The Field Trip
Today was the 3rd grade field trip. They visited an outdoor living history program set up on a former golf course. There were demonstrations about native American life, and about the natural history of our state.
All parents were offered the opportunity to go on this trip with the class. A year or two ago, I would have jumped at the chance, worried about how diabetes would impact my daughter’s day. This time, I thought about it differently. The school sent a nurse with the class, not just for my child but for allergy and asthma issues too. My daughter is older, and more responsible than I often give her credit for. Most importantly, she rarely gets to go places and have experiences without a parent by her side holding a bag full of diabetes gear. I decided she should go without me, and she was excited to do so.
If I’d thought about the note I’d have to send with her and the other preparations involved, I might have decided it was easier to spend the day in an open field in 95 degree heat. My usual note to the nurse is 2 sentences describing how many carbs are in snack and lunch. Here, there were more concerns, and since it wasn’t the regular nurse, I wanted to make sure I was clear. Two pages later, the nurse knew that my daughter needed to test before they started walking, before lunch, and when they got back on the bus. She needed to carry extra juice boxes and glucose tabs because her blood sugar often drops with a lot of walking. She should be encouraged to stop and check if she felt low and reassured she wouldn’t miss out on anything. I sent parameters for juice vs. glucose tabs. I asked that any bg under 200 not be corrected (due to the dropping while walking issue).
The afternoon before the trip was spent e-mailing the teacher about what time lunch would be, and whether the nurse could please sit near my daughter on the bus. But could she please not sit with her, so my daughter could have the fun of sitting with her friends? Then I packed her little bag with a spare meter, juice and glucose tabs, along with her hat, sunglasses and disposable camera. I managed to leave room for lunch, 2 snacks and 2 water bottles too.
I’m fairly certain I spent more time preparing for this field trip than I have for any trip we’ve taken as a family except the one overseas. But as with all things diabetes these days, independence is the ultimate goal and this was a happy step for both of us.