Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Shame on the Calgary Board of Education, the legal team, the administrators, and any and all involved in putting the health of Calgary's student body behind convenience.

I'm angry, check that I'm really angry. Cadence has been going to Kindergarten for the last 6 months and is loving it. She is praised by her teacher, and beloved by her classmates. I'll never forget how incredibly humble, proud, and surprised she was when she had made all these new friends. Diabetes puts a child on the outside at times, they're different, they're fragile in many's eyes. She loves it there because she feels good, they make her feel good, and for the first time, the primary concern of those around her is actually her...not her blood sugar. It's freedom.

Our teacher, took it upon herself to learn how simple her insulin pump is to operate and how utterly hard it is to do it wrong. We have no expectations of decision making but instead created a flow chart that states if she is this number - do this, and/or call us. It has been working wonderfully. We've had no incidents of any kind and her sugars have been great throughout the winter. We love her for that, the first day Cadence came home with a star shaped post-it note stating her sugar was this, gave this amt. of insulin. It allowed my wife to re-engage in her career as a Chiropractor, get back to doing what she's so very good at. Life has been approximating normal for the first time since 7.7.19 and it's been a beautiful change.

But leave it to a lumbering sloth of an organization like the Calgary Board of Education to screw it up.

We got a call this week from the assistant principle stating that the board had a meeting about kids with diabetes. You know, a meeting about my kid that I wasn't fucking invited to. Where the group decided that "there were too many kids being diagnosed" thus the school staff was no longer permitted to give any help to the diabetic, no pump help, no blood-check help, etc. Basically saying: "too bad you have a fatal life-long disease kid, but don't bother us with it, you're on your own, now go play in traffic." I'm not naive, I get there is a liability component to this, but if my kid goes into DKA at the school because no one was willing to help her? Liability goes both ways.

So without consultation with parents, they take a perfectly willing teacher away from helping us provide a nurturing educational environment for Cadence and institute a policy that diabetics are hands off. But don't worry, if your kid needs an epi-pen for an allergy you'll have a line-up of eager volunteers though. Insulin shouldn't be discriminated against.

My favourite part of the conversation was how Cadence would not qualify for a nurse's aid to help her out as "it's very expensive, and it's not like her condition affects her cognitive ability." Oh like a diabetic coma is a perfect state to learn in. **deep breath**

The Calgary Board of Education with this decision has now taken a great program and successfully outcast my kid, eliminated my wife's capacity to work for the next 3-4 years, disrupted her social circles by Mom or Dad having to come to every snack time and lunch time to deliver insulin, and did all of this without consultation. Thanks a bunch for putting your convenience over my daughter's health, and quality of education. Thanks a bunch for deciding to be indifferent.



MammaK said...

This is so far beyond unacceptable. With your permission I would like to copy your blog to the director of JDRF. I volunteer with them and know the marketing manger would be interested in hearing about this.

MammaK said...

This is so far beyond unacceptable. With your permission I would like to copy your blog to the director of JDRF. I volunteer with them and know the marketing manger would be interested in hearing about this.

Kristen said...

We have always stuck with syringes. We inject at 730am, 600pm and 730pm. My son is fine all day at school. He just needs 30 carbs at 1030, 60 carbs at lunch, 30 carbs at 330. He tests at lunch or if he is feeling low. The schools he has attended have never monitored him nor have we ever requested they do so.

Brad Kane said...

@Kristen - as the saying goes YDMV (your diabetes may vary), we've had amazing control with the pump and at the age Cadence was diagnosed, injections were not a viable solution.

Christina said...

wow. Leave it to an administration to muck a working thing up. Curious what brought on their little meeting? Was a nother child diagnosed and his/her teacher felt overwehelmed or scared at the idea of helping him/her manage diabetes at school?
Does your school not offer things like a 504? A document written to keep kids safe and provide for their learning enveironment? Here we write a 504 for a child whith D that states when he.she should test, who should monitor the testing, when insulin is given and how much is given, unlimited potty breaks, unlimited water breaks, must test bg before ALL assessments, etc. It is a legal document that is written individually for each student by the health care provider, school counsler, parents, principal, school nurse and teacher. Could you fight for something like that? Im sorry that this all came down this way. It sounds like a huge mess. Im not familiar with the laws and such up there but I sincerely hope there is something that can protect you and your dd.