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August 15, 1999

Hypoglycemia

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Question from Virginia, USA:

My daughter, 7, was diagnosed over a year ago with Type 1. I am a single mom of 3 with a very demanding schedule. She has experienced hypoglycemic episodes mainly in the middle of the night. She wakes up shaking, jerking, mouth almost shut tight. I get the quickest result from Glucagon. I am very concerned about this. She recently experienced an episode at camp during the day. The doctor changed her insulin a bit. My impression is that he is not real concerned. Her pediatrician had her get a EGG and had us see a neurologist. He feels everything is associated with the Diabetes. I was also referred to the local Diabetes Institute. Both the neurologist and pediatrician did not feel like I would get results from there. I know all of us could benefit from more education and support. My time is so limited to join any groups and having to pay for a babysitter may not fit into my budget. Where can I locate the best resources? How do you suggest I ask her doctor to help me? Does insurance cover appointments with a dietitian? Is there any financial assistance for diabetes products and medication? What can I do to help my daughter to feel more comfortable about her illness?

Answer:

From: DTeam Staff

Hypoglycemic reactions can be very dangerous, especially for children. So, it’s very important that you figure out a way to prevent these lows.

I strongly disagree with your physicians if they told you that you won’t get much help from a pediatric diabetes team. Preventing reactions is a complicated and vital part of your child’s diabetes care, and members of a pediatric diabetes team are uniquely qualified to help you learn ways to protect your child’s safety and health. I realize that you are a very busy mother with many competing demands, but it is vital that you find time to talk with a pediatric diabetes team. There are a number of excellent ones in your state, and if you call your local ADA office, they can refer you to the one that is closest to your home. Once you are at your appointment, they can also help you with questions about insurance coverage, seeing a dietitian, and getting involved in groups for support (many have free babysitting, or groups for the kids at the same time as the groups for the adults).

JWB