Saturday, March 30, 2013

Field Trips

Field trips are hard enough for teachers and parents just because going to a new place with a bunch of kids/ teenagers isn't most people's cup of tea. (Except for the other kids/ teenagers on the trip.) If you throw diabetes into the mix, you have a recipe for disaster.

Elementary school was full of so many restrictions when it came to my diabetes. I couldn't carry around my blood tester or insulin, I had to go to the nurse every time before and after meals, and if I needed to check my blood sugar because I felt low or high. I probably lost at least 24 hours of the school year sitting in the nurse's office. (Needless to say, I was friends with all of the nurses I had in elementary school. They still remember me when they see me out in public...)Whenever we went on field trips, a parent had to go because the nurse couldn't just take time out of her day to go with the one diabetic child on the trip. (Obviously, this makes sense because there were tons of other kids at school.) On the 5th grade field trip, my mom had to go with me because we were going to the Tennessee Aquarium, and elementary school kids with diabetes were NEVER going to go out of state without a parent.

In middle school, I got more freedom. I could carry around my supplies, but I still had to go to the nurse's office for lows, highs, and after lunch to cover it. BUT, for the first two weeks of school, I had to go to the nurse's office for every test, and etc, so she knew I could be trusted. I wasn't in the nurse's office nearly as much anymore, and the nurse and I weren't exactly friends. (I'll save the story behind that for another time.) I still wasn't allowed to go any overnight trips without my parents because I was diabetic. (SURPRISE! I bet you didn't see that one coming.) I went on two field trips during the day without a parent, and that was it.

High school came, and now I have tons of freedom. I met the nurse at the beginning of the year and I only go to the nurse's office when my blood sugar is really low, or if I need to do a site/CGM change in school. This year was also the first year that I went on an overnight field trip without a parent chaperoning, and it made me nervous at night. (It didn't help my worrying when my mom told me to pack a glucagon, for the first time ever, to bring with me on the trip.)  I was rooming with my friend I've had since 6th grade, so she knew I was diabetic, but she didn't know all about my diabetes like my parents do. I packed eight site changes for a three day, two night vacation. I only used one of them. I took a full bottle of glucose tabs and a box of clif bars everywhere I went. When my blood sugar was low, I would have mini panic attacks because of all of the possible things that could have gone wrong. "What if I faint and no one finds me?" "What if I need a glucagon and no one knows how?" Those were thoughts I had during my lows; they were obviously invalid because I was in a room full of people, so someone would see me. I had also told my friend how to use the glucagon, so that was irrational as well. I obviously made it through the trip and came back alive; it ended up being lots of fun. (I went to the FIRST Robotics regional competition in my state. I had tons of fun and cannot wait to go back next year.)

I guess the moral of this story is: I wish the schools gave me more freedom when I was younger, so I didn't freak out as a high schooler on an overnight trip only an hour away from home. I'm not sure how anyone can prepare for this, but I feel like if I had experienced leaving my parents overnight beforehand, I wouldn't have freaked out as much.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Enough from me, I want to hear from you!