As you begin your journey of grand-parenting a Type 1 Diabetic grandchild there are several tools you will need to become familiar with. The purpose of this Diabetes Products Overview is to help you become familiar with the tools and products you will be several times a day.
In Canada, we are fortunate to have a great medicare system that covers hospital stays and doctor visits. It does fall short of medical supplies except for what is used in hospitals or clinics.
For the daily care of your Type 1 child, the cost of these supplies will fall on the parents or primary caregivers of the child.
Our situation is unique in that our son-in-law is serving with the Canadian Air Force and has medical coverage for his family through the group plan. This plan covers up to 80 % of the life-saving supplies needed.
We fully realize that not everyone has this coverage and it is for this reason that we share this link to buy supplies for huge savings. We sincerely hope this helps ease the financial burden in some way.
Glucose Meters and Test strips
A Glucose Meter is a tool you will use several times a day to check the Blood Glucose Levels.
In the case of our grandson, his insulin dosage depends on his carb intake at meals so it is important to check the blood glucose before each meal.
We also test his glucose before exercise if he is going to be doing something active.
You will go through a lot of test strips, I know we certainly do.
There are different brands of Glucose Meters and Test Strips, your health care provider will likely recommend what they think will be best for your situation.
A Lancet is what will be used to prick the fingertip to draw a drop of blood to test the glucose.
When our grandson was first diagnosed we all used the lancet and tested our own glucose levels to show him it really is not that bad.
While our daughter and son-in-law did this in the hospital during his week’s stay, we did it at home under our daughter’s supervision.
There are so many finger pokes in the course of a day that we allow our grandson to choose which finger and this helps him feel some sense of control.
Little things can make a huge difference in how well you have the co-operation of a young child. Again there are many types and your health care provider or pharmacist will likely recommend which to use.
Insulin Syringes and Pen Needles
Some people use Insulin Syringes and others use Pen Needles. Our grandson’s insulin is administered with a Pen Needle but we also have the all-important EMERGENCY ONLY needle that is administered through a traditional syringe. Whatever the delivery method you use it won’t take long to become proficient with it. Your health care provider will determine the best delivery system for your case. Regardless of the method of delivery for insulin, you will go through a lot of Pen Needles or Insulin Syringes.
In our case our grandson has his long-acting insulin upon waking and then his regular insulin after each meal, so for him, that is an average of 4 shots per day, every day without fail.
It can be pretty traumatic for a young child so we let him choose his site which gives him some sense of control. This helps tremendously in gaining his co-operation at injection time.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM)
Our little grandson’s fingers were very quickly beginning to look like pin cushions and after a couple of months with bruised fingertips and his doctor determined that a Continuous Glucose Monitoring Device (CGM) was needed. This makes it so much easier to check him as often as we are required to monitor his blood glucose. He still requires finger pokes before meals and any time his CGM shows him low and going lower.
His particular CGM has a delay of 15 minutes so that is why finger pokes are required if he is low.
Again there are different brands and your health care provider will recommend what will work best for you.
Personally, I love this thing, sure makes daily life, especially when he is at school. So much easier than frequent finger pokes.
Insulin Pumps and Supplies
Because of his young age and the rapid changes in his diabetes management our grandson’s doctors have determined he is not yet a candidate for an insulin pump.
For some, the pump is a welcome part of their diabetes management.
The insulin pump is a method of automatically monitoring blood glucose levels and administering insulin as required.
To me, it sounds like quite a helpful tool, and am sure it is great for those who use it. You can discuss this with your doctor if this is a viable option for you. If he/she determines it is a viable option for you, your health care provider will recommend the Insulin Pump that he/she seems most suitable as there are several models. Your health care provider will also teach you how to use it which is extremely important so pay attention.
We realize that at the beginning of your journey with grand-parenting a Type 1 Diabetic all these tools and supplies can seem overwhelming.
They are not difficult to learn to use and in no time you will be proficient in their use. We found it amazing how quickly all these supplies became a normal part of everyday life.
The handy black carry case contains everything we need and it literally goes everywhere our grandson goes. We even have some fast-acting sugar snacks for those occasions that a low randomly occurs.
You will quickly master the use of all these items as they become a part of everyday life with your Type 1 Diabetic grand-child. It really isn’t as scary as it sounds when it is all fresh and new.
We sincerely hope this helps make your new adventure a little easier.
Feel free to leave your questions or comments below.