I learned a new word this week.
Chionophobia is defined by Dictionary.com as the 'fear of snow.'
If weather conditions don't improve soon, I'm at risk of developing a full-blown case of this disorder. For now, my fear is limited to times when snow and diabetes cross paths.
As the years go by, there are more and more places I'll let my daughter go without me. The 'what-ifs' of diabetes are ever-present, but visits to friends' houses and evenings at school events have become activities with which I'm fairly comfortable. This is good, giving her a sense of independence and allowing her to test the waters of responsibility.
A couple of weeks ago a friend's family invited her to go sledding with them. I momentarily considered dropping her off with her sled and coming back to my cozy house. Then I began to gather my snow clothes. Sledding and even walking in the snow can cause, for my child, steep and unpredictable drops in blood sugar.
When we arrived at the sledding hill on this particular day, my pockets were stuffed with diabetes paraphernalia. She began sledding with a blood sugar of 190, and dropped very, very slowly over the next hour and a half. I watched the Dexcom graph and made her stop an hour in to double-check with the meter. As we walked back to the car with the Dexcom reading 150 straight ahead, I was beginning to feel foolish for having tagged along. I was not. By the time we'd walked three hundred yards to the parking lot, I saw 68, with double down arrows. This turned into a juice and glucose tab and snack kind of low which wouldn't quit. Even my 'tween' girl was the first to admit she was glad I was there to help her.
A week later, a friend's mom called. Could she take the girls for a walk in the latest snow storm? Once again, I tagged along. We were climbing through snow banks and un-shoveled sidewalks. It was fun, but strenuous. We stopped twice for blood sugar checks and glucose tabs. We followed those up with juice and a hearty snack.
It's unlikely that at 16 she'll want her mom to come with her to the sledding hill. She'll need to figure out how to carry and use all those supplies in the snow in order to keep herself safe.
In the meantime, having a personal nurse and Sherpa is, I think, a perk to appreciate.