We Wouldn't Do This Again
At 8th Grade Graduation practice my daughter's class was told in no uncertain terms that they could not carry anything as they marched down the aisle. A two minute conversation would have led to her being allowed to carry her meter, but she didn't want to. She wanted to walk in empty-handed like the rest of her classmates. Having a 'what's the worst that could happen- it'll all be fine,' moment, I acquiesced. Here's what we did and why I wouldn't do it again:
Because the middle school's auditorium is small and infamously hot, the program was held in a large gymnasium at different school. The kids were to arrive at 9 a.m. and meet in the building next door to the one where the ceremony was held. At 9:30 they would process in and sit together in the front of the room. The program was expected to last until about 11 a.m.
Creating a safe diabetes plan would have been easier with pockets as part of the equation, but she had a great dress to wear. We knew a pump pack fit well underneath, but when we tried to add the Dexcom, there was an obvious bulge. At least when we added a roll of glucose tabs tucked into the waist band of the pump pack, there was not. Those glucose tabs were our insurance policy.
We decided that she would check her blood sugar and make any needed adjustments in the car on the way to the ceremony. There had been no mid-morning blood sugar issues of late, which made us feel more comfortable with this plan. If at any point when we were not together she felt she was low, she would err on the side of caution and would (with a discreet move practiced before leaving the house) obtain glucose tabs from beneath her dress and eat a couple. Then, once she was in the room with us, I would have the Dexcom and be able to signal her to eat glucose tabs as needed. No problem. Except these two unforeseen problems:
At about 9:25, just before the kids were to make their way into the ceremony, an audience member experienced a medical emergency. There was a nearly half hour delay while the person was treated and eventually taken away by ambulance. The kids were kept in their holding room in the next building over, too far away for the Dexcom to reach. The half hour we'd expected to be apart turned into an hour.
Also, as we arrived at the venue, we learned that the kids would be seated in the empty chairs facing the podium, not facing us as we'd originally assumed. So there was no eye contact to be made and no hand signals to be used should my daughter need to be aware of a need for her hidden glucose tabs.
The story has a happy ending. She left the ceremony with a blood sugar of 132, and a lovely award from the music department. But in retrospect this was not a smart decision. We should have had her carry her bag. Or asked a teacher who was supervising the kids in the other room to bring it over and slip it to my daughter once she was seated. Or found a roomier dress with pockets. As a rule, we don't even go around the corner without carrying a meter and a juice box. Because as we were reminded on 8th grade graduation day, you never really know what's going to happen.