The Drop Off

by Leighann on June 15, 2011

I have to admit that I’m really, really, really jealous sometimes of the parents who pull into the parking lot of dance or gymnastics, open the door, and let their kids go in…alone.

As the parent of a six-year-old child with diabetes, I can’t just drop my daughter off somewhere, especially when physical activity is involved.

Today I mentioned to Q on the way to gymnastics that I needed to put gas in the car. I planned to do it right after class on our way back home.

Q said, from the back seat, “I have an idea. You can drop me off. I’ll go inside. You can get gas. And then you can come back.”

I replied, ” You know what? That is a good idea.”

I heard a loud “YES!” which I am sure was accompanied by a fist pump.

She told me that she never gets dropped off and that she was glad for the chance.

The reality?

The reality is that I was gone all of eight minutes. The gas station is right next door. I was back and sitting in the waiting area before class even started.

I don’t think for Q the privilege of being dropped off had anything to do with diabetes, but rather was a matter of me having confidence in her that she could be mature enough to go inside all by herself and wait for class to start.

Do you drop your T1 kid off at sports practice or do you stay with her? Do you wish you could just drop her off and run errands like other parents?

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gayle Carrington June 15, 2011 at 10:02 am

My son was diagnosed at 5 and is now 12. I still don’t do drop offs unless I’ve already established a relationship with the person in charge of his diabetes care plans. He knows how to figure carbs and insulin, but he is still a child who forgets and needs support and reminders. I believe we all as parents make mistakes, but none of us can risk the mistakes with our diabetic children. It would mean the difference between life or death. People have called me overprotective, but these are the same people who have never taken the time to learn anything at all regarding diabetes and the seriousness of it. I have heard it will only be an hour, I have to tell them it only takes mere minutes for those numbers to fall.

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2 Michelle Gonzalez June 15, 2011 at 10:21 am

Sarah is 11, and now has a CGM, so I’m much more confident at dropping her off. She is very good at treating her own lows when the CGM tells her she’s going down. Before the CGM I would drop her off but hang out within a mile or so and check in periodically because Sarah doesn’t feel her lows until about ten seconds before she passes out. I still stay very close if her BG’s are at all funky – but thankfully all of her activities happen right after breakfast or dinner, which is really the safest time.

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3 jenni at talkinghairdryer June 15, 2011 at 11:05 am

I used to be one of those drop and go moms. This spring has been the first year we’ve had to deal with D and sports. I MISS those days. My girl is 7 and very good at feeling lows. She can usually even give me an estimate of where she thinks she is. “Mom, I feel low…I’m probably in the 60s.” After a quick check, she’s usually right.

I spent 4 days last week sitting through basketball camp. She has been playing sports nonstop since she was diagnosed, so we have lots of experience with how her body handles activity. The first day I made sure she ate right, figured activity into her breakfast injection and tested every hour and she was fine. The second day I cut back the testing to halfway through the morning and at snack time. She was fine. The third day, I dropped her off, went home to finish putting on my makeup and picked up a cup of coffee on my way back to the camp. I left her meter bag, snacks, my cell phone number and instructions with one of the coaches. I was gone 45 minutes. She does her own testing as a routine anyway. She was fine. I did the same thing the last day of camp…she was fine. There has to be a happy medium somewhere, right?

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4 Lisa June 15, 2011 at 11:12 am

With two T1 boys in my house, and a deployed husband, I sometimes have no choice but to drop them off. During baseball season this year, we had one night every week where each of the boys had to be at a field on opposite sides of town. I chose to leave the 6 year old at his practice after dropping him off because the coach’s wife and the team mom are both nurses. I left him with all supplies and of course my phone number. In a perfect world, I would prefer not to leave either boy with someone not intimately familiar with diabetes, but life sometimes gets in the way.

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5 shannon June 15, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I stay with my 11-year-old daughter during dive team practice, but when she goes to a music camp in a couple of weeks (from 1pm – 6pm) I will drop her off and leave. I guess I feel more comfortable doing that since it’s not an athletic activity? Also, she’s very good about feeling her lows and treating them.

Since her dad is her soccer coach, I don’t have to stick around during practice, but if he was not, I would stay for that as well.

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6 Rachel June 15, 2011 at 2:49 pm

I miss the drop offs too, my son just turned 9 and has had diabetes for over a year now and is always in some sport activity. He has an older brother that I do get to drop off….& I love it, but I also have a 2yr old that I have to sit with…thru all of my diabetic son’s activities….it’s hard and exhausting but I don’t want to risk him having a severe low & I’m not there for him. He can recognize his lows now too, but has also had a seizure from a low that was very scary for him….and me too. I have committed myself to always being there no matter how inconvienent it is & what helps is I think there is always some parent out there that has it tougher than me & then I don’t feel so bad for myself.

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7 Denise aka Mom of Bean June 15, 2011 at 6:55 pm

We do a bit of both….I feel OK dropping her off for activities like VBS but if it’s dance practice I feel the need to stay.
Would love to be able to do the drop off for everything but at the same time there’s a lot that I would miss by not being there…catch 22!

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8 Jer June 15, 2011 at 8:53 pm

My daughter was diagnosed when she was 8 and is now just about 11. The first season of every sport after diagnosis, we stayed. My husband is an assistant coach for the cross country team, so he’s there, regardless of diabetes. Now that we know her patterns, for other sports (basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, swimming…she’s an active kid) we have no problems dropping off. She is pretty good at feeling and treating her lows. In addition, we have her check just before drop off and let the coach know if she’s outside of her normal range. At the beginning of each season, I go through a quick overview/refresher for the coaching staff (usually volunteers) and provide them with a detailed sheet describing her care, her symptoms when she’s low, what to do, etc. Everyone has been incredibly supportive. It is important to my husband and I that our daughter have a sense of independence. She is pretty adept at her own care and carries her supplies with her at all times (she calls it her crash kit!…helps to have a sense of humor!). It does help to not overdo it (I’ve seen another mother go into dramatics when describing her kid’s diabetes care and ended up freaking out the staff) when running others through the “instruction sheet” and to keep it simple along with providing all contact numbers in case they have any questions.

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9 Jer June 15, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Also, after talking with my husband, we both came to the conclusion that we’d stay with a six year old, diabetes or no diabetes.

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10 Amy @ Tiny Blessings June 15, 2011 at 9:48 pm

DD is 8, and no, I don’t really drop her off anywhere. Just this season we have “graduated” to the point where I will drop her off at the softball field for practice and I walk laps in the park during practice. Her supplies are all there with her, and I don’t leave the park, but I’m not right there with her. She thinks that’s really cool- I think it gives her that sense of independence. (Not to mention that it helps with my diet, LOL!) We have friends there with a daughter on her team who know a little about her care (the mom is type II) and once they took her to practice for me… but she was still with an adult who is capable of testing her/ treating a low.

She can be left with her girl scout leader (who, bless her, has made an effort to learn about diabetes/ her care) during regular meetings, but I have to go with the girl scouts on any kind of outing. I love her troop leader but I wish I had realized when we signed up that they would take trips all. the. time. I would LOVE to be one of the moms who drops their kids off for a trip without a worry. I had no plans to be a girl scout volunteer, but that’s what I am now. Ah well. DD loves it and it’s a great program, so I really shouldn’t be complaining at all.

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11 Jessica P June 15, 2011 at 9:54 pm

I have a 5 year old, diagnosed at 15 mo. who wears a CGM. This has made me much more comfortable leaving her with others who understand how to check the BG on the CGM and what to do if it’s low. During ballet/gymnastic class, the Teacher puts the pump in her pocket so that the CGM can pick up her BG readings during the class. They know what to do if it starts to alarm, or is low. Of course, if she is having a funny BG day, I stay in the class watching and when I do run errands, it’s all within a few city blocks, so I can quickly get back.

During Sunday school class (2 hours long with a snack at the end) the Teachers check her at a certain time and text me the number. I can text back instructions if need be.

Today we were running late and I couldn’t find quick parking, so I dropped the girls off just outside of the gym with instructions and watched them walk into the gym before driving to find parking. I could tell they felt good being allowed to walk that short bit of sidewalk by themselves while I watched.

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