Oh my, Diabetes Mine, you certainly seem to be poking some hornet nests of late. First Wil's post on parents checking their kids at night (on which I left a comment, and really wanted to blog about; but... well, life. 'Nuff said).
The latest poke is Mike's post on the GAC, or Guest Assistance Card. The gist of his post was that PWD should not use such accommodations, unless absolutely necessary. He would rather the world see the type 1s can do anything anyone else can; including waiting 45 minutes in 100+ degree weather to ride a roller coaster. In direct sunlight.
I will be the first to loudly say that we used the GAC. Was it absolutely necessary? Who knows? That is such a grey area and differs from person to person. But for Elise, it was a must.
Issue #1: Elise runs high at theme parks. That's just how she rolls. Disney, Six Flags, state fairs, water parks... anything with a ride. She wants to ride the biggest and the scariest rides she can, and that in turn makes her BG sky-rocket into the 400-500 range. We usually run a 95% temp basal the entire time we are there, plus do a tonne of corrections, and can still only get her into the low 200s. As a result, she feels crappy, and we have to take a lot of breaks.
Issue#2: Elise wears the pod. We've been told that her body temperature *should* keep the insulin from going bad. But when it is that hot, forget it... nothing will keep it from spoiling. This means even more time outs for pod changes, shots etc.
Issue #3: We worry about dehydration and its good friend, ketones. In hot temperatures, everyone has to drink water, but because of Elise's elevated BGs, we PUSH water. We want to make sure she is well hydrated and can keep the ketones at bay. Add on some more time outs for many, many bathroom breaks.
All this adds up to a lot of sitting around, NOT doing what Elise wants to do; ride the BIG rides. All of them. Multiple times. Over and over. And for the amount of money Disney charges for us to get in, she'd better be able to do just that.
But if she's sitting in some air-conditioned room, fighting a BG of 450 and feeling so awful that she's crying, she can't.
And why can't she? Because of diabetes. We would never be in that situation if it wasn't for diabetes. We can prepare until the cows come home and it STILL doesn't work. We didn't do anything wrong; unless taking a child with type 1 to a theme park knowing what it does to her blood sugar is wrong. And if it is, I guess she CAN'T do everything a kid without type 1 can do.
As for the TSA Cares program, I will also continue to use it for as long as it's around. All we want is for airport security everywhere to follow the same protocol for PWD and CWD. TSA Cares helps in this regard. I'm not asking for special treatment, I just don't want to ever miss my flight again because the TSA won't follow their own rules.
Look, I get that we want the world to see that PWD and CWD can do pretty much anything a person without diabetes can, but sometimes they need a little help. There should be no shame in that. While I will never let Elise falsely use diabetes as an excuse, I want her to know that it's okay to ask for help. I don't see it as special treatment, I see it as a break.
And if it helps a child who, just last month was crying because she didn't want to live the rest of her life with diabetes, feel special; then I'm okay with that too.
***I just wanted to add that I have no problem with what Mike wrote... I felt the need to show a different viewpoint. And since all three kids took a nap today, I had time to do so.***
1 week ago