Type 1 makes everything more difficult.
From road trips to testing in school Type 1 diabetes makes everything more difficult. Not impossible. Nothing is impossible for a person with Type 1 diabetes, but everything requires more work than a person without Type 1 diabetes.
Parents embark on road trips with their children all the time. Some road trips are short, and are easier on all accounts and some are long. Really long. 16 hours in the car long. It’s the 16 hours in the car long trip that makes you realize how difficult everyday things become with Type 1 diabetes. There are the obvious preparations that you need to be aware of when travelling long distances with a child with or without Type 1 diabetes. You need to have snacks, drinks, fun stuff to do in the car and be prepared to take potty breaks. Add in the extra of having Type 1 diabetes and you also have to remember low stuff, extra supplies, and extra water. But even that’s not the part that makes it hard to road trip with Type 1 diabetes. It’s the actual hour to hour that gets difficult.
Most parents love love love when their children sleep in the car on a road trip. I am the same. The minute my children fall asleep I know I am good to drive a while in my own silence, no fielding rapid fire questions from the back seat. Yet, having a child with Type 1 diabetes I am unfortunately unable to love it for too long. After 2 hours of sleeping I need to check my son’s sugar. The reason I have to check his sugar is because it is what we do, we meaning parents of children with Type 1 diabetes. We check to see the glucose number to make sure all is okay. It doesn’t matter that the time to test falls at 2:00am on a pitch black highway when his dad is driving 75 miles an hour trying to get home.
So I get the meter, get the flashlight, unbuckle my seat belt, S-T-R-E-T-C-H all the way to the back seat…minivans are long…position the meter, position the flashlight, find my son’s finger, prick his finger, tuck his hand back in, grab the meter, grab the flashlight, climb back to my seat in the front, buckle my seat belt, and evaluate the number all while not disturbing two sleeping children.
Impossible, no! Difficult, absolutely! Necessary, no doubt!
Type 1 diabetes takes its toll on the children living with it too no matter how hard parents try to make their life easy and ‘normal’. Standardized testing starts in the first grade in our town. The use of the work standardized is already a misnomer when it comes to my son because there is no other first grader in our school that has to check his sugar, evaluate his blood glucose number, treat highs and lows, all while trying to concentrate on taking a test. He is all alone dealing with all this diabetes nonsense. There is no standardized test that can show how hard it is to test when your glucose is sky high or too low.
An explanation of these tests is: A standardized test is one that is administered under standardized or controlled conditions that specify where, when, how, and for how long children may respond to the questions or “prompts.” Well, there you have it folks, there is no such thing as a controlled environment when it comes to Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes doesn’t know that it’s supposed to stay in range, and non existent during standardized testing times. It doesn’tknow that the minute Type 1 diabetes rears it’s ugly head and makes my son’s sugar go too high or too low that controlled environment goes out the window.
All things are possible when you have a child with Type 1 diabetes, there are no limits. Yet, some things are definitely made more difficult when you have Type 1 diabetes, and standardized testing seems to be one of those things.