Imagine a doctor telling you your child has diabetes. What happens next is a dizzying mix of tests, consults and education. You are transported from knowing virtually nothing about diabetes to having the responsibility of closely managing your child’s care. And, until recently, I would have added the stress of traveling from the Fox Valley with your sick child to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee for your 7 a.m. “Day 1” diabetes class.
As a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Neenah, Wis., I see more and more families receiving this diagnosis. It doesn’t matter if the diagnosis is type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Living with diabetes isn’t easy. But now that all pediatric diabetes care, including Day 1 diabetes classes, can be done at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin specialty clinic in Neenah, it will help ease some of the strain for most northeast Wisconsin families. In some instances, children still may need to travel to Milwaukee for care of complex diagnoses. As always, we do what is best for your child.
About Day 1 diabetes education
During Day 1 education at the Neenah clinic, all caregivers and the child will meet face-to-face with a pediatric endocrinologist and diabetes educator. The endocrinologist will talk with your pharmacist to ensure you have the medication and supplies you’ll need right away. Basic survival skills are taught, from learning how and when to give an insulin shot to following a basic meal plan. Additional classes are set up within a few weeks after diagnosis. Follow-up education and appointments also are offered at the Neenah clinic.
It’s a lot to take in. Good diabetes management requires a lot of time and effort, especially in the beginning. Caring for a child with diabetes can be physically and emotionally draining. Our diabetes team is here to help and support you. They are trained to help families with the individual, psychological and family aspects of a diabetes diagnosis.
- Thomas Nichols, MD, pediatric hospitalist, medical director of the Hospitalist Program, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Neenah
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Neenah is the only hospital in the Fox Valley dedicated exclusively to the care of kids.