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Presenting Diabetes to 3rd Graders...

When C was in kindergarten, she helped me create a picture book that taught the class about diabetes.  We shared it with the class in the beginning of the year.  We used it for 1st grade and 2nd grad too.  It was really adorable, if I do say so myself.  And the kids really got into it.  Each year, I would go into the classroom and C would demonstrate a blood sugar check and talk about what life is like with diabetes.

Well, this year, I asked her if she wanted to do that again.  She did want to but thought that our little book is too "baby-ish" for 3rd grade.  "I'll just tell them about it, Mom!"

So, I helped her type up her words in a short explanation.  She wanted to present it herself, no help from me. 

"Can I at least come in and listen?"  I asked. 

"Okay," she smiled.

I'm so very thankful that she has such a courageous spirit.  I would not have wanted to do anything of the sort when I was her age.  The following is what she presented.  (And, of course, she shared her bear and supply box!)

Hi! I’m C and I have type 1 diabetes. I was diagnosed before I was even 2 years old. I got very sick and had to be in the hospital.

Diabetes means that I have a disease. My pancreas doesn’t work well. For you, your pancreas is the organ in your body that makes insulin. Mine, doesn’t. So, I have something called a pump that gives me the insulin I need. When we eat food, we need insulin to help our bodies use the energy from food.

I have to poke my finger to check my blood sugar before I eat food and when I don’t feel well. This number is important and gets put into my pump. My pump is NOT a toy. It’s like a little computer. I tell it how much food I’m going to eat and then it figures out how much insulin I need. My pump helps keep me healthy.

You may see me check my blood sugar in the classroom. It might be because I “feel low.” My number might be too low. This can make me feel sick. To help get my number back up, I need to drink a juice box or some tablets, something that has a lot of sugar. Then my body will feel better.

Most of the time, I will just go to the Health Office to do my checks. I’ll need some good friends to walk with me. It will be great this year to be able to count on all of you to help me. I hope I can help you with something someday too!

The important thing I want to tell you today is that even though I have type 1 diabetes, and even though I need to check my blood sugar, I’m really a lot like you. I am on a soccer team. I like to ride my bike and play with my friends. I just need to take care of my diabetes too.

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