From Port Richey, Florida, USA:
My 11 year old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes two weeks ago, and my concern is that school will be letting out soon, and I am working a full time job. I feel that she will need supervision and should have someone around her all the time just in case of a low sugar event, especially if she becomes confused and disoriented which I am reading can happen. So, I want to quit working full time to be home with her for the summer because I can't afford to send her to a day camp. My husband disagrees and says since we need my income to be able to make our bills, I have to continue working. Isn't it against the law in Florida to leave a child alone at that age, even without a life threatening disease? I don't know what to do or how to convince him how serious this is. Any suggestions, I am so stressed just thinking about it.
Your fear for your child resonates in your letter. At age 11, she should be able to master the basics of self care. However, if you are terribly afraid, your daughter will be also. I wonder if there is a way she could attend diabetes camp and have a scholarship to go. That would be a great way for her to decrease any isolation she may feel after her diagnosis and empower her to manage her condition as well. Please look into this avenue for the summer.
Quitting your job seems drastic unless your daughter is unable to grasp the principals of diabetes self care. Are there peers in your area that could "buddy" with her during the summer -- another young person with diabetes? This is something your endocrinologist or diabetes team may be able to help you discover.
Additional comments from Dr. Larry Deeb:The authorities would be unhappy if she had a serious hypo, that's for sure. Isn't there a summer program at the school? You might have to educate the staff.
Original posting 5 May 2002
Posted to Other Social Issues
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:34
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