Boo to Injections

by Leighann on October 19, 2009

I am pretty thick-skinned when it comes to my daughter’s diabetes.

I have to be.

If I stopped to think about it–all of it–I would no doubt be a basket case.

It’s funny because sometimes it’s the littlest things that trigger sadness in me, making me angry that my daughter has to deal with this.

Meals on the Road

I know that a lot of people eat on the run. Because we have to test blood sugar levels and dose accordingly, we never eat in the car. Every single meal is a sit down meal. Every single meal takes a good chunk of time.

When we drove from Illinois to Vermont, to New Hampshire, to Maine, and back via Indianapolis, last Thanksgiving, our travel time was greatly increased because we couldn’t just hand back food. We were tied to our strict schedule that daily multiple injections dictate–breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, bedtime snack–all perfectly timed. Add four finger checks and injections and trying to estimate carb counts at fast food joints and restaurants we don’t usually frequent.

This past weekend we made our yearly trek an hour away to Boo at the Zoo. Because the event is in the evening, we had to travel during the dinner hour. As we drove through a town midway there we were going to stop and dine. Looking at the clock I realized that a thirty minute stop, if we were lucky, would really cut into our fun.

I instructed my husband to pull through Burger King for veggie burgers and fries. As he was paying at the window I ran to the hatch to grab the glucose meter and around to my daughter’s door. Squeezed between the building and car I balanced the meter and supplies on my bent knee and got our reading. As our bags were handed over I ran back around to my door.

I handed back my daughter’s food to eat from her lap, something we have not done in almost 18 months.

The second we parked at the zoo I sprung back into action readying the insulin pen and giving the injection.

En route I commented to my husband that the insulin pump will make this so much easier. Not that I want to start eating in the car. But with the pump I could enter the bolus into the PDM and reach my arm back to be within a foot of her pump and administer the bolus in a matter of seconds. No injection, no rush, no problem.

Hot Chocolate, Hot Tears

If you have never been to Boo at the Zoo, it opens in the evening for trick-or-treating and spooky train rides. Only some of the treats are candy, but mostly it’s cheap trinkets, the kind of junk that kids love. The fact that my daughter cannot eat all the candy doesn’t upset her too much. When presented with sweets she usually asks if she can have some, I say “maybe tomorrow,” and that’s the end of it.

We rode the Train of Terror two times that evening. She was spooked by the people lunging from the “graveyard” to the train, even though she knows they are not real. (If you ride the train between 5:30 and 6:30 it’s not as scary.) As we came around the last bend, rounding the flamingos, the conductor mentioned that hot chocolate was for sale, 50 cents a cup that goes to support the zoo.

In that instance tears came to my eyes. Over hot chocolate.

It was a bitterly cold October night and my daughter could not have effing hot chocolate!

It pissed me off that she couldn’t have something as innocent as hot chocolate on a cold fall night.

(She could have had it, but it would have meant an extra injection and a total guess as to the number of carbs and correct bolus.)

One for the Road

She gets her long acting insulin injection at 8:00 pm every night. She has to be given this injection within half an hour each and every night, but the closer to 8:00, the better.

We started heading for the zoo exit a few minutes after eight. My husband took our son to the bathroom to put on his overnight diaper (we dressed him in PJ’s under his costume) and I took my daughter to the girls’ room to have her go potty before the trip back and give her last injection of the day.

I realized that although I had put a couple of syringes and alcohol swabs with the supplies in my backpack, the Lantus was still in the car. I had to help my daughter back into her costume to stay warm while I ran to the car. Upon my return I undressed her again to get to her belly for the injection.

As we drove through the country returning to our town I turned to my husband and said, “When we have the pump we won’t have to do bedtime injections anymore.”

(Update: One year later, we again went to Boo at the Zoo. She had hot cocoa…and no injections!)

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tina October 20, 2009 at 6:50 pm

The pump WILL make life easier-every day is easier when you don't have to inject.

I carry individual packets of sugar free hot cocoa in a bag with her fast acting carbs (in addition to crystal light for other meals when she wants something cold). You can find sugar free hot cocoa for 4 grams of carbs, and it really tastes good! When I explain that my daughter is a diabetic, people don't mind giving me a cup of hot water.


2 Leighann of D-Mom Blog October 21, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Tina- Thanks so much for commenting! I have some Crystal Light to go packets in our kit, but never thought to pack hot chocolate. I'll have to throw some in. Thanks for the tip.

Isn't it funny that it's not the big stuff that gets us, it's the little things that seem inconsequential to others that are the kickers.


3 Tina October 21, 2009 at 12:05 pm

BTW, I know and understand that the point of your post was not that your daughter couldn't have hot chocolate – my husband always tells me that I lose it about Katie's diabetes about the small stuff. She wants to be "normal" and sometimes diabetes doesn't let her. I was just wanting to share a way that I let her feel like she's any other kid with substitutes if available.


4 Quigs78 October 22, 2009 at 6:02 am

I honestly cannot imagine how stressful it must be to make diabetes a part of your everyday. But I can sympathize with the food and 'normal' part because my son has food allergies. He was so excited when I picked him up from preschool the other day because, "I got to eat what the other kids ate today!"

I know it's just food, but it kills me that there are social events that are just easier to avoid rather than try to explain to a 3 year old why he can't be like all of the other kids.


5 Amy Lederer October 28, 2010 at 1:42 pm

I know this is really late to read, but I got on here to learn about how d-moms to Halloween (this is our first with D). I needed this encouragement today. We still do MDIs and we are on the path to the pump (hopefully OmniPod). I have been so hesitant about the learning curve of going on a pump. There is comfort in the familiar. But I so needed to hear this today. Thanks for always sharing!


6 AmyK October 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Our one and only vacation prePod was an absolute nightmare! Looking forward to the upcoming holidays with the Pod!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: