish teacher need to give out candy to elementary school students? And when you treat my child differently by giving other kids candy and not mine, I hear the endless why didn’t I get candy, too? questions at home.
3. I would like other people to stop saying painfully ignorant (or just plain stupid) things to me like “If I take the chocolate chips out of the cookie, can your daughter eat it?” or “My cousin had diabetes and when he was a kid, he had to prick his finger with a needle to check his blood sugar. Can you believe it?”
2. I’m so tired from checking blood sugars during the night. I want uninterrupted sleep and more of it.
And the number one thing I would like to see this year (besides a cure) is…
1. Insulin that can be given without causing pain.
You can read JuicyMama’s blog at http://www.deletediabetes.com/or email her at: juicymama2go [at] gmail.com.