What If?

 This is a story about something that happened last weekend.  It is not advice, medical or otherwise.  Except maybe to be extra-careful when walking on frozen lakes.

'Does your daughter have any medical conditions?'

I mumbled a little.  "Nothing that's relevant here."

'Too young to have much of a medical history, huh?'

'Mmm,' I said with a tight smile.

The EMT continued to treat the facial injury.

We were at a family resort for a girl scout troop overnight.  Our last outdoor stop of the day was to explore the frozen lake.  I saw it happen in super slow-mo from about 30 feet away.  My daughter was walking towards her friends when her feet went out from under her and her face hit the ice. We're unable to reconstruct where her arms went, but they were of no help to her mouth.

She bit deeply into her left outer lower lip. The left side of her mouth was swollen and riddled with abrasions and braces marks inside and out. There was a lot of blood. We took her inside, got ice, washed up her face and rinsed out her mouth.  The bleeding wouldn't subside.  We were told there was an EMT on site.  I decided, particularly being far from home, that it would be smart to have it looked at carefully so I wouldn't wonder later if more should have been done.

My daughter later described our time with the EMT eloquently.  "He had trouble finishing his sentences.  And he kept repeating himself."  He was perfectly kind, and gentle, and competent.  But 20 minutes into his work, he was still cleaning the cut.  He had reassured us that she didn't need stitches and that her teeth seemed fine. He was finally getting out antibiotic ointment and bandages.  Then he asked the question.  "Does your daughter have any medical conditions?"

I looked over at the rest of my daughter's girl scout troop, so patiently and lovingly gathered with the other parents, waiting for her.  I thought about bumper cars, and dinner, and the evening fun to come.

I ran through the diabetes-related possibilities in my head.  I knew I should be honest. But could anything either he or I would gain from the potential conversation be worth the 20 minutes it would take to have it?  I mumbled my answer.

It felt really weird.  As I denied the diabetes, her life flashed before my eyes: the traumatic events of diagnosis, the countless endocrinology visits, the pump and CGM stashed under her winter layers.  What if none of that had happened?  What if this lip injury was one of the most significant medical events of her young life?

Eventually we were walking towards the bumper cars with an adorable stuffed lion her friends chose for her from the gift shop (conveniently located adjacent to where we met up with the EMT) when my coat pocket vibrated and beeped. A glance confirmed the inevitable:  240, double arrows up.  The adrenaline was at work.  Diabetes was, indeed, relevant to this situation just as it is to just about every other one.

But I refuse to let it slow us down.

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