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!)