I Love Someone with Diabetes: Heather Johnson

Diabetes affects the whole family, whether you’re a parent, sibling, child, grandchild or spouse. This week on the blog, we’ll be featuring stories about loving and caring for someone with diabetes.



Heather and Anaya

Name: Heather Johnson
Location: Lancaster, Calif.

My daughter Anaya was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age three on Dec. 19, 2011. She was in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) with a blood glucose reading of 654 mg/dl. She stayed at the children’s hospital for three days and was released the day before Christmas Eve.

Since then our lives have changed tremendously. Anaya is now five and has been on the Medtronic insulin pump since February 2013. Every minute of the day we are worried about her blood glucose getting high or dropping low.

My husband, my mother and my sisters have been a great support system and help with everything to the fullest. My mother helps take care of Anaya when I’m at work because I’m not comfortable with leaving her in daycare. She helps with Anaya’s site changes and carb counting. My husband (Anaya’s stepfather) has also stepped up to help with her glucose testings and her pump. He is learning how to do site changes as well.

This year Anaya is in kindergarten. We are always worrying about how she’s doing at school. Unfortunately, the school won’t issue her a nurse (they only have a health clerk), so my mother and I drive to her school to treat her as needed. I’ve had multiple meetings with the principal to discuss how to improve things. For example, they don’t make sure she eats all her food for what she was bloused, which could cause her to go low.

Just last week we signed a 504 plan with Anaya’s school. So far, they are not really abiding by it. My mother and I still spend a lot of time going to her school to do corrections and boluses. Her life is in the school’s hands, but they don’t take her diabetes as seriously as I feel they should.

Note: The American Diabetes Association believes that every child with diabetes deserves to have their medical needs met at school. Visit our website to learn more about the Safe at School campaign. Parents and guardians may also contact the Association’s Legal Advocates for help with resolving conflicts; call 1-800-DIABETES.

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6 Responses to I Love Someone with Diabetes: Heather Johnson

  1. Asia McClain says:

    I’m going through this same struggle last year they put my daughter out of kindergarten we got a settlement agreement for this year and they are still not following it they only complain about how much money they spent on lawyers. The school nurse let jp walk around and cares for her self our endocrine team tried to talk to the nurse but she told him she didn’t like what he wanted to change example he gave her and she continued to get upset this lady is an LPN and is treating diabetes as if it was a no big deal

    Making janice change her own pump battery while it’s still attached to her body. The new law they passed is not really working for our school everyday is scary I try to teach my 6 year old ad much as possible to keep her safe.

  2. Valeria says:

    Im in the same situation as you . My daughters name is Anna Victoria and shes 4 years old. She also uses the pump , shes being using it for 10 months . Her situations is like Anayas . We live in Brazil , aqui her school gives her all the support she needs . My worry is that in june we are moving to Ireland i dont know its going to be in school there . Its really hard to coop with this situation . I would like her to have a normal life like any other child because its a right she has . Big hugs for Anaya and know that there is a mother in the same situation as you . With Love Valeria !

    • Joe Robinson says:

      Hi, i know your situation. I have talk to my family members with diabetes it can be struggle sometimes to watch love ones to go through something like this.

  3. Lorrie Hill says:

    I think it’s horrible that the school won’t work with you and they are acting as if it’s not important!
    What school is it? Have you tried going to the local media? Perhaps a little negative publicity on local tv
    will change their attitude about getting a nurse and providing better care! Every diabetic child has the
    right to be able to attend school as normally as any other child. You should not be forced to run over there every time an issue arises that they won’t handle.

  4. Lorrie Hill says:

    Would like to follow up

  5. Growing up with diabetes, many years ago (I won’t get into details of how many!), I didn’t have a lot of the resources that your daughter will have. Something that has really helped me in recent years is first and foremost, the internet and second adapting a paleo/keto diet. Here is a recipe I have that I think your daughter would love, it’s a twist on a kids classic that is still diabetic friendly 🙂

    Cranberry Apple Crisp

    If you have time, check out my blog and let me know what you think!

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