A few weeks ago, I decided to list myself at Safesittings.com. Safe Sittings is an online service connecting families with a child with diabetes with a babysitter who has experience with the disease. I spent most of my high school career doing just this. I was the Child Care Coordinator for a local support group and I ended up babysitting for many of the families who came to the meetings.
When I went to college, I didn’t do it quite as much because I didn’t always have reliable transportation and my schedule was also much more hectic.
Now that I live in New Jersey and my schedule is much more routinized, I thought it would be great to pick back up where I left off. Of course, not knowing many people in New Jersey, I wasn’t sure where to start. I remembered seeing the website awhile back and checked into it.
I selected which state I live in (NJ) and wrote a brief biography of myself.
Then I waited.
After almost two months, I was pretty convinced I wasn’t going to hear from anyone. But then one day I received an email from a mom of three boys, the youngest of whom has diabetes. We exchanged a few emails and I headed out to their house last Saturday to meet her, her husband and the boys, T, age 7, J, almost 6, and S, 3. I of course managed to get lost (I wouldn’t be me if I arrived at a new place on the first try) and spent a couple hours getting acquainted with the boys. Mom showed me the testing supplies, the snacks, how to treat a low blood sugar and even where the glucagon is (knock on wood). I even did a test drive on S’s Animas insulin pump, because it had been nearly two years since I had last touched one (I’m a Minimed girl through and through).
Today was my first day on the job and I must say, I respect any woman with a son – let alone three! We played with “moonsand” – sand that floats – and we traipsed around outside in the clubhouse.
It was, of course, the diabetes that brought me to the family. The youngest child with diabetes that I have ever babysat for was almost two years old and that was difficult because there was barely any communication. Like most children, S couldn’t communicate when he felt high or low, but we didn’t have any issues with that, thankfully.
Now. Testing blood sugar. It’s a necessary evil and I don’t really know how mothers can do it. Well, that’s not true. I know exactly how and why mothers do it, but that unfortunately doesn’t make it any easier.
I remember when I first tested a child’s blood sugar. Her name was Amanda and she was about the same age as S is now. I remember the time she cried when I gave her an insulin injection. I remember thinking how terrible this was that she was so young and was going to do this for such a long time.
I remember thinking that she was the reason why I wanted to find a cure.
Every time I meet a new child – or read about one online – this is what I think.
I want a cure for them.