Diabetes in the Wild

by Leighann on June 27, 2012

Our family had a mini vacation at a small, family oriented amusement and water park this summer.

We tried as we always do to make diabetes not the focus of our days. But of course no day is ever diabetes-free. Just a fact of life.

While we were in the wave pool, I noticed a woman with a belt around the waist of her swimsuit. Always looking for good solutions to carry our d-stuff in situations exactly like this, I took a closer look and noticed tubing. A pump!

It was a mesh belt, but instead of being a soft-sided case it was a hard, clear plastic.

I wanted to ask her about it, but I was watching my two kids ride the waves and she was with her family and we drifted apart before I got the chance.

Toward the end of the evening Q and her daddy headed to the first aid station to retrieve the bottle of insulin that we had stashed each day in their refrigerator. As I sat with her brother eating Dippin’ Dots, I began to wonder what was taking them so long to return.

Turns out that they were having a long conversation with the staff in the first aid station about her insulin pump. They had never seen a patch insulin pump like the OmniPod that Q uses. The two of them took the time to explain how it works and why we like it. My husband explained to them that we had stored that vial of insulin with them only as a back up should we need it, but that she received insulin from her pump all day.

In fact, the day before her pod had expired in the afternoon. I had originally planned to postpone her pump change until we returned to the hotel (it expires at 72 hours, but she can actually wear it up to 80). But I decided that a few minutes in the air conditioned first aid station might be a nice reprieve. We were in and out of there in less than 10 minutes.

As Q and I were waiting for the elevator back at the hotel, Q noticed that a girl had a pink Medtronic Revel clipped on her waistband. Q is so outgoing that she said something, which prompted a conversation with the mom. The girl had been diagnosed at 11 months and was now 12 or 13…and either really shy or completely mortified. I think she was just shy.

Before returning home on our last day, we found a stable just outside of town that offered guided trail rides. The kids took two short trail rides. When Q was mounting the horse I mentioned to her guide that she’s diabetic and I just checked her blood sugar and she should be fine for the 20 or so minutes they would be out.

I didn’t feel the need to fully educate the guide. I knew they weren’t going too far. And they could always gallop back quickly.

As we were waling back to the car after the kids’ second trail ride, Q told me that her guide wasn’t diabetic, but had worked at a diabetes camp.

Everywhere we went, we saw diabetes in the wild!

Further Reading

I can’t remember who coined the term “diabetes in the wild,” but I love it! The book Kids First, Diabetes Second has an entire section on diabetes slang in the “Language of Diabetes” chapter. You can also find some great terms in the Diabetes Terms of Endearment eBook.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sara June 27, 2012 at 9:02 am

Medtronic has a hard shell case. It may have been this one – http://my.medtronicdiabetes.com/ec_ProductDetail?pid=a1SC0000000LqyVMAS

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2 Leighann June 27, 2012 at 9:33 am

I think that’s it! Thanks for the tip.

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