A 10 Year Old’s Advice on How to Beat Boredom During COVID-19

Written by Danielle Caggia

With my children home indefinitely, I thought an appropriate project for my very bored 10-year-old daughter was to come up with a list for kids, by a kid, on how to not stayed bored during this challenging time. I hope you and your children enjoy Danielle’s tips on how to stay entertained. Stay safe, everyone!

The Coronavirus has forced all of our schools, stores, gyms, and restaurants to close down. While we will keep busy with distance learning, we kids need some ideas on how to pass the time, too. If you are a kid like me and looking for things to do, here are my top 10 ways to avoid boredom while being stuck at home.

Provided by Jillian Rippolone

1. Get Crafty

I love to draw and create things. There are so many ideas online and you can even get creative with the things in your home like cotton balls and paper plates! (Allison’s tip: if your child with diabetes wears a continuous glucose monitor or an Omnipod, you can be creative and decorate them! Check out my favorite from my friend, Jillian Rippolone, T1dChick.)

2. Watch Movies

Let a family member pick a new movie each night. It will allow you and your family to be together and appreciate each other’s favorite movies, too. So far, my brother and I have agreed on all of our choices! (Allison’s tip: there are so many movies that portray diabetes inaccurately. Get a laugh with your family watching movies from this list. And be thankful for technology and the progress we’ve made as a community!)

3. Start a Journal

With everything going on in the world, this is a great time to put down your thoughts and feelings. Hopefully, when this is all over, you can look back and reflect. (Allison’s tip: This is not a bad time to let children with diabetes take some ownership over their diabetes management if they show interest. Jotting down what they’ve eaten, the carb count, and the insulin dose taken may be a great exercise to empower them in the future! This may also be a great exercise for us adults living with diabetes and can also help our mental state.)

Provided by Allison Caggia

4. Connect with Others

I miss my friends! Thanks to phones and social media, I can stay connected and we can make each other smile! (Allison adds: We really all need each other to lean on during this time. No matter where you stand on screen time, make sure to take advantage and stay connected to your loved ones like grandparents and your friends who are alone.) (Allison’s tip: This is a great time for children with diabetes to get a penpal! Beyond Type 1 has an amazing Snail Mail Program that will help your children to form friendships and not feel so alone.)

Provided by Allison Caggia

5. Bake

My mom loves making healthy foods. I am going to help her come up with some tasty desserts that will last us a while. Check out some ideas here! (Allison’s tip: This is a great time to experiment with some low-carb options of your favorite desserts, visit Caroline’s Keto Kitchen for some delicious ideas.)

Provided by Allison Caggia

6. Get Some Fresh Air

With the warmer weather coming, we should all take advantage of the not so cold temperatures. Getting outside can also help stop the spread of germs. And it can also help us clear our minds. (Allison’s tip: Someone posted in my neighborhood Facebook group about having the children participate in a “rainbow hunt.” We all asked our children to draw a rainbow and place it somewhere noticeable outdoors, on your door or a window, etc. Then take a nice walk with your family and see how many you can find!)

Provided by Allison Caggia

7. Have a Picnic in the Car

My mom and I love being out and about! Two of our favorite things to do are going out to lunch and shopping. We decided to have a lunch date in the car and it was nice to get out of the house for a while. (Allison’s tip: Always be prepared. I wound up going very low because the food we ordered for curbside was taking longer than expected. Luckily, I had a Gatorade in my glove compartment. I was glad I was prepared and that my low didn’t ruin our mommy-daughter time!)

Provided by Allison Caggia. This was taken way before social distancing was even a thing.

8. Do Something Good for the Community

There is so much sadness in the world right now. Figure out a way your family can safely help. My mom and I always ask our elderly neighbors if they need anything when we go to the grocery store. And our project for this upcoming weekend is to look through this list and pick a way to give back! (Allison’s tip: Check-in on your local diabuddies to make sure everyone has insulin and supplies. I taught my daughter and her friends a valuable lesson this winter, when we delivered insulin to a diabuddy in need.)

Provided by Allison Caggia

9. Pamper Yourself

I love face masks! And lotions! Use this time to take bubble baths, try new hairstyles and maybe even offer a family member a free manicure! (Allison’s tip: Our skin is often put through the wringer with harsh adhesives and constant pricks and injections. Rotate your sites and let your skin breathe!)

Provided by Allison Caggia

10. Get Active

It’s important to not just sit around and be lazy. We must take the time to exercise our brains and our bodies! If you have a mom who is a CrossFit fanatic like mine, you may find yourself doing “wods” (workout of the day). She sometimes schedules workouts, and my friends join in from their homes, it’s a lot of fun! This is my friend, and our moms are doing an awesome workout called Deck of Death! Find a way to be active; you won’t be sorry! (Allison’s tip: Check out our latest article COVID-19: Apps to Stay Active at Home).

This is a really strange time for all of us. I am trying my best to stay upbeat and happy. Because I know I do have a lot to be thankful for. I can’t wait to see my friends and do all the things I love again! I hope you all stay safe, healthy and entertained!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Diabetes Love Letter: An Ode to Mandi’s Late Parents

By Mandi Franklin

To my late parents:

It was the winter of 1990 and I was spending the week at my aunt and uncle’s house while my parents were chasing sunsets in the Caribbean. I loved sleepovers at their house – we would play “grocery store,” paint my fingernails, and stay up late.

This time was different…

“She’s drinking so much water. She can’t seem to quench her thirst,” my aunt said to my mother when she called to check on me.

I was so thirsty that I would climb on top of the bathroom sink and gulp water from the faucet like a parched cat. My aunt and uncle knew something was wrong.

Photo credit: Mandi Franklin

My parents caught the next flight home and I was rushed to Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

This is when the perfect world we once knew changed for me and my family.

“She has juvenile diabetes and we need to give her insulin,” explained the ER physician to my parents. Imagine hearing that your little, previously healthy 3-year-old now has a permanent disease that will need to be managed with multiple fingersticks and numerous injections daily.

Confused. Angry. Sad. Guilty. Numb. These are things that I am sure my parents felt at this moment.

Over the next few days, we learned how to cope with my new life with the help of the medical team, nurses, dietitians, child life specialists, and of course family support.

From that day on, my parents vowed to never treat me differently and promised that I would live a “normal” childhood.

Photo credit: Mandi Franklin

Looking back, I admire them for how they tackled this diagnosis and disease. I never felt like I couldn’t do something due to my illness. I was able to dance, play sports, go on vacations, and have sleepovers.

I have been living with type 1 diabetes for 29 years. There are days when I want to throw in the towel and say “OK diabetes, you win.” The other days are just like yours, except with a few extra pokes and a special ability to count carbohydrates.

My parents taught me to live my life and never let my disease get in the way. Because of this, I do what I love and continue to chase my dreams.

In conclusion, don’t ever give up.

Thank you, mom and dad, for raising me to be a strong, independent, resilient, goal-crusher who just happens to also have type 1 diabetes.

Love you always,


More about the author on her website and Facebook Page.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Diabetes Love Letter: From Briana to Husband

By Briana Payne

Dear Aaron,

You are my husband, best friend, father to our children, and partner in crime. You were there in the instacare clinic on a Sunday morning April 24, 2016, when I got the dreaded diagnosis of diabetes. We later confirmed the following week that it was type 1 diabetes because I had the antibodies present that come with type 1. I walked into an instacare clinic confused why I was urinating so much, and found out it was sugar in my urine that was dumping out of my system, since I was dealing with undiagnosed diabetes. We thought it was a simple UTI that I could fix, and quickly found out it was a lifetime autoimmune disease.

Photo credit: Briana Payne

When I first got diagnosed, you were the one giving me my Levemir injections. Nine months into the diagnosis, I gave a continuous glucose monitor a chance. You helped me to put it on my body, especially in harder to reach places, like the back of my arm, or near my backside. You’ve always been patient with me and figuring out my diabetes with the technology, injections, cost of insulin, glucometers, diabetes appointments, etc.

Aaron, thank you for your sacrifices finding a job that will provide good insurance for me to switch to when I turn 26 in April 2020. You went out of your way to get a better insurance plan that will make your paychecks a little bit smaller, because you want to be able to afford our healthcare costs the best way.

Photo credit: Briana Payne

This disease is not pretty, nor is it cheap. I’ve dealt with some high and low blood sugars that have affected me, and you have been patient with me through it all. There are times to this day that I still feel guilty that I got this autoimmune disease six weeks after we got married. You could have left me after discovering that your new wife had a new chronic illness, but you didn’t. You have always been a very loyal and dedicated man — I cannot thank you enough. Amidst all of the struggles with costs and the daily to-dos is with this disease, I know we can continue to navigate this life together.

Happy Valentine’s, Aaron. Thanks for being my valentine.



Source: diabetesdaily.com

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Source: diabetesdaily.com

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Source: diabetesdaily.com

Shot Through the Heart: To Jack, Love Mom

A mother’s love runs deep, and our next “Shot through the heart” love letter shows that a child’s love for their parents, can run just as, or even deeper.   Dear Jack,   Not many 11-year-old young men have parents that both have type 1 diabetes. Your understanding of our disease and the nuances that […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com