I'm the mom of a beautiful Type 1 daughter and married to a wonderful husband who also has Type 1! This blog serves as a place for my thoughts and feelings, in the hopes that it will help other families struggling with the many challenges diabetes presents. I can't always promise it is uplifting...but, it is honest.

And, of course, it is by no means meant to offer medical advice.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Monkey on Our Back

blood sugar checking in the wild!
Vacation with diabetes...an oxymoron? If not, then certainly at least an adventure.

Day 1: Kuddos to mom...I remembered not only to set a temp basal for the long plane trip, but also to re-set the clock on her pump for the time change. Well done, yes...well done. Short victory...we get in very late and Jess wakes the next morning in the 500s despite going to bed in the low 200s. Delayed effect of inactivity??? Stress of traveling??? Pump site all ok and she comes down. I am left wondering how to prevent this in the future as I already did the trick I knew by increasing her basal rate for the plane ride. Hmmm.
Diabetes 1. Mom 0. 

Day 2: Sporadic blood sugars all over the place. Imperfect carb counting. Car ride. Stress. Who knows. But, no higher than the 300s so we'll count this as a tie.
Diabetes 2. Mom 1.

 Day 3: Awesome day of hiking. Remembered to bring supplies for emergency site changes, lows, glucagon, snacks, water. And, that is in addition to first aid kit, snake bite kit, biodegradable toilet paper, survival kit, layers, and lunch. We check frequently on the long hike, and have an incredible day of hiking to mountain lakes.
Diabetes 2. Mom 2.

 Day 4: Wake to a night of high blood sugars and ketones, with a much despised 2 am site change. Leading theory...it was HOT on the hike. Hotter than the beach. Both the hubby and I decide that the insulin in her pump tubing probably went bad. We change the site and the insulin. By the next morning trace ketones and blood sugars in goal. We set off for a day of white water rafting. We haven't taken Jess White Water Rafting before and Sean hasn't been since he has been on the pump. This takes some preparing as the dry bag they give us is very small and won't be reachable during most of the trip. I put skittles in triple ziplock bags and stick them in Jess's pants for emergency lows while on the water. We have an INCREDIBLE day and are thrilled the girls fall in love with white water rafting as we previously have. Diabetes won at night, but we'll celebrate a victory for the day!
Diabetes 3. Mom 3.

 Days 5-10 more of the same. We travel to our cabin in Wyoming which is on dirt roads and without reliable cell phone coverage or electricity. We go on long hikes without cell phone coverage. All of this means thinking ahead to be prepared to handle any diabetes emergency ourselves, as help may take awhile. I talk out loud to Jessica as I pack for these outings. I explain why I am bringing the different things I am bringing, and how they would help us if her pump fails, or if she has repeated lows.

In the end, although we were forced to travel with an unwanted monkey on our backs, I would declare the trip a victory. I want Jessica to see that she can do anything. Diabetes shouldn't stop her from climbing Mt. Everest if she so desires. The question should not be IF she can do it, but HOW she will do it. I'd like to think we are showing her this. We have managed to keep doing all the outdoor activities we love despite dying pancreases. My hope someday is that she will be cured of the monkey on her back. But until then, I want her to see it as all it is...an inconvenience not a limitation.

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