The diagnosis came like a dream. I could feel myself becoming disconnected from reality, I felt floaty with no sense of real grounding within the life I was living. I could sense a huge shift and I floundered, not knowing how to respond, wanting time to stand still, if I just ignore it – it will all go away and life will be set right side up again!
My daughter was 9, she was now going to be living with Type 1 Diabetes possibly for the rest of her life. What a heart thud. Life became very narrow. I used to live quite carefreely, making impromptu plans, able to embrace whatever adventures the day provided. Life was about to become a very different reality.
I recall carefree thoughts when planning family weekend hike trips. We would jump in the car with a water bottle, snacks and sunscreen and off we’d go! I wasn’t going to be like that anymore.
The thoughts around planning a hike became an overwhelming list of checklists, packing up medical supplies and food. Endless questions: would there be phone service for an emergency? I’d start planning diabetes management hours before and anticipate what might happen in the next 24 hours – how would her body respond this time? I’d anxiously keep an eye on the weather – temperature changes could impact her blood sugars! And on and on it went.
But we did it anyway.
We’re off and heading out on our hike, kids are excited, dogs are ecstatic! Ready? Let’s go!
“Wait… what’s that? Oh no, she’s low…”
“You all go on up ahead, we’ll catch up!”
We wait, we treat and monitor the low.
3 min, 5 min, 7 min, 10 min
“How do you feel? Not good eh, ok have another juice box”
15 min, 20 min
Ok, we’re off – let’s go!
I can’t believe it, we are actually hiking!
So many interesting stumps, the trail is busy today!
What a steep hike. It feels so good to be outside doing something kind of ‘normal’.
“What’s that? Oh you’re low! Ok, let’s find a rock to rest on. Here’s a lovely spot’
We can see other hikers above and below us.
Oh No, No, No, No!
I feel blood rushing to my ears, my heart is pounding, I feel that inner panic …
We used up all the juice boxes on the earlier low!
What can we do?
“Here’s some dried fruit from the bottom of my bag” that’s not going to last.
“Hey, you two guys over there, please can you help us? We are all out of juice boxes and sugar for my daughter, she is having a low from her Type 1 Diabetes and we need more juice boxes. Would you be willing to run back down to our car and grab some for us? It’s about 20 min down. Oh Wonderful, Thank you so much!”
They are back in no time, panting and grateful to help.
Her low stabilizes and just as we are about to head back, we meet up with the rest of our group coming down.
We hiked! Mission accomplished.
Now don’t forget to be diligent in checking blood sugars through the night in case there are residual effects while she is sleeping.
~The life of a T1D Mom
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