Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Diabetes Vacation

I'm back!!! Hopefully you enjoyed the stroll down memory lane while I was taking in the amazing beauty and history of Ireland. 

This trip was incredible for many reasons.  Obviously being in a country that is oozing history out of every pore was a dream come true for me. I love history. I spent a few years in university studying British history and this trip brought me back to a subject that I have always enjoyed. 

Another reason for it being incredible? I left Diabetes behind.  This was the very first time in twelve and a half years that Diabetes moved to the very, very back of the bus.  I kept in touch with my son about once per day.  Our conversations occasionally contained "What are your readings like?"  with his usual "Good" response. The amazing thing is that I never said "Good is not a number.  What is your reading?". 

I began the trip in my usual style. "Don't forget to reduce your overnight basal.  You were really active today."  
"Do we need to adjust that time we talked about or do you think the rates are okay?"

After a few days of enjoying the sights of Dublin and taking in a few local pubs, our conversations became more of "How's it going?"  and "What did you do today?" with only a small smattering of "How are your readings? Do we need to make any changes?" 
"The Brazen Head" The oldest pub in Dublin!

I have read that parents need to take a vacation away from diabetes. I have always felt it was important for my son to get any break he could now and then by me taking over bolusing, site changes, etc.  I often wish that I could do this for many others living with diabetes--give them a break when they have no one around who can.  I have never been able to give myself a vacation however. 

I am a mother. I worry. I wake up in the middle of the night prepared to test whether my son is with me or not. I look at meals and count the carbs.  I search for a meter two hours after a meal thinking that someone should be testing.  

On this trip, I still woke up in the middle of the night. I still wondered how my son's readings were going but it was not my most pressing concern. Getting up at 6am, being ready for the bus, figuring out where our next stop would be, how I would fit everything into our luggage and where the best Irish coffee was made moved to the forefront of my brain.  I never looked for a carb count until I ate a cookie on the final plane ride home.  
This picture was right side up but after a few coffee...

I will go through my son's pump and meter with a fine tooth comb when he comes home but while I was away?  It was something that I would deal with later. 

So my advice to all the parents out there? When your child goes to camp, spends a week with Grandma or goes away with their other parent for a period of time--ENJOY! Let go.  If only once.  Take your own vacation.  You have earned it.  As others told me, you have taught your child well so let them fly a little on their own. You are still there to fix any scrapes but the break will do you both good...speaking from experience!  

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