Book Stuff

Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal 
#8 In Fatherhood (paperback)
#7 In Fatherhood (Kindle)
#1 In Diabetes (paperback)
#6 In Diabetes (Kindle)

Add my book to your GoodReads Shelf

Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad

Social Media



Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal is a Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Recipient

Winner 2011 Advocating for Another


Winner 2011 Editor's Choice

Recent Blog Entries
504 A1C ADA ADG Adrenaline Advocacy Anniversary Apidra Arden Arden's Writing Ask Me Anything Awards Basal Baseball Basketball bBlogger Bbook BGnow Big Blue Test Blogger Blue Friday book Books Canada Carbs Caregiver cConfessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad CGM charity CHOP Coco Cole community Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad ConsultYourDoctor Contest Coxsackie DayOfDiabetes DayOne Dblog D-Blog Day D-Blog Week DexCom D-free post diabetes Diabetes Art Day Diabetes Awareness Month Diabetes Blog Week Diabetes Hands Diabetes Mine DiabetesDaily Disney DOC D-Politics D-Resource DSMA D-Supplies endo Explicit FaceBook family Father's Day Faustman Favorite Post FDA Flexifix Follow Up Free Stuff Freelance FreeStyle fundraising G uest Post gGlucose Meter GiveAway Glucagon Glucose Meter Guest Post Guilty Health Howard Stern HuffPostLive Hurricane Irene iBGStar IDF In the News Instagram Insulet Insulin Insulin Pump Insurance Interview iPhone Irene JDRF John Sarno Katie Couric Kelly ketoacidosis Ketone LaceUp4Diabetes Life is Short Lilly Love MDI med Media Medtronic MLB MLK Mom's Choice Award MultiClix NLDS Novo Nordisk NPR OBX OffTopic Oklahoma Tornado OmniPod Parenting Perspective Petition Pharma Phillies PodCast pPerspective Pre-Bolus Prescription Preventative PWD reader mail Recall research review Roche Sanofi School Sick Day Site News SleepOver Smaller OmniPod Social Media Soft Ball Softball Spanish Speaking Spring Infusion Set SpryPub sStrip Safely Stay-at-home Dad Steve Jobs Stress Strip Safely technology Teen TheDX TipsNTricks Transparency Travel TrialNet ttechnology TuDiabetes Twitter ty type I video Walk WEGO World Diabetes Day

« Fifteen-Year-Old type I told, "We are not a hospital or charity" | Main | FDA Approves Medtronic Low Glucose Suspend »

Helping Children with Diabetes Gain Independence Part 2

If you read part one last week you can skip this little description and move on to the post...
So a while back the people who make the OmniPod asked me if I would like to contribute to their new blog called Suite D. I said yes, but I had one caveat that I honestly never thought that they would agree to - but they did!
See, Insulet wanted me to write a series of posts about how we use text messaging to manage Arden's type I and I wanted to tell that story here on Arden's Day. My caveat? I get to repost my writing here after it has run on their blog. This is not something that many websites would agree to because they understandably want their content to be fresh and exclusive -- I want to give major kudos to Insulet for agreeing. You may be wondering what I said to get them to allow me to do this... Well, it was simple really. I couldn't write for them and give them my full effort if I felt like my writing was taking something from Arden's Day and taking something from you. I was honored to be asked and I wanted to take the freelance work, but not at the expense of my readers here. So we struck a simple, and I think, very reasonable deal. I get to repost after the piece has been live on their site for at least thirty days. A BIG "way to go!" from me to Insulet for being so cool and blogger friendly! Here's part 2 of my 6 part series on gaining independence through technology, part 1 is here.


I sat down in my daughter’s 504 meeting after she finished second grade with a plan. Each year we make small adjustments – preparations for new aspects of the school day that come with advancing to the next grade level. These meetings are very productive, somewhat brief and usually not very eventful.

The nurse began to talk about how we could give Arden a little more responsibility with her diabetes management in third grade. This was something we did each year during this meeting and sometimes, if warranted, during the school year. We strive to shift Arden’s diabetes care onto her plate bit by bit, as she is able to accept new responsibilities. The idea is to slowly get her acclimated until the day comes when she is completely self-managing her diabetes without even realizing anything has changed.

I like that process very much and it was working extremely well. So well, in fact, that before the nurse could finish her thought I stopped her and said, “I don’t want Arden to come to your office next year. It takes up too much of her day and I think the lost time is damaging her learning process. She is missing vital parts of instruction and I want to change that.” They of course agreed, but were initially confused about how I intended to change the situation.I continued, “Arden is going to manage her diabetes herself from now on and I am going to help her. She will handle everything right from her desk and I will oversee each decision with text messages (and phone calls if and when necessary).” 

Cue the blank stares…

I filled the silence before anyone could protest too much. Our previous governor signed a bill giving students with diabetes the ability to test their blood glucose anywhere in the school. So testing in the classroom wasn’t an issue. And Arden’s 504 plan already allows her to carry a cell phone, so all I needed to do was explain that sending text messages wasn’t going to be a distraction to the other students. They were intrigued.

I began to explain how much better I imagined Arden’s A1C would be if we could make small adjustments throughout the day instead of only addressing her blood glucose every few hours. Then I turned to her teacher and asked how much cumulative time she thought Arden missed each day while she was at the nurse. She replied, “Forty-five minutes maybe.” I didn’t hesitate to show off my impressive math skills and said, “That’s almost four hours a week… fifteen hours a month.”

They couldn’t disagree with my argument. Everyone knew that a student can’t thrive when they miss that much of their school day. There were a lot of faces in the room and I could see on each one of them that I had made my point. I reassured them that my idea would work and that we should try.

Arden and I practiced all summer and came up with our own little diabetes management shorthand. I found a few emoticons that were representative of the arrows on Arden’s continuous glucose monitor and we were off.

Putting Arden’s New Diabetes Management Plan into Action

Today, almost one complete year later, even I can’t believe how well my plan has worked. One week towards the end of the school year Arden’s blood glucose had been low all week. I didn’t know why. I had been using temp basal rates and adjusting boluses, and she just kept running low. I’m talking about blood glucose levels in the 50, 60 and 70 range – situations that required immediate action.

But guess how many times Arden had to go to the nurse’s office that week? Zero. Guess how many times Arden had to go to the nurse’s office all year? Yes, you guessed it… zero! Arden did not need to leave her classroom once to address a diabetes-related issue. We treat lows, bolus for highs and count carbs all with text messages like in the screen shot above.

This simple technology that most everyone possesses is one of the most valuable and productive diabetes technologies that we employ. The independence that it gives Arden and me is unmatched. The peace of mind that being able to text her brings me is soothing. The effect that this process has had on her diabetes management is staggering! Just wait until I tell you about Arden’s A1C in my next post.


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (2)

As the father of a nine year old girl diagnosed with diabetes last February, I read your blog with more that average interest. I really enjoy it, and I'm impressed with how you and Arden cope. In Norway, the school nurse is only there one day a week. Our solution was to give our daughter a set of rules, written on a small, laminated card, which tells her how much insulin to use in different situations. Helped by the occasional phone call, this has worked out really well until now. It makes her and her teacher feel confident and independent.

October 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEivind (Norway)

Hello Eivind!

So happy to meet you and to hear that you and your family have found a system that works for you and your daughter's school. Thank you so much for reading Arden's Day... hope to speak again soon!


October 2, 2013 | Registered CommenterScott Benner

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>