Saturday, 19 May 2012

Type 1 Diabetes & Exams !!

The devil and tongue of a viper in Claudia, has been unleashed this week!!

I may have been a little quiet lately. Normally I am such a gossip and spamming everyone.

Claudia is in Year 6 so for the last month or so they have been working through previous Year 6 SATs papers.

What has taken me by surprise is the way the pressure and stress has affected her blood glucose levels. I have to question whether SATs are appropriate and should our children be put under so much pressure at such a young age. Type 1 or not.

Type 1 Diabetes is a condition sadly that highlights how the body is affected by stress, excitement, etc.
In Claudia's case, stress causes her blood glucose levels to drop very low constantly. 2 weeks ago school called me as they were concerned. Claudia was on her 3rd hypo treatment. I whizzed up to school to be greeted by the Head Teacher. I think reality had kicked in and they realised how much stress affected Claudia and the impact Type 1 has on a child who is put under pressure. I know many of Claudia's friends felt the same, yet their bodies are able to manage the stress.

I should point out that school have provided excellent care for Claudia since Year 2. This was a side they had not seen before.

After a weekend of lows and being awake most of the night, I was seriously considering stopping Claudia from taking her SATs.

Why are we putting our children under so much pressure at such a young age ? Is it really necessary?

Schools are not equipped and often are not giving our children with Type 1 enough time to recover from "hypo or hyper" episodes.

On a practise paper, they stopped Claudia and said she could leave it. She had had a "hypo". Her levels had come back up above 4. Yet she couldn't answer this simple question: Convert 3cm into millimetres.
Claudia said to me," Mummy I knew it was 30mm but I kept on writing 120mm". I had to turn away as my eyes filled with tears. How awful must it be to feel like that.

It can take up to an hour to fully recover from a hypo. Hyper's can take a long time too, depending on how long it takes to get blood glucose levels back within "normal range".
Type 1 Diabetes is not a "new condition" so why are many schools, colleges, universities & exam boards still not supporting and understanding our children.

Why is there no set protocol to follow for Children with Type 1 Diabetes ?

After weighing everything up we decided to take it 1 day at a time.

We reduced her basal and bolus, gave free carbs, yet we still couldn't stop all the hypo's. It has been one of the most uncomfortable weeks of my life. I felt helpless and didn't really know what to do for the best. Withdrawing her from the tests would have had an impact on her education, letting her take them impacted on her quality of life. Which is the right way to jump ? Did we make the right choice?

SAT's are finally over and Claudia's levels are settling back down. I am a very proud mummy.I have to say due to the lows Claudia behaviour at home has been really challenging. As a family we are all worn out due to lack of sleep and temper tantrums. I want to have a huge tantrum too, but it would not be acceptable at the age of 42!!

Watch out I feel "Hypo"

Claudia's temper is spectacular when she is low.
I often describe her as having the "tongue of a viper" when she is on a "hypo rant".

It took me all my inner strength, not to shout from the roof tops thos week" for goodness sake, when will people understand Type 1, when will our children get the full support they deserve within education."

Instead I had to wear my smiley mask !!!! I have to say the mask is getting thinner by the day.


  1. SATs are awful i was really ill with them because of the pressure i was put under and you know what they dont even matter as soon as you get into high schools you sit internal exams and get resetted anyway, i was actually under less pressure with gcse's than with SATs

  2. I'm so glad that you both continued to persevere. High five for that! It would have been easy to throw the towel in, but you both kept on going.

    I hope things go more smoothly now that they are over.

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