It's #DBlogWeek where people from all over write posts on certain topics all week long. This is the first year I've actually caught DBlog week when it's actually happening so that I can write posts on the topics too! The first topic is "Diabetes and the Unexpected."
Do you remember that episode of Full House where Jesse and Rebecca were heading out for a trip to see Aunt Martha? It was their first time to take their twin boys out of the house on any kind of trip, and they weren't leaving anything to chance. They packed up EVERYTHING-- baby swings and coats and hats and changes of clothes and lots of diapers and baby powder for the twin who had a diaper rash, and pretty much the whole nursery! Mind you, they wouldn't be gone overnight-- it was just a day trip. Just as they were about ready to start loading up their vehicle after lugging all of this stuff down the stairs from their attic apartment, Aunt Martha shows up at their door!
That, folks, is diabetes preparedness. As soon as Michael was diagnosed with Type One and our plans of a "normal" life flew away, the freedom of just taking my purse to the grocery store also flew away. Now when we go to the grocery store-- or ANYWHERE-- we take a backpack filled with things we might need when we're out and about. This includes his CGM continuous glucose monitor receiver), pdm (personal diabetes manager, that controls his insulin pump), a vial of insulin, a blood sugar meter and all its accoutrements like test strips and the lancet device with lancets, glucagon (an emergency shot in case his blood sugar drops too low for a fast-acting carb to correct it), snacks, and fast-acting carbs to treat low blood sugars. These are necessities. And, surely, like the Aflac commercial says "If you don't have it, that's why you need it." Sure enough, if you leave your house without items to treat a low blood sugar, a low blood sugar will probably appear on your trip.
Being prepared is what keeps us relatively sane. We ventured out of the house last week to take the boys to a park about 20 minutes away where there was an ice-cream stand. On our way, Michael's CGM alarms for a low blood sugar. As I drove, Aaron turned around in the passenger seat and checked a blood sugar and Michael was really low. Aaron knew that we had something in his backpack that would help, and he quickly found the Skittles and gave Michael a whole handful to eat. We knew we'd be getting ice cream at the park, but low blood sugars don't wait around for a well laid plan. We had to act fast in order to keep Michael safe during our little trip. Everything turned out fine and Michael was able to enjoy an ice cream cone and play for a long stretch of time on the playground. These are little victories to us-- when things work out in the end and when we don't have to cut an event short in order to take care of diabetes related issues. When we got home, I restocked Michael's backpack with another fast-acting carb-- Smarties, and I knew we'd be prepared again if this same kind of thing happens in the future.
I still get jealous of those people who can just toss a diaper or whatever into their purse and head on like nothing could ever go wrong. I wish they knew how easy they had it.
Having Type One in our life and learning how to be prepared for what it can throw at us has taught us to be prepared in other areas too. My younger son has a lot of different allergies, and some of them are just coming to light now. He ate a tiny bite of a cashew on Saturday and within ten minutes, his top lip was swollen right where he had placed that cashew. Since he has other allergies, I always have Benadryl (and most recently, Zyrtec too) on hand. I knew the "rescue dose" for Benadryl and was immediately able to give it to him. Within half an hour, his lip was decreasing in size, and within three hours it was back to its normal size. If I hadn't have been prepared with the Benadryl, our evening would have included a trip to the ER and a frantic mom-- me. However, I've learned to be prepared for whatever may happen, especially when it pertains to my kids, and I can attribute that to living in a home where Type One Diabetes resides.
Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba