School issues with Type 1 diabetes

Many people have problems with their schools not allowing blood sugar testing in the classroom, not having a trained person to give shots, allowing students to go to the nurse’s office alone with a low blood sugar (should NEVER do that!) and many other issues. There is a great publication called Helping the Student with Diabetes Succeed: A Guide for School Personnel. You can read this online and save the PDF file to your computer. You can also request a free copy from the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Many parents prepare a Section 504 plan for their student with Type 1 diabetes. This is protection under Federal laws that allow accommodations for your child without discrimination. For example, if your child has to miss a lot of school when their blood sugars are really out of range, or if they have DKA problems, you can have exceptions to tardiness or being counted absent or truent built into their 504 plan. See this and this on Americans with Disabilities Act. Also see examples of 504 plans.

Insulin Pumps

My son was 13 when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. He started insulin pump therapy 4 months later. I CANNOT say enough WONDERFUL things about a pump!! It is THE best way to help manage Type 1 diabetes for everyone, especially kids, especially teens!

This link has many links to good information about insulin pumps. All the pump brands are here with links to their own websites. This link shows all the brands in a chart format that compares their features. From all the parents on the ADA parents board that I communicate with, there is a wide range of all the brands of pumps being used and everyone loves their pump! No complaints, so I know you can’t go wrong with whatever your choice is! We didn’t even know there was more than one brand when we were looking into the pump, but we have been 100% satisfied with the Minimed pump my son is on.

There are two good articles that talk about pumping in children and toddlers. This article talks about insulin via pump vs. shots, and this one has other information as well.

The reason I think pumps are so much better than shots are that kids can be the most normal with a pump. They don’t have to eat on a schedule, can eat as much or as little as they want, can sleep in, skip meals, eat extra snacks, etc. It is one “shot” every 2-3 days as opposed to 4-5 shots every day. The control you can achieve with a pump cannot be matched with shots. For every hour of the day, you can have a different amount of insulin as the base (basal) insulin. If they tend to run higher or lower at a particular time of day, you can change the basal rate higher or lower to help that. The pump does all the calculations for you and even knows how much insulin they have already taken and is still working in them.

You still have to be diligent and change the site every 2-3 days and check blood sugars at least 4 times a day. Because the pump only has fast-acting insulin in it, if there is a problem with delivery (a blocked site or something), they are not getting any insulin. Because of this, they can go into DKA faster with a pump, but if you still check sugar often and stay on top of things, their blood sugar should stay more even.

Extra things to consider, like exercise, sports, puberty, illness, etc. all play a big part in having more control with a pump than daily shots. Also, with a pump you can give much smaller amounts of insulin at a time (like 0.05 of a unit instead of 1/2 or 1/4 of a unit with a syringe). Modern technology is advancing rapidly and pumps now have continuous blood glucose monitors and many more advances just around the corner!

Understanding Diabetes book (aka The Pink Panther book)

There is a great book that many parents get when their children are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Most refer to it as the “Pink Panther book” because of the cover. It is written in easy to understand terms, even younger children can understand it.

We didn’t get this book at diagnosis, but I sure wish we had! I heard about it from an online Parents Message Board, which I didn’t find until about 19 months after my son was diagnosed. After we changed to a new endocrinologist, we were given a copy of the book.

I have since found the complete book online in PDF form, so if you want, you can go to this website and open each chapter and read it online, or save it to your computer.

Palm Backup

If you have a Palm, you really should back it up regularly. If you lose power, or something just makes it act up, you might have to do a hard reset and could lose everything on it. First of all, make sure you regularly sync it to your PC. I purchased a back-up card for my 1st Palm, which I still use, but recently found a free program that does an automatic back-up to your SD card! You can set it up so that it rotates every few days. What I mean is that I have Backup A, B & C, and every day it rotates, first A, then B, then C so I always have the last 3 days’ backups to recover.

You can also do an instant backup at anytime you want to. I suggest before you load new software on, do the backup. Then if it messes up, you can restore to right before that.

NVBackup can only be used with certain Palm models, so be sure to read the directions. I have a Treo 650 and I can use it with that. If this program doesn’t work for your Palm, you can try Backup Buddy (have to purchase) or another type of program. Do a google search to find them.

Trillian – 1 program to chat on AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ

I found this program a couple of months ago and love it! Since friends use different Chat services, you have to have several programs running in order to chat with everyone. This program lets you open your AIM, MSN Messenger, Yahoo messenger and ICQ chat programs with one program! You can ALSO see all the mail you get in different emails!

With one click, you can put all “away” or sign on or off all of them! It puts a colored dot in front of each buddy name, yellow for AIM, blue for MSN, etc.

Another great feature is that you can rename the buddies to a name you recognize! I know you can’t do that on AIM, but I believe you can do it on Yahoo. This really helps you you have many people in your buddy list and you can’t remember all their screen names!!

You can read about it, see screen shots & download this free program here:

Syncing the Palm — Tips & Tricks

This is an explanation of how the Palm and PC match information (sync). I will give you tips on what to do if it isn’t matching, or if you “mess up” one of them (say the Palm) and want to let the PC overwrite it to correct it!

The Hotsync program puts a small red & blue circle with arrows in the tray by your clock on the bottom right of your PC. In order to make these changes, you need to Right click on that icon. Then click “Custom.”

On that screen you can see how your Palm & PC will sync. These are the default settings. It will list the programs like Calendar, Addresses, To Dos, etc. on the left, and then one of these next to it: do nothing, desktop overwrites handheld, or handheld overwrites desktop, or synchronize the files.

Ok, say you messed up your PDA, and deleted someone’s address, or erased some calendar entries. If you sync the normal way, it will be deleted from your PC also. In this case, you want to click on the Address line so it is blue, and then click on “change”. Select “desktop overwrites handheld” and OK.

Sync your Palm, and it will fix the information!

NOW .. what you just did is a ONE TIME ONLY thing! After you sync, it will go back to the default setting automatically!

But, say you want to change something ALL the time. For example, if your hotsync says the handheld overwrites the desktop for addresses and you make a change on your PDA, the next time you sync, it will be gone. To change the DEFAULT setting (to synchronize the files), do the above … right click on hotsync icon, go to Custom, click on Address and Change. Select sync the files, and THEN below that, click the box that says “set as default.”

From now on, it will be set to that setting.

One thing I found, some people have 2 sets of entries, and one will say Do Nothing, and the other sync. This is the difference:

Palm Desktop and Outlook have 2 different names for the same thing:
To Do


So if you use Palm desktop, all the above should say “syncronize files” and the Outlook ones should say Do Nothing.

Preferences & Options in Palm

Preferences and Options in Palm

If you want to check preferences of ANY of the Palm software, be in that program and then click on the top blue bar where the name of the program is, and it will drop down menus (just like at the top of Word or an internet page). There will almost always be a Preferences or Options command there.There is also a Preferences command on there. I have moved mine to the category Favorites. To find it, click on the arrow in the top right on the Home screen, and select All.

Also, within programs, you can select the preferences if you have an icon near your graffiti writing area that looks like a list.

To MOVE programs to a different category, be on the Home page, click on the top menu bar and have it drop down. Select Category and it will give you a list of all the programs on the Palm and the current category they are in. You can change individual ones by selecting the arrow next to the category and selecting a different one.

This is the same menu you use to DELETE software from the Palm (be sure you want to first!!), COPY something (to an SD card), or BEAM the software to another Palm user!

On the main Preferences icon, you can also change the buttons that go directly to specific programs. For example, you have a button that takes you right to the calendar, another that takes you right to addresses, etc. Say you have another program that you want to be on that quick button … just go to Preferences>Personal>Buttons and select a different one to be linked to that key!