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The Challenge of Childhood Diabetes

August 2007 -
The Challenge of Childhood Diabetes Newsletter

Introducing the Newsletter

Laura PlunkettAs parents of children with diabetes, we need to start a conversation about raising healthy, happy, well-adjusted children. My 13-year-old son Danny has had Type 1 diabetes for six years. Improving nutrition, increasing exercise, encouraging teamwork and cooperation, and maintaining a sense of humor and honest communication have been vital to the overall well-being of our family. What we need to talk about is how to do that more easily and better.

Each month, I'll offer the best of what I know in the Resources section and highlight some of the successes that other parents have had as well. Since the launch of our book, “The Challenge of Childhood Diabetes: Family Strategies for Raising a Healthy Child,” I have received letters from parents in many countries who have put our ideas into practice. They report not only finding diabetes less stressful, but also getting recognition from their medical teams for their child's excellent blood sugar control.

Please use the contact information below to keep in touch. Forward this letter to other families with children with diabetes and invite them to join us in our parent dialogue. Together we CAN make a difference.

Supporting Each Other

This is a letter and helpful tip from Sue E. in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She has a nine-year-old son with Type 1 diabetes.

“I cried through most of your book as it was the first time in four months that I felt like someone truly understood how I felt and what my family is going through. Your book told so much of my family's story. It was comforting to know that another mother felt like I did and that I wasn't going insane! This book really has been a great help to my family. I walk around the house reading pieces to each family member as a way to comfort them as well.

“I loved some of the tips for diet your book offered. We are slowly making the changes as a family. One of the things that you said in your book really hit home for me. ‘We don’t want the easy way, we want the right way.’ We are willing to do the work to make our son healthy and happy, but we are so confused with all the conflicting advice we get from our health care professionals. I agree with you that they give us the easy way to manage diabetes, but it’s not necessarily the right way to keep our son healthy for many years to come.

“Thank you so much for letting me into your family's home and most important into your hearts! You have a remarkable family, most especially a very strong courageous son!”

Sue's tip: “I use colored high lighters in Bradley's logbook. I color green over every reading that is within range. Pink if it's high and yellow if it's low. For every “green day,” (that's what I call it when I can highlight the entire day's readings) I say in my head, 'Diabetes ... I beat you today!' Sounds silly but it helps me.”

 

Share Your Tips

Do you have bedtime snack suggestions for other parents, which maintain good glucose control during the night without creating highs? I'd love to hear from you! Please send your ideas to newsletter@challengeofdiabetes.com, and I'll publish some of them next month.

August 2007

healthy eating

As parents, we want to take small steps toward changing our family's diet so that they don't overwhelm anyone - especially ourselves! In “Eight Ways to Improve Your Family's Eating Habits,” I discuss ways to move slowly but surely toward improving your family's health with the least misery possible. It was published in Diabetes Health Magazine, which has an informative web site and a terrific newsletter, so you may want to sign up while you are there.

In addition, I recommend “Emergency Room Visits for Kids with Diabetes.” After five years of rushing my son Danny to the emergency room for non-diabetes fearless-boy related reasons, over time, my husband and I realized there are many steps parents of children with diabetes can take to insure that ER visits go as smoothly as possible. This essay was published in Diabetesincontrol.com, a web site and newsletter for medical professionals, which gives weekly updates on the latest advances and research. Their newsletter is a quick way to keep up-to-date.

In addition, I have created a resource section on our web site, which offers recipes, food logs, links to other helpful sites and an archive of the other articles I've written.

The Challenge of Childhood Diabetes book
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