Do you or don’t you? Should I or shouldn’t I? What if?
Tonight is KC’s first slumber party since she went on the pump last May. She hasn’t been invited to one since the week after her pump start. In that case, I chose to let her attend the evening festivities but picked her up before bedtime. And haven’t had to face that question again until this week.
I’ve said yes. I know there are other parents who don’t agree with this decision but we each have to look at our children as individuals not just as CWD. In KC’s favor, she’s extremely conscientious about managing her T1. We had a long talk about my rules for letting her do this, which include the fact that she must text me with her BG at dinner and at bedtime. She knows that if her BG starts to go high and doesn’t respond to correction, then she’ll have to come home early. She knows that she needs to rely on her friends for help and can’t be afraid to ask for it. She knows that she needs to speak up about measuring her milk and her syrup at breakfast.
In a couple of weeks, she will be 12 years old. At 12, I had been babysitting for a year, and was able to make dinner and bake without assistance from my parents. Yes, she is a child with a chronic disease, but she is also a tween who needs to be independent and not forbidden from participating in ordinary activities.
I recently watched MTV’s True Life “I have Diabetes” I hated it. (I’ll probably rant more on that in another post) Hated seeing what happens to some CWD when they are no longer under their parents’ supervision. Especially disturbing was the young college student who drinks heavily even though he is causing permanent damage to his body. I wonder if this isn’t a form of rebellion–just like any teen whose parents are overly strict, T1 or not, who gets a taste of freedom and goes wild. I don’t want KC to feel like she missed out on being a “normal” kid. I don’t want her chasing the thrill. I need to treat her just as I do her non-T1 brother.
Yes, there are special considerations. Yes, contingency plans need to be made. Yes, I will worry the entire night.
I have made sure she will be in the best possible hands. Her friend’s dad is a family practice doctor. I am sending KC with an emergency bag containing everything she could possible need.
We have pre-planned her dinner carbs. The girls will be going to Ruby Tuesday’s for dinner and we took the time to preview the menu and store carb counts on KC’s phone.
And KC asked if she could take the mySentry with her….she wants it near her so it will wake her up if her pump alarms go off.
I always go back to “what is my purpose as her mother”: to give her the guidance to learn to make good decisions; to help her grow to be a responsible person so she will be able to live on her own.
In essence, the same purpose as any mother.
T1 is a major part of our lives and we can’t escape it, but it isn’t everything.