From Ohio, USA:
My daughter's 15 month old child was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and she is planning on going back to work full-time after only being home only one month to take care of her baby while they try to get her regulated. (She has always worked outside the home.) She would then have her daughter attend a day care center. I think she should quit her job and stay home and care for her baby. What is your opinion?
The child clearly needs someone at home who knows how to care for a baby with diabetes. Does she already have such a person in place? A simple babysitter will not due -- not at such a young age. Unless the staff is very smart about hyperglycemia/hypoglycemia in infants, it sounds a bit frightening. Exactly who will do the injections and blood glucose testing? I know of almost no centers willing to take on those tasks.
Additional comments from Dr. Tessa Lebinger:It can be very difficult to decide whether to quit your job when your toddler has been diagnosed with diabetes or whether to go back to work. If your daughter has found a very reliable babysitter or day care center with a good nurse on staff willing and able to care for the child, it can work out well. I usually recommend that at least one parent carry a cell phone and/or beeper.
Some parents first opt to return to work and then later decide to take a leave of absence for a while. Although it can be done safely, it takes a lot of planning, and if the child is sick with a cold or minor illness and has to stay home, it might be harder to find someone able to babysit for a day or two who is both willing and able to take on this responsibility.
Additional comments from Lois Schmidt Finney, diabetes dietitian:I don't know what your daughter's financial situation is, but my guess is that she feels she needs to return to work. Many parents of children with diabetes are in similar situations and must work.
Another important factor is how close you are physically and emotionally to your daughter and her family. If your daughter asked for your help and if you are close to them both physically and emotionally, you could offer your services as a provider of day care. I am sure it would be much appreciated, but please do not force your ideas on her. I am sure she is overloaded with all of the responsibility, and she may well see after working for a short period of time that it is better to stay home. Please be there for her if/when she needs you.
Original posting 20 Jun 2002
Posted to Other Social Issues
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:33
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