Type 1 diabetes is a comfortable part of our life. We test, we dose, we test and dose again. It's a normal and natural part of what we do. It's not good or bad, it's just there. We deal with the ups and downs because that's just what we're supposed to do. Most of the time I don't stress, and Kaitlyn doesn't complain. I try not to worry about what tomorrow will bring, because I just know that we'll be able to deal with whatever comes along. This is what I tell myself.
Once in a while though… I worry. I worry about high school. What will friends think? How will Kaitlyn's self-esteem be affected? I worry about college -- how will she manage without me? Will she do what she needs to do to be healthy? I worry about when and if she wants to get married and have children. Will she be able to have a healthy pregnancy? I know that Kaitlyn is years and years away from any of these obstacles, and my brain tells me that everything will be fine. My mommy emotions get the better of me though, and sometimes I worry.
My mommy worries have won over my sane and practical self this week. I've gone into anxious mode, and I've chosen to focus my mind on… outdoor school.
The other day, we spent an enjoyable evening with my cousin and his family. His sixth-grade son was telling me about his plans to go to outdoor school. I remember going as a kid, and it seems that not much has changed since I got to go, except the kids seem way younger now than when I was a kid. He was really excited about it… a whole week away from home and school, living in cabins, doing activities, hanging out with friends, hiking, eating in a cafeteria… The whole sixth grade would get to go!
My mind immediately went three places…
You have to remember that Kaitlyn is just going into first grade, so even though we happen to be living in the same school district with the same program… it's still over five years away. Kaitlyn will probably be doing a lot more of her care by herself then. But sixth grade still seems quite young to be handling that herself.
Again, my mommy worries take over. What if there were an emergency? I'm sure they probably have nurses at the camp, but would they know how to take care of her? I guess the other option would be to just stalk her all week. Wouldn't she love that? The only kid whose mom comes to outdoor school and follows her around day and night to make sure she's ok.
I think we'll plan a family trip to Hawaii that week! If that doesn't happen, I guess I'll have to face my fears and let her go…I won't promise not to worry though.
About the author: My name is Kim. My daughter Kaitlyn (the third of our five children) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just a few years after my nephew James was diagnosed with the same disease. I'm excited to pair up with my sister-in-law, Jen, to share our story with you!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.