Diabetes and School: The Part-Time Job

The other day I bumped into a teacher from Theo's school, one I don't know very well but whose face is familiar. As we tried to determine who each other was, she says, "You're a sub, right? I see you a lot in school."

No, not a sub: a mom in an unpaid, voluntary but not volunteer part-time position. I didn't sign up for this, but I'll gladly do what it takes.

Especially during these elementary school years, and especially since we're not yet on the pump, diabetes in school requires a lot of my time and presence. I don't volunteer as much as I used to simply because I'm already there so much; however, I try to double up the time when possible, such as helping out with a classroom party while I'm there to give a shot, or chaperoning a field trip I need to go on anyway.

It's nice to have the extra time with my second-born. And he still wants me there, which is all the better.

With two school years and a camp week behind me, I'm not as stressed about the daily charts I need to churn up a week hence. They're still labor-intensive and can't be replicated directly from the previous year, and yet part of me knows everything will be okay.

If it's not, they'll call me, and I'll change the charts. A work-in-progress.

(I should admit that though the stress level has gone down, I continue to stand amazed at all the steps diabetes adds to our lives. Here's a new one: when I go to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription for test strips, I have to turn in two weeks worth of our logkeeping. So I have to remember the binder, pull out pages, have them make photocopies. Love it.)

Part of the prep I'm looking forward to is the meeting with Theo's class. Every year, I get 15 minutes of fame in front of children who say things like, "I had diabetes once," and straighten them out.

The first year, Theo and I read from the book they hand out at diagnosis. The illustrations are awful and the information somewhat outdated, however, so we wrote and drew our own slightly sarcastic book to read the following year.

This year, as the class is moving on from picture books somewhat, we're going to create a dialogue to perform in front of them. It, too, will have funny bits, just as soon as I get around to writing it. Maybe a joke or two about Paula Deen's burger recipe that calls for a glazed donut for a bun. Really play to that third grade foodie contingent.


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