Back-To-School With Diabetes: A 4AM Mental Checklist

Back-To-School With Diabetes: A 4AM Mental Checklist

With school back in session for most kids, many families spent the last several weeks packing and preparing for a new classroom, teacher, coursework and routine. Of course, back-to-school planning is even more important for kids with diabetes. Today, we hear from guest blogger Krissy Karanikitas, as she mentally runs through her lists and plans for her two children, Alex and Lilly, during a 4am blood glucose check. How did you prepare your child for the new school year? Be sure to share with us in the comments!

It’s 4:23 a.m. and Alex’s mySentry wakes me for a low alert. He swam so much today and his blood sugar is now 80. Time for a juice. He hears me tear the straw off his apple juice box and he pops right up. He sucks it down without even opening his eyes. I tap his shoulder jokingly and he hits the pillow. He is such a good boy.

Now I wait 15 minutes… and think about back-to-school. I think everything is ready. We met with his teachers, and there will be so many in the sixth grade. They each have a copy of his six-page 504 plan and a special note with his picture for when there is a substitute. The new backpack is almost ready and just waiting for a few more things that need name tags. His new drawstring bag has fresh supplies too:

  • Meter
  • Lancets
  • Alcohol pads
  • Test strips
  • Juice
  • Gummy bears
  • Glucose gel and glucagon

He travels so much in the school and I’m glad the administration made an exception to allow him to carry his bag. The extra supplies are in the boxes and ready for the nurses office. We have the health plan paper ready with all his new pump settings, which changed throughout the summer. Though I am sure this will all change again now that 12 hours a day of running around like an 11-year-old comes to an end. His dad has been fingerprinted so he can go on the three day October field trip (I am sure the other Dads don’t want me checking in on Alex while they sleep).

His new jeans are hemmed (still waiting for that growth spurt his dad had at about this age) and the new sneakers are laced. His sister’s new puppy, Basal, loves playing with the new laces already! I’ve planned for almost everything, except the other kids. He’s such a good boy. Will he be afraid to test in front of his new classmates? Will he feel out of place without his best friend Dante? Those boys are like two peas in a pod. They even wear the same insulin pump! Will his teachers remember that he takes time to absorb things after a low? I’ve done all I can, it’s ok. He’ll be ok.

I may as well test Lilly and calibrate her CGM since I am up waiting to recheck him. She knees me on the head again. I still have no idea how she can manage that in her sleep. She makes a tight fist as soon as I touch her hand. Somehow, I manage the test… and now to calibrate. She rolls over onto her pump. She’s good too, but she is so tough… even in her sleep. Good thing! The guidance counselor gave her the fourth grade teacher, whose room is closest to the nurse, but I saw her class list and there are so many kids that are well acquainted with the principal’s office! That poor teacher! She can’t possibly be prepared for the year. Lilly’s ready for school though. She picked out her supplies and packed her backpack on her own. She read through her 504 and seems satisfied. Her box for the nurse’s office is decorated purple to match her pump. After all, that’s her favorite singer’s favorite color! She knows what outfits she’ll wear the first week of school and which matching purse can hold her meter and supplies. She’s tough, she will test anywhere in front of anyone! She could care less about the mean girls in her class and the teasing boys. What boys? She only has eyes for Dante! She’ll be FINE.


– Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.
– Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.

Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps

– Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
– Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.

Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems

– The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment.
– Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected.

Please visit for complete safety information.

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