As a parent (at least me), you look forward to the day your kids are eating regular food so you no longer have to carry special food or a nursing cover. And then there’s the day the last little one is potty trained and you no longer have to cary a diaper bag with diapers and extra clothes. Things change as the parent of a diabetic.
The supplies you HAVE to carry are many. There are the supplies you carry just to get through every day: glucose meter, test strips, alcohol wipes, lancets, insulin and syringes. Then there are the snacks in case Monkey’s blood sugar drops too low and needs some extra carbs. And don’t forget the Glucagon Emergency Kit.
As my family and friends know, I’m obsessed with organization and also have a love of purses. We are constantly trying to find a way to efficiently carry everything without feeling like a pack mule and still trying to have a cute purse.
Most of these supplies are easy to identify their use. Glucose meter allows us to check Monkey’s blood sugar. To test him we need to clean his fingers with alcohol wipes and use a lancet to poke his finger and gather blood on to the test strip. The syringes and insulin are used once we know what he will be eating and if his blood sugar is high.
GLUCAGON, a name that many don’t know but that every diabetic or diabetic parent knows all too well and probably carries with them at all times. The easiest way for me to explain to others is that similar to an EpiPen, Glucagon is an emergency treatment for a diabetic. Should Monkey’s blood sugar drop so low that he is unresponsive and unable to get juice or some other form of emergency carb down him we would have to administer the Glucagon.
By the grace of GOD we haven’t had to use the Glucagon in the past 3 years. The relief of not having to use that also comes with the fear of having to use it. The use of Glucagon means there is an emergency situation which heightens the nerves of those administering. This is why we routinely look at, review and practice using the red case so familiar to us. We can practice because just like his insulin, Glucagon expires. So, when a container expires and we haven’t had to use it, we practice so we know what to do in an emergency. It isn’t administered like a normal insulin shot. Everything we need is in the container but you must mix a powder and liquid together and administer the correct amount. It also isn’t administered with a normal sized needle, it is significantly larger. It is used so infrequently, if at all, that we also have to make sure it hasn’t expired.
The fear of not knowing when you may need it means, it goes everywhere we go without exception. Even a quick run to grocery store means everything, including Glucagon comes with us. For a mom who loves purses that isn’t as big of a deal, I’m just on an endless search for the perfect purse and container to carry everything. But sometimes I start to think about the future and what Monkey will do as he gets older. How will he carry all this stuff? Will he need to? I quickly have to shut down all those thoughts because I can quickly become overwhelmed. For the time being I just remind myself I can help him by carrying what he needs or may need.
It’s all under control, just not by me. As much as I hate to admit it, diabetes is in control here. We have to take all our supplies because of its control.